Oklahoma City, OK – Governor-elect Mary Fallin announced today that Albert Ashwood will be retained as director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.
"The positive side of having to endure disasters - both natural and man-made - is that our state is known worldwide for its resilience in the face of tragedy. Through our experiences we have learned how to quickly and effectively respond to such events," Fallin said. "Director Ashwood brings with him a tremendous amount experience and knowledge and will continue to provide steady leadership for our state during times of emergency. I'm happy to have Director Ashwood continue to serve in my cabinet."
Ashwood, the nation's longest-tenured state director, has served the department since 1988. He was appointed director by Gov. Frank Keating in 1997 and reappointed by Gov. Brad Henry in 2003. As OEM director, Ashwood oversees the agency responsible for preparing for, responding to, recovering from and mitigating against the effects of emergencies and disasters.
Because of his experience with response/recovery work related to the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, Ashwood also assisted New York officials in their recovery work following the World Trade Center attack. He was selected by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to serve on the National Response Plan/National Incident Management System (NRP/NIMS) State and Local Working Group.
He is a past president of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), FEMA's National Advisory Council and a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He continues to serve as NEMA Legislative Committee Chairman.
"I'm honored that Governor-elect Fallin has chosen to retain me as director of the Department of Emergency Management. Our department will continue to be ready and on call to serve the governor-elect and the state of Oklahoma during times of emergency," Ashwood said.