Who is Alejandro Mayorkas? Nominated as DHS Secretary

Start with the "attorney" and go up from there.

President-elect Joe Biden has started naming his cabinet secretaries. For the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the nominee is Alejandro Mayorkas.

I have to admit that his name is not a familiar one to me — but then, I don't run in those circles. I'll let you check out his bio, but basically he has a strong legal and governmental background, including being a former deputy secretary for DHS. Immigration and the border with Mexico are strong points that he will address in that position. Also, he will be the first Hispanic to serve at the secretary level in the DHS position. 

Something I have followed closely in the past is who and when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator is named. I've found that it takes a long time before that appointment is made. For example, if I remember right, Craig Fugate wasn't named as the administrator until May or even June. 

Here's one name that two people have suggested to me as being talked about as potentially becoming the first female FEMA administrator: Deanne Criswell. Some might be asking, "Who is she?" Answer: The current New York City Emergency Management commissioner

I've now have had the opportunity to hear her speak "remotely" on two occasions. One of which was when she appeared on my Disaster Zone Podcast. Her segment was one in which I interviewed her about New York City’s Emergency Management Program.

Check it out to hear how she presents herself and information. Very down-to-earth and relatable in my estimation. We'll have to see what happens!

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.