Statement from the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM) on President-Elect Joseph R. Biden’s nomination of Deanne Criswell as Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)


ATLANTA – January 15, 2021 – The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM) strongly supports the nomination of Deanne Criswell as Administrator of FEMA, and commends the Biden-Harris Administration for selecting someone with knowledge, experience, and leadership to handle the numerous challenges facing the nation. Criswell is the first woman nominated to lead FEMA in it’s over 40-year history.

“The nomination of Deanne Criswell to serve as Administrator of FEMA demonstrates the value of diversity and inclusion. Commissioner Criswell brings a wealth of experience as a professional emergency manager. Her sound leadership will be needed as FEMA supports the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately devastated Black, Indigenous, and People of Color”, says Chauncia Willis, Co-Founder of I-DIEM. “This appointment demonstrates that women have and can lead, including during disasters. Congress should quickly act to confirm this nomination in order for FEMA to have the leadership necessary to address numerous challenges. I am confident that Ms. Criswell will urgently take action to further diversity, equity, and inclusion at FEMA and serve as model to influence the broader emergency management community.”

The mission of I-DIEM is to serve as a resource and an advocate for the value of diversity and inclusion in emergency management (EM). I-DIEM leads efforts to increase representation of women and people of color in the field of emergency management, including in positions of leadership, through awareness and education. I-DIEM serves as the conduit for research on diversity and inclusion, social equity and the practical application of equitable EM practices to improve outcomes and build resilience. I-DIEM is committed to support Administrator-Nominee Criswell as she enhances diversity, addresses the findings of the recent RAND study, and integrates equity into all programs, policies, and processes.

About the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management

The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management is a 501(c)3, global non-profit organization established to facilitate change by integrating equity into all aspects of emergency management. Our focus is on humanity, and our vision support the empowerment of marginalized communities within all phases of the disaster management cycle.



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