Homeland Security Announces Intent to Nominate IAFF Director for FEMA Post

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced President Obama’s intent to nominate Elizabeth M. Harman, a former firefighter and currently a director at the International Association of Fire Fighters, to become an assistant administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

If confirmed, Harman will manage FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate, the central location for grants management at FEMA. These offices are tasked with the provision of credible leadership of FEMA grants, transparent data and processes, collaborative partnerships with stakeholders, and connection to Homeland Security priorities and outcomes. Over the last three years, GPD programs awarded over $50 billion in federal financial assistance.

Harman is the director of the Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction Training Department at the IAFF, a labor union representing 296,000 fire fighters and paramedics in the United States and Canada.

Harman was a fire fighter and paramedic in Fairfax City, Virginia, IAFF Local 2702. She began working at the IAFF in 2004. In 2005 she became director of the Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction Training Department, running the largest HazMat/WMD training program of fire fighters in North America and managing millions in federal funding to support the program.

The Grant Programs Directorate was formally created on April 1, 2007, in accordance with the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act. As the assistant administrator, Ms. Harman will be responsible for the oversight of the two divisions within GPD and the management of all programmatic and financial responsibilities for grant programs across FEMA’s eight directorates. These responsibilities include the development, administration, implementation, award and closeout of 52 different disaster and non-disaster grant and financial assistance programs.

More information on the Grant Programs Directorate can be found at: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/index.shtm

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