On May 6, Tony Robinson became the acting regional administrator of FEMA Region VI, one of the busiest FEMA regions in the country. He succeeds former administrator Tony Russell, who is now the superintendent of the Emergency Management Institute. Region VI covers Arkansas, Louisiana, New MeVIco, Oklahoma and Texas.
Robinson, who became the deputy regional administrator in January, served for seven years as the Region VI recovery division director. He has 26 years of federal service with more than 23 years in emergency management. Robinson has provided leadership and oversight during federally declared disasters since 1991, including the Loma Prieta Earthquake, Typhoon Pongsona, 9/11 and hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav.
As acting regional administrator, Robinson encourages all Region VI employees to lead change, rather than being led.
"I know that our dedicated and talented folks will continue their efforts to support our R6 stakeholders – driving change within their program areas, " Robinson said.
He also pledged to continue the mantra of former regional administrator Russell emphasizing what the region has come to know as the three 'S' concept - survivors, staff and self.
"We will concentrate first on providing support to the Survivors and affected communities to ensure we are utilizing all of our resources within the law and regulations to support them and then support Staff by ensuring their safety and providing the resources and training to do their job," added Robinson. "It is also important that FEMA staff take care of the third 'S' - Self, and their families so that we all are prepared when an event occurs."
Robinson will be in the acting capacity until FEMA hires a permanent administrator. FEMA administrator Fugate recently announced that the Region VI regional administrator post will be a career position.