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New director named for FEMA regional office that covers Mississippi

Robert Saaman
Photo courtesy of FEMA

Robert Samaan has been appointed to serve as administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 4 Office, which encompasses Mississippi.

In this role, Samaan will lead the region’s workforce of more than 600 people and thousands of disaster workers to administer federal emergency preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery programs in coordination with state, local, and tribal emergency managers.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Stephen McCraney is optimistic that Saaman’s appointment will continue to build upon the working relationship the federal and state agencies have garnered during disasters that have impacted local communities.

“The appointment of Robert Samaan as FEMA Region 4 Administrator ensures continuity to one of the busiest regions of FEMA. Robert has the experience and, more importantly, has fostered relationships with the states; that’s key to a successful state/federal response during disasters,” McCraney told SuperTalk Mississippi News. “I’m confident that our state is in good hands with him at the helm of Region 4.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Robert for many years, including during some of our nation’s most significant emergencies and disasters,” said Administrator Deanne Criswell. “From emergency planning to disaster operations, Robert puts people first in everything he does and inspires his team to do the same. People are in good hands with his appointment as Regional Administrator.”

Samaan has served as deputy regional administrator for the region since 2014, overseeing operations for more than 200 presidentially declared disasters. He joined FEMA in 2010, serving as the senior policy advisor to the deputy administrator for protection and national preparedness.

“I’m honored and humbled to be instilled with the trust of Administrator Criswell,” Samaan said. “With more than 20 years in public safety, helping people is what motivates me and what I feel called to do. We have a tremendous team in Region 4 who are there when people are often facing the worst days of their lives. I’m so proud to continue this role and this work. I want to thank my friends, my family, and more specifically my wife, Susan, and our four wonderful kids for the support they have given me to be able to do the work that I love.”

Before joining FEMA, Saaman served multiple roles in California Homeland Security and Emergency Management as well as in the office of state and local government coordination at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

FEMA Region 4 covers eight southeastern states and six tribal nations and contains more than 67 million people.

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