The following memo was distributed to All FEMA Employees on December 4, 2013 on behalf of FEMA Administrator Fugate.
Deputy Administrator Rich Serino has made the difficult decision to leave FEMA and return home to Boston at the end of January. Rich has been instrumental in leading and transforming FEMA into a nimble, expeditionary, and survivor centric organization. His perspective, experience, and vision have made him an irreplaceable member of our leadership team.Since his appointment by President Barack Obama in 2009, Rich has been a leader in our efforts to redesign policies and programs to continue to improve FEMA’s support to survivors, states, tribes and territories. Rich has led major initiatives to enhance our fiscal management, improve our disaster workforce, increase our analytical capacity, and gauge employee perspectives.
Rich has driven our effort to ensure FEMA is a fiscally strong and data-driven Agency. He enhanced FEMA’s performance and financial management, and ensured comprehensive program evaluation and budget review processes. In addition, Rich was key to growing our analytical capability through the implementation of FEMASTAT. Through this initiative we have collected and analyzed key information to evaluate the way we do business across the FEMA enterprise.
Rich has been a key leader in rethinking FEMA’s presence in the field and transforming our disaster workforce through the creation of the FEMA Corps program. FEMA Corps is strengthening the nation's capability to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards while promoting national service and focusing on community engagement. It is a lasting legacy that will contribute to the next generation of emergency management leaders.
We as an Agency strive to advance a culture that fosters improvement, innovation, invention and learning, both within the Agency and across the broader emergency management team. Rich was critical in seeking solutions to process, technological, and policy challenges to continue to find new ways to execute our mission. Through engagement with external partners, Rich sought increased communication and collaboration throughout the whole community.
Rich is a true public servant, having dedicated his life to the service of others. Before coming to FEMA, Rich served the Boston community for more than 35 years. And with that experience, Rich understood the need to go out into the field, meet with survivors, and listen to their perspective.
Rich's leadership of this Agency will be greatly missed. Having commuted to Boston on weekends to be with his family over the course of his long tenure at FEMA, he has now made the difficult decision to transition back to Boston. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.