September 9, 2006
Thad Allen to lead Katrina recovery effort
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff today said he had directed FEMA Director Mike Brown to return to administering FEMA nationally, and had appointed Vice Admiral Thad Allen of the Coast Guard as the Principal Federal Official (PFO) overseeing Hurricane Katrina response and recovery effort in the field. Joe Picciano will continue to be deputy PFO in Baton Rouge to support Admiral Allen's efforts.
Chertoff said that "Hurricane Katrina will go down as the largest natural disaster in American history and Mike has done everything he possibly could to coordinate the federal response to this unprecedented challenge."
Brown has been the subject of withering media criticism and although various administration figures have publicly expressed confidence in him, earlier this week Chertoff tapped Thad Allen, the Coast Guard's highly respected Chief of Staff to be deputy federal officer overseeing operations in New Orleans.
Today, Chertoff said: "Vice Admiral Allen is doing an exceptional job, and he has my full support in the important work ahead."
Thad Allen brings impressive credentials to his new job.
He assumed duties as as Chief of Staff , U.S. Coast Guard and Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington , DC in May 2002. In that job he has overseen general management functions of the Coast Guard. He is also currently the Chairman of the Department of Homeland Security's Joint Requirements Council.
Prior to this assignment he served as Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Fifth Coast Guard District; and U.S. maritime Defense Zone, Atlantic where he was the operational commander for all Coast Guard activities in an area of responsibility spanning five Coast Guard Districts, over 14 million square miles, involving 26,000 military and civilian employees, and 27,900 auxiliarists. He served concurrently as Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District, and Commander U.S. Maritime Defense Zone Atlantic. VADM Allen led Atlantic forces in the Coast Guard's response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
In his previous flag assignments he commanded the Seventh Coast Guard District and directed all Coast Guard operations in South Carolina , Georgia , most of Florida and throughout the Caribbean ; and was the Coast Guard's Director of Resources, where he was responsible for formulating the Coast Guard's budget, developing long range plans, and managing the Coast Guard's performance plan.
A specialist in operations both in the coastal and offshore environments, Vice Admiral Allen has served in three Coast Guard cutters ANDROSCOGGIN and GALLATIN, and command of the medium endurance cutter CITRUS. His coastal operations command assignments include Captain of the Port / Group Long Island Sound , CT ; Group Atlantic City, NJ, and LORAN Station Lampang, Thailand . Vice Admiral Allen's other assignments included a tour as search and rescue controller in the Greater Antilles Section, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Intelligence Watch Officer at DEA/INS El Paso Intelligence Center, El Paso, TX; Chief Budget Officer, Maintenance and Logistics Command, Atlantic, Governors Island, NY; Deputy Project Manager, Fleet Modernization and Rehabilitation (FRAM) Project, and Assistant Division Chief, Programs Division, Office of the Chief of Staff, Coast Guard Headquarters.
Vice Admiral Allen is a native of Tucson , AZ. He graduated from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy in 1971. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the George Washington University and received the 2000 Distinguished Alumni Award. He also holds a Master of Science degree from the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2003 Vice Admiral Allen was elected a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow.
Vice Admiral Allen is married to the former Pamela A. Hess of Champaign , IL . She is the Assistant Dean for Student Services at the George Mason University School of Management. They have three grown children, Amanda, Meghan and Lucas and two grandchildren, Zachary and Andrew. Vice Admiral Allen is the son of Clyde and Wilma Allen. Clyde Allen is a retired Coast Guard Chief Damage Controlman and World War II veteran.