NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Today, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate swore in Tony Russell as the new regional administrator of FEMA Region VI at the regional headquarters in Denton, Texas.
"Regional Administrators are one of the most important positions in our agency, connecting our headquarters to the states and citizens we serve,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "Tony is an experienced emergency manager and a dedicated public servant who has already shown his deep understanding of the team approach that is required for success in this field. I know he will continue to work closely with governors and leaders as he builds on the progress he has already made in Louisiana.”
Mr. Russell, whose official first day as Region VI Administrator will be Monday, December 21st, has coordinated the federal disaster response and recovery support to state and local emergency management officials as a Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) from FEMA Region VIII for more than six years. He has managed a diverse collection of complex disasters and emergencies in Washington, Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, North Dakota, Illinois, New Mexico, and Montana, among others.
Most recently, Mr. Russell served as Acting Director of the Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office (LATRO) where he led a staff of over 1,300 FEMA personnel working at various strategic locations and offices throughout the state. Through this position, Mr. Russell played a central role in streamlining the assistance process, working with the governor, Louisiana Recovery Authority and congressional members.
In his new role as Regional Administrator, Mr. Russell will continue to work closely with officials in Louisiana, as well as leaders in Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas – the additional four states in Region VI – leveraging regional as well as national resources as we expand our nation’s emergency response team and as recovery efforts in the region continue. While this transition takes place, Mark Landry, who currently serves as the deputy director, will be the interim director at the LATRO until a permanent director is identified.
Mr. Russell holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. He went on to obtain a Masters of Arts (MA) in Management and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from National University and a Masters in Homeland Security Studies from the Naval Post Graduate School. In addition, Mr. Russell has earned the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) designation.
FEMA’s regional system is composed of ten independent regions. Region VI includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. For more information on FEMA’s regions please visit www.fema.gov/regional-operations.
FEMA’s mission is 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.
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