June is Immigrant Heritage Month and an excellent time to showcase the diversity that is reflected through our workforce.
The diverse FEMA workforce is made of people from all different backgrounds, reflecting the wide range of cultures that can be found throughout the country. Join us this month as we spotlight employees who share their stories about what coming to the United States means to them.
From Tbilisi, Georgia, FEMA Social Media Specialist Nano Betts is an employee with a diverse and culturally rich background. While in the past 15 years she has worked, lived and traveled across the globe, one thing has remained the same — her commitment to work for the U.S. government in service of American people.
Nano considers working in civil service as a way to give back for all the support the U.S. has provided to her home country during its toughest moments.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, there were many global humanitarian efforts to rebuild Georgia and other post-Soviet countries. Organizations from all over the world stepped in, helping to rebuild infrastructure and other essential functions for local communities. These glimpses of service in action resonated with Nano.
After graduating college, Nano began her involvement in public service by working as an office manager for the Peace Corps in Georgia. Processing new volunteers, she helped these individuals comfortably settle in a new country by maintaining the office library, publishing fun newsletters and dispatching volunteers’ personal mail to the regions.
In the following years, Nano had a chance to be part of significant development efforts at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Georgia and Haiti.
Nano moved from her home country when she married an American citizen who had been working at the U.S. Embassy in Georgia. As a military spouse, she had an opportunity to deploy and work in Japan as a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Exceling in these positions made Nano well qualified to work at FEMA, where she continues to share the agency’s efforts and achievements.
FEMA’s mission to help people before, during and after disasters overlaps with her own values and is what makes her love her job.
To Nano, Immigrant Heritage Month serves as a time to celebrate the U.S.’ rich heritage.
“Despite turbulent times, diversity and multiculturalism are the biggest strengths of the United States,” she said. “2020 has taught us that there are two most important things: health and people in our lives. More than ever, it is important to stand together as one big team, value every member of our community and embrace their contributions to making America what it is today — one of the greatest countries in the world.”
The work Nano performs is critical to ensuring that disaster survivors and stakeholders have the information they need to prepare for and stay safe during all stages of an emergency. While all disasters start at the local level, Nano’s global experiences and perspective allow her to take an especially equitable approach to emergency management.