September 27, 2019 / 1:09 AM / 24 days ago

Trump nominates Peter Gaynor to be FEMA chief: White House

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Acting Administrator Peter Gaynor smiles as he testifies before a Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on FEMA’s FY2020 budget request on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump nominated Peter Gaynor on Thursday to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the White House said in a statement.

Gaynor, FEMA’s deputy administrator, had been acting chief of the agency, which oversees the government response to disasters like hurricanes and wildfires.

The agency has been without a Senate-confirmed administrator since March, when Brock Long left the post. Long resigned after the Department of Homeland Security, under which FEMA falls, concluded Long had inappropriately used government vehicles to commute between Washington and his home in North Carolina.

A different nominee for the job, Jeffrey Byard, was withdrawn from consideration earlier this month, after a background check uncovered allegations that he had been involved in a barroom brawl.

Gaynor’s nomination to the post was expected. He will require a majority of the Senate to approve the nomination to take the job.

Before becoming FEMA’s deputy administrator in 2018, Gaynor worked in emergency management in Rhode Island and was a Marine, the White House said.

Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Eric Beech and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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