Tuesday, September 13, 2005

FEMA Org Chart Adventures

I got very curious, when I read in RJ Eskow's article at The Broad View that The West Coast FEMA Director position is vacant.

I did some digging on the FEMA website to investigate further, and found that out of the 10 FEMA regional offices, only two are headed by women...

...and both women are in temporary positions.

That's right--since January 3, 2003, http://www.fema.gov/about/bios/arcuri.shtm">Patricia G. Arcuri has been Acting Regional Director in Region III (which serves DC, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia). The lady must be good, because she is also her own Deputy Regional Director.

Plus, since April 2004, Karen E. Armes has been Action Regional Director of Region IX (Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada; in addition to, as a Broad View reader from Yap points out, the territories of American Samoa and Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia--no conflict of priorities there at all).

I have to say I find this more than a little alarming, on several counts:

1. Gee, it's not like California or DC are at risk for any kind of events that would require action on the part of FEMA. (Hint: think earthquake. Think terrorist attack). And yet, these two post have been officially vacant for over 8 months and 16 months respectively. Plus it looks as though Arcuri is doing double-duty in the top *2* jobs in Region III.

2. If the women are qualified to hold the jobs, they should have the jobs, full-out. If they aren't qualified, they shouldn't be holding them at all. Is there a glass-ceiling at FEMA? (On top, of course, of the flunkocracy.)

3. Are the Regional Directors positions symptomatic of a lack of urgency in hiring for other areas of FEMA?

No answers here, only questions, I'm afraid. The more light we shine on FEMA, the scarier it gets.
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