Gaynor joins FEMA Administrator Brock Long in his vision to build a stronger agency and to help implement the 2018-2022 Strategic plan to unify and further professionalize emergency management across the country.
Gaynor began his emergency management career with the city of Providence, Rhode Island, in 2008 after a two-decade career in the Marines.
According to CHDS, he was fresh out of the military and plotting his next career stage when a historic snowstorm blanketed New England. Infamously known in Rhode Island as the “December Debacle,” it caught many local and state agencies off guard and led to led to widespread leadership changes. One of the jobs that opened up was the Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security in Providence.
“I was an infantry officer,” Gaynor recalled. “I thought how am I going to convert the skills I learned in infantry to civilian world? There’s not a great checklist for that.”
In fact, military experiences translated well to his second career, he found. While in the military, he had served as the executive officer responsible for the security of Camp David, and as the head of Plans, Policy, & Operations at Marine Corps Headquarters during the attacks of September 11, 2001. Moreover, leadership skills and organizations are essential characteristics in leading an organization and the military and emergency management profession share a common credo: exercise, exercise, exercise.
As RIEMA Director, he oversaw coordination of federal disaster and non-disaster grants for Rhode Island, worked as the policy advisor to the Governor on emergency management matters, and served as the liaison between FEMA and all local emergency management offices throughout the State.
Also, he was the Chair of the State Interoperable Communications Committee, the State Emergency Response Commission, and was Vice Chair of the State Emergency Management Advisory Committee. He also served as a Commissioner and a member for the Program Review Committee for the Emergency Management Accreditation Program, which fosters excellence and accountability in emergency management and homeland security programs across the nation.
Congratulations Deputy Administrator Gaynor!