Katrina: FEMA Director Mike Brown’s Resume
TIME magazine asks, “How Reliable Is Brown’s Resume?” Apparently, not very.
Most notably, his online bio claims a stint as “an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight” when, in reality, he was an assistant to the city manager, with no oversight responsibilities at all, while he was a college student. Other discrepencies are noted on a FindLaw bio, although it’s not clear what the source of those errors are and they have little bearing on his fitness to run FEMA.
Still, aside from a stint as the FEMA Deputy immediately before taking on the head role, Brown clearly had little experience with emergency management. Indeed, he had little experience with management, period. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to whether he’s a fast learner.
At any rate, this is yet another case where the appointment of people on the basis of service to their political party rather than their experience makes no sense. One doesn’t want the head of NASA or the head of FEMA to be a Joe Schmoe with no expertise in the highly technical functions of their agencies.
This story has created a swarm of responses as collected by Memeorandum, most by the Usual Suspects. Even those from the right of the spectrum, though, are concerned.
Steven Taylor notes that Brown has done just fine in dozens of previous disasters but is nonetheless troubled by the resume issues.
Mark Kleiman notes that lying on one’s resume to get a federal job is a felony. Of course, there’s no evidence that misrepresenting jobs he had in college helped him get a major appointment like this.
Betsy Newmark notes the irony that President Bush may be reluctant to fire Brown because of the shrill charges of Nancy Pelosi and company.