Joshua C. Batkin was appointed as the Director of the Office of External Affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by President Obama on June 3, 2013. Josh’s career includes more than 17 years in positions of increasing responsibility in government and non-profit agencies dedicated to public health and safety missions.
As the director of the Office of External Affairs, Josh manages FEMA’s Congressional Affairs, Public Affairs, Intergovernmental Affairs, Private Sector, Strategic Communications, and external affairs disaster operations. The External Affairs team promotes dialogue and builds partnerships with a diverse group of stakeholders to further FEMA’s mission to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Josh served for almost seven years as chief of staff to Commissioner and Chairman Gregory Jaczko at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). As a member of the senior executive service at the NRC, he managed office operations, policy development activities, and communications and outreach for the Chairman. Josh recently served as a senior policy advisor for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, where he assisted with environmental, public health, and safety oversight. He has also been the senior vice president responsible for leading communications and marketing efforts at the International Code Council, a non-profit building safety association.
Earlier in his career, Josh held a number of positions at FEMA over an eight year period. He managed the agency's International Affairs office and programs, served as a Congressional relations specialist, helped design and implement a first responder grant program, and assisted in the development of a national disaster prevention initiative. He also responded to multiple disasters in the field, including Guam after Super Typhoon Paka, California after flooding, and New York City following September 11, 2001. During this first stint at FEMA, he served on assignments to the Office of the Vice President, the Department of State, and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works during Congress’s consideration of the law that created the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Josh began his career as a legislative correspondent for U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg.
Josh earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Duke University and a Master of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University. He is married with three children and lives in Washington, DC.