Washington, D.C. – President George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate Michael D. Brown, deputy director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to serve as the Under Secretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response in the newly created Department of Homeland Security.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R), Brown will coordinate federal disaster relief activities on behalf of the President of the United States, including implementation of the Federal Response Plan, which authorizes the response and recovery operations of 26 federal agencies and departments as well as the American Red Cross. The Under Secretary for EP&R will also oversee the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration and initiate proactive mitigation activities designed to reduce loss of life and property from all types of hazards.
In addition, the Under Secretary of EP&R will help the Secretary of Homeland Security ensure the effectiveness of emergency responders as they respond to terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. Additional responsibilities include directing the Strategic National Stockpile, the National Disaster Medical System, and the Nuclear Incident Response Team.
Challenges for the Undersecretary of EP&R will include building a national incident management system to respond to attacks and disasters, consolidating existing federal government emergency response plans into a single national response plan, and developing programs for establishing interoperable communications technology.
Brown joined the Bush administration in February 2001 as General Counsel for FEMA. Shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks, he was nominated by President Bush to be the Deputy Director of FEMA and was confirmed in that position by the United States Senate on August 1, 2002.
As Deputy Director, Brown functions as FEMA’s Chief Operating Officer, assisting Director Joe M. Allbaugh with oversight of the agency’s activities. In particular, Brown served on President Bush’s Consequence Management Principals Committee, which functioned as the policy coordination group within the White House for the federal government’s domestic response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. He was later asked by the President to head the Consequence Management Working Group to identify and resolve key issues regarding the federal response plan. Brown also played a key role in managing FEMA’s recovery programs for the victims of the World Trade Center attacks. Brown has assisted Allbaugh with the approval of $5.5 billion dollars in federal assistance for New York City and anticipates the total to reach nearly $9 billion.
In August 2002, the President requested his participation in the Transition Planning Office for the new Department of Homeland Security, serving as the transition leader for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Division of the proposed Department. He also serves as the chair of the National Citizen Corps Council, part of the President’s USA Freedom Corps volunteer initiative.