Friday, November 13, 2009
Governor Appoints Attorney to Head Emergency Management Agency
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday named Illinois attorney Matthew Bettenhausen as secretary for the California Emergency Management Agency.
A former federal prosecutor and director of California’s Office of Homeland Security, Bettenhausen, 49, has served as acting secretary of Cal EMA since its creation this year when the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security was merged with the Office of Emergency Services into a single cabinet-level agency.
He was director of the Office of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2008, and before that served as the director of state and territorial coordination for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005, and deputy governor for criminal justice and public safety and special counsel to the governor of Illinois from 2000 to 2003.
The position requires confirmation by the Senate.
Announcing Bettenhausen’s appointment, Schwarzenegger said the attorney, as a member of his administration, “has played a key role in ensuring that we are prepared to protect Californians from potential emergencies and disaster situations.”
Admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1985, Bettenhausen, of Sacramento, attended college and law school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 1987 to 2000, he was a prosecutor and served in several supervisory positions within the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago.
A Republican, Bettenhausen serves as the elected chair of the National Governors Association’s Homeland Security Advisors Council and elected co-chair of the National Homeland Security Consortium. He is a board member of the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, serves on the external advisory board to Sandia National Laboratory and is a member of the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute’s task force on radicalization and extremism.
He was recently appointed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to serve on the Homeland Security Advisory System Task Force.
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