April 30, 2012 – San Diego – David L. Meyers, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director, White House Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships and FEMA Region IX Volunteer Assistance Liaison manager Charles Craig briefed disaster specialists in San Diego in cooperation with the San Diego VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). Chaired by Robin Clegg, President of the San Diego VOAD, Members of the San Diego Interfaith Disaster Council were updated on FEMA plans and programs affecting San Diego.
David L. Myers is the Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships. Appointed by President Obama in 2009, Myers heads one of thirteen such centers in the federal government under the White House Office of Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships.
The DHS Center is located in the Federal Emergency Management Agency where Myers and his staff work to build, sustain and improve effective partnerships between DHS and faith-based and voluntary organizations. In this role, Myers has personally led Center efforts at major disasters, working closely with senior governmental, state, local, faith-based and voluntary groups.
Myers’ position requires daily coordination with White House and FEMA leadership. The Center’s mission includes building connections to communities and groups marginally affiliated with emergency management systems. To accomplish this, Myers devotes much of his time supporting FEMA’s voluntary agency liaisons and visiting FEMA regions, states and U.S. territories as a direct representative of White House and FEMA leadership.
Myers’ emphasized the important of VOAD and regional groups like the San Diego Interfaith Disaster Council and the many churches and organizations present in understanding the local issues and logistics necessary to serve the 3.2 million citizens of San Diego County.
David Waitley, Director of the San Diego Interfaith Disaster Council provided an update on the interfaith efforts and successes over the last year encouraging partners from all groups to work together. Almost half of San Diego is represented by the interfaith council service groups of all types in cooperation with VOAD, FEMA and the San Diego County of Emergency Services (OES).