DENVER, Colo. -- Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response in the Department of Homeland Security, today announced Nebraska native David Maurstad’s appointment as the Acting Federal Insurance Administrator and head of the Mitigation Division for Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Maurstad has been serving as director of FEMA's Region VIII in Denver since his appointment by President George W. Bush in October of 2001. As a FEMA regional director, Maurstad coordinated FEMA's disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities for six states: Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
“David Maurstad’s background as a mayor, a member of the Nebraska State Legislature and Lieutenant Governor, combined with his extensive experience and understanding of the insurance industry makes him the ideal choice for this position,” Brown said. “I look forward to working with him in Washington.”
“I am truly honored to be chosen for this position,” Maurstad said. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in standing up the new Department of Homeland Security and over the past two-and-a-half years in FEMA Region VIII. I’m excited about this new opportunity and challenge.”
Under Maurstad's direction, FEMA Region VIII assumed a leadership role along with the FBI and Secret Service as one of the three primary federal agencies to prepare for the potential security threat to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. He headed regional efforts to respond to Colorado's record 2002 wildfire season, and leads FEMA’s response to the ongoing issues of closed-basin flooding in Devils Lake, N.D.
Prior to his FEMA appointment, Maurstad was elected Nebraska's Lieutenant Governor in 1998. As Lieutenant Governor, Maurstad served as the state's federal and tribal liaison, and was chairman of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission. He also led efforts to examine working conditions in meatpacking plants in the state, and chaired a task force that considered reform of Immigration and Naturalization enforcement actions. He was elected treasurer for the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors.
Maurstad also worked with the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services on child-care issues. In 1999, he created Spotlight on Youth, a program to recognize young people from across Nebraska for their achievements and personal courage.
In 1994, Maurstad was elected to the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature, serving on the budget-writing appropriations committee. He sponsored legislation to expand services for the disabled, improve the state's correctional system, stimulate Native American economic development and protect victims of domestic violence.
Maurstad is a former mayor of Beatrice, Nebraska, where he initiated widespread improvements in the area of public safety, including increasing the number of police officers, providing a new police department facility and establishing a countywide communication and dispatch center. He also substantially upgraded fire department vehicles and equipment, and combined county EMT services with the city fire department. He also served on the Beatrice School Board, and has more than 20 years of experience as a licensed insurance agent.
Maurstad holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and an MBA from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. His civic activities include serving as past president of the Beatrice YMCA, Gage County United Way, Beatrice Educational Foundation, Highway 77 Improvement Association, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration Alumni Association. He also served as a foundation trustee for the Beatrice Public Library and Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. He and his wife Karen have ...