Former Trump FEMA pick resigns from agency
President Trump’s former pick to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reportedly announced his resignation from the agency Monday, months after Trump withdrew his nomination to lead it.
Jeffrey Byard said in his resignation letter, obtained by NBC News, that he “had the privilege of leading the finest workforce during the most impactful natural disaster period in our nation’s history.”
The president had nominated Byard to head FEMA in February, but he took back the nomination in September after the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigation into the nominee stalled the confirmation. Byard had been nominated to replace former FEMA Administrator Brock Long, who resigned amid ethics questions about how he used government vehicles.
Byard was the “senior-most executive over disaster response, recovery, logistics, and field operations” and led the agency during Puerto Rico’s recovery from the 2017 hurricane season.
FEMA Press Secretary Lizzie Litzow said in a statement to The Hill that Byard “honorably served” at the agency and is pursuing a professional opportunity outside of government “that will benefit from his extensive management career and professional expertise.”
The Trump administration has experienced high-level vacancies throughout the presidency, with nominees confirmed at a record slow pace, according to NBC News. The Washington Post’s online tracker reports that 168 vacant positions do not have nominees.
Updated Tuesday at 9:40 a.m.