Robert J. Fenton, Jr. currently serves as the Assistant Administrator for Response in the Office of Response and Recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Mr. Fenton is responsible for coordinating the Federal response in support of States during major disasters. He coordinates and integrates Federal interagency all-hazards disaster planning and response operations; manages emergency response teams; and oversees disaster emergency communications programs.
Mr. Fenton came to FEMA Headquarters in July 2009 to serve as the Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Response, where he was instrumental in crafting the reorganization of the Response Directorate and the Office of Response and Recovery, as well as leading the Response Directorate’s focused efforts on whole community catastrophic planning, doctrine development, staff training/credentialing, and exercises. Mr. Fenton previously worked at FEMA Headquarters as the Acting Deputy Operations Branch Chief in 2007, leading the development and implementation of the Incident Management Assistance Teams.
From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Fenton served in the dual roles of Director of Disaster Assistance and Acting Director of Disaster Operations in the FEMA Region IX Office. Mr. Fenton was responsible for the delivery and coordination of all hazards disaster planning, and response and recovery activities in the Region, which serves Arizona, California, Nevada, and Hawaii, as well as Guam, American Samoa, the Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, and Micronesia. Mr. Fenton also served as Chief of the Region IX Response Branch, where he led interagency work groups in the development of the National Incident Management System and the National Response Framework. He was also responsible for conducting interagency training, coordination, and exercises with Federal Emergency Support Function agencies in preparation for disaster response.
Since joining FEMA in 1996, Mr. Fenton has played a significant role in numerous large-scale response and recovery operations in the U.S. and has responded to more than 50 Federal disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the four Florida Hurricanes of 2004, the Southern California Wildfires of 2003 and 2007, the Super Typhoon Pongsona in Guam, and the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
Prior to joining FEMA, Mr. Fenton served as the Chief of Field Operations for Portable Water Supply System, based in Redwood City, California. In that capacity, he deployed to Central Africa as a lead member of the U.S. emergency response relief effort to bring lifesaving assistance to Rwandan refugees.
Mr. Fenton attended the University of California at Davis where he majored in economics and sociology. He currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and their two young sons.