Nancy Ward, Administrator- Region IX
Nancy L. Ward was appointed Regional Administrator of Region IX for the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in October 2006.
As Regional Administrator, Ms. Ward is responsible for coordinating FEMA mitigation, preparedness and disaster response and recovery activities in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.
In a disaster management career spanning more than 25 years, Ms. Ward has held increasingly responsible State and Federal management positions in which she led disaster response and recovery activities in hundreds of events and scores of declared disasters. Before joining FEMA, Ms. Ward was Chief of the Disaster Assistance Branch and Deputy State Coordinating Officer for the California Office of Emergency Services.
In addition to leading Region IX, FEMA’s largest and most geographically and ethnically diverse region, Ms. Ward has also worked two details at FEMA headquarters as the Deputy Director of the Recovery Directorate during FEMA's response and recovery operations for both the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. In recognition of her widely recognized professionalism, Ms. Ward was appointed FEMA’s senior transition official during the presidential transition and served as Acting Administrator for the Agency from January 21, 2009 to May 16, 2009.
During her career, Ms. Ward has received numerous awards for special accomplishments at FEMA. These awards include the 2003 Director’s Award for leadership in disasters, 2007 Department of Homeland Security Secretary’s Award for Excellence for her leadership during the California wildfires, and the 2010 Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award for sustained superior accomplishment.
Karen Armes, Deputy Regional Administrator- Region IX
Karen E. Armes serves as Deputy Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Region IX. Appointed to this position in December 2000, she is responsible for operational aspects for all disaster response and recovery, mitigation and preparedness activities throughout the region that has offices in Oakland, Calif., and Honolulu, Hawaii. She oversees federal emergency management policies and programs in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, as well as the territories of American Samoa and Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Ms. Armes has also served as Acting Regional Administrator for significant periods of time, covering January 2000 to December 2002, from March 2004 until October 2006, and again from October 2008 through May, 2009. Previously Ms. Armes held the post of director of the Administration and Resources Planning Division. She joined FEMA in 1995 as branch chief of Administrative Program Services.
Before joining FEMA, Ms. Armes completed a 12-year assignment in the civilian sector of the U.S. Department of the Navy in the San Francisco Bay Area and other locations. In 1994, she was appointed as the director of the Business Management Office for the Defense Information System Agency. Prior to this position, she served with the Navy Finance Center where she began as a financial management trainee, continued as a budget analyst with the Navy Regional Data Automation Center, and completed her tenure there as director of the Management Support Division.
Ms. Armes graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation administration from Radford University, Virginia. She went on to complete post-graduate courses in business administration at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.