The President has made an excellent choice in nominating Craig Fugate to be the next FEMA Administrator. I had the honor of working closely with Craig during the busy Florida hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. He and his team of talented emergency managers had well-exercised plans in place which resulted in smooth evacuations from threatened areas, quick emergency response to damage and injuries, and well coordinated recovery efforts. The emergency management system in Florida has been tested numerous times and it works well thanks to the leadership of Craig Fugate. Craig is a no-nonsense manager that demands the best from all those working for him, but he is also a well-respected leader that earns the trust of both seniors and subordinates. The transformation of FEMA over the past two years has been difficult for many in the workforce. Craig will be mindful of the needs of the FEMA workforce as he continues to modernize FEMA. Being a top-notch emergency responder is not the sole qualification for the FEMA administrator position. There are serious political hurdles and budget battles that must be handled carefully in order for FEMA to be successful. Craig has shown that he can navigate through the political mine field with skill. Originally hired by Governor Jeb Bush, he was given a great vote of confidence when he was retained by Governor Charlie Crist. In Florida, emergency management includes being ready for a mass migration from either Cuba or Haiti. In south Florida, one always walks a political tight rope when dealing with anything involving Cuba migration. Craig worked closely with Federal and local officials in coordinating response plans while keeping the Cuban-American community informed and largely supportive. As contingency plans were developed, Craig kept us focused on ensuring the plans were not only achievable but affordable. He understands risk management and always applies limited resources to the highest priority needs. It will be interesting to see how FEMA will interact with states under Craig Fugate. For example, DHS established a cadre of Principle Federal Officials (PFO) who deploy to States threatened by or already impacted by a disaster requiring Federal assistance. In the case of hurricane preparedness, these PFOs are pre-designated prior to hurricane season and establish relationships with State emergency managers. Several years ago when it appeared hurricanes were heading for Florida, the Secretary of DHS intended to send the PFO in anticipation of Federal response. Governor Bush and Craig Fugate told DHS they did not want the PFO; Florida could handle the emergency without intervention by an on-site DHS representative. I expect that Craig will have high expectations of state emergency managers and will not meddle in their affairs until he sees they are failing. Knowing Craig Fugate and seeing him in action, it is clear that he will make a superb FEMA administrator. The FEMA workforce will enjoy his leadership. Congress will appreciate his candor and business-like approach to emergency management. DHS will benefit from his willingness to be a team player. And most of all, those Americans who are imperiled will be ably assisted by a FEMA that is lead by a talented and tested emergency manager.