Tuesday, December 22, 2015

MEMA Director retiring

Governor and First Consul Phil Bryant issued the following press release:


Governor Bryant Names Lee Smithson as MEMA Executive Director
Robert Latham Retiring

JACKSON–Gov. Phil Bryant has named Col. Lee Smithson as incoming Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). Current MEMA Executive Director Robert Latham is retiring effective Jan. 31 and Col. Smithson will begin on Feb. 1. He is currently Director of Military Support for the Mississippi National Guard and has been in that role since April 2005.

Latham was appointed Executive Director of MEMA by Gov. Bryant on Jan. 10, 2012, a position he previously held under Govs. Ronnie Musgrove and Haley Barbour from Feb. 2000 through June 2006.

“Robert Latham has meant a great deal to the State of Mississippi during his time at MEMA that spans back almost 15 years.  He has led Mississippi through countless difficult times such as Hurricane Katrina, multiple tornado outbreaks, and numerous other events,” Gov. Bryant said.  “I thank him for his unwavering service to the people of Mississippi and wish him well in retirement.”

“Helping this state become better prepared is an accomplishment I will always be proud of, but the most rewarding experiences for me have been helping people who have lost everything in a disaster and offering hope for their future,” Latham said. “I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I have had in the more than ten years as MEMA Executive Director.”

Col. Smithson has served as Director of Military Support for the Mississippi National Guard during Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, Ike and Isaac, the Mississippi River Flood of 2011, multiple tornado outbreaks, and the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill in 2010.

“I am pleased to appoint Col. Smithson to MEMA Executive Director and know his extensive, direct experience in disaster related events suits him well to take over and lead,” Gov. Bryant said. “He has a wealth of operations knowledge from his time at the Mississippi National Guard where he has worked closely with MEMA during many disasters and this will allow him to seamlessly transition into the role.”

"I am extremely honored that Governor Bryant has selected me for this position. For over a decade, I've focused my efforts as an officer in the Mississippi National Guard on homeland security and disaster operations,” Col. Smithson said. “I worked side by side with MEMA during Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac, the Smithville, Louisville and Tupelo tornados, the Deep Water Horizon oil spill and the flood of 2011. MEMA is renowned for its expertise in disaster response operations and the employees are some of the best in our nation when a disaster occurs. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the people of Mississippi as the MEMA Executive Director." 

Col. Smithson has also held numerous command and staff positions during his thirty-one year career including: commander of an M-1 tank company in the Federal Republic of Germany, Infantry Battalion Executive Officer with duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Commander and First Cavalry Division Rear Operations Center with duty in Baghdad, Iraq.

He has received numerous awards and decorations including the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the NATO Medal and the Mississippi Magnolia Cross, which is the state’s highest military award. He also has the Combat Action Badge.

Col. Smithson’s military education includes the Armor Officer Basic and Advance Courses, Combined Arms Services Staff School, Command and General Staff Officer’s Course and the U.S. Army War College.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Tulane University, a Master of Strategic Studies Degree from the U.S. Army War College and a Master of Homeland Security Degree from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Col. Smithson is married to the former Elizabeth Black of Jackson and they have two children.
 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Robert Latham served three governors as Director of MEMA and in the process transformed MEMA, local EMA and other state agencies disaster preparedness, response and recovery from the old civil defense environment to current day capabilities. Latham is an prifessional manager and will be missed.

Selection Committee said...

That job, once vacant, is quite the political plumb. Will Robert Graham be on the short list?

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Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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