Rich Cooper

Jun 15, 2009

Members of the National Association of Emergency Managers (NEMA) received a bittersweet email this afternoon.  Kristin Robinson who has served as NEMA’s lead for Government Relations for the past several years is leaving the Association to take a political appointment as an Advisor to FEMA Administrator, Craig Fugate.

What is NEMA’s loss is FEMA’s and the Nation’s gain.  Kristin has been one of the thoughtful voices and strong hands in educating and informing Congressional Members, their staff, as well as government departments and agencies about emergency management.  While the announcement by Trina Sheets, NEMA’s Executive Director (which is offered below) did not specify the specific portfolio Ms. Robinson would have in the FEMA front office, Craig Fugate has certainly added another solid, experienced performer to his leadership team.  

With his Chief of Staff, Jason McNamara, as well as Tim Manning, Deputy Administrator, National Preparedness, FEMA’s leadership team is shaping up to be an impressive group of people.  Having such talent undoubtedly helps to build the confidence of the Agency’s employees and stakeholders – a fact that should not be lost upon the Congress, the media and the American public.

Fugate, Manning, McNamara, Robinson and the others are certainly inheriting a better Agency than their immediate predecessors did.  While none of the jobs that these new appointees are taking on are easy, they are a whole lot better than they used to be.  That is in large part for extra-ordinary efforts of David Paulison, Harvey Johnson, Marko Bourne and others in the previous Administration’s FEMA leadership.  

That is also something that each of the new FEMA leaders have graciously acknowledged in the various meetings they have attended over the past weeks since taking their respective positions.  Robinson’s addition just brings more talent to the table and given her work at NEMA, she will be able to hit the ground running.

Text of NEMA Message – June 15, 2009

Dear NEMA Members,

It is with great personal and professional sadness that I inform you that Kristin Robinson, NEMA Government Relations Director, will be leaving us on July 17 to take a new and exciting position with FEMA.  Kristin has taken a political appointment to serve as Advisor to the FEMA Administrator.  

Kristin has been an integral part of the NEMA staff for the past ten years and has played a key role in much of NEMA’s success in working with Congress, the Federal government and other Washington decision-makers.  Kristin’s intergovernmental relations skills, her professionalism and her dedication to NEMA and emergency management issues made her a tremendous asset.  Kristin’s imprint can be seen on such NEMA accomplishments as numerous increases in EMPG funding over the years, the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, the 9/11 Implementation Act, EMAC authorization and much more. 

Kristin has represented NEMA exceedingly well in her decade long association with us and we all owe her our thanks and best wishes in her new position at FEMA.  We hope that she can continue to be an advocate for the States and emergency management and are confident she will remain a colleague and friend. 

I personally want to thank Kristin for her countless contributions to NEMA and to our staff.  Please join me in wishing her the very best in her future endeavors.

Best Regards,

Trina R. Sheets
NEMA Executive Director
PO Box 11910
Lexington, KY 40578

This piece was originally posted on Security Debrief.


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