The Senate confirmed by voice vote on Tuesday former secretary of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Erik Hooks to serve as deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Hooks was nominated to the No. 2 role at FEMA in July and stepped down from his post in North Carolina in August.
“Erik Hooks admirably served the state of North Carolina as its head of Public Safety during a most challenging period, through natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, and I look forward to welcoming him to FEMA,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said in a statement Tuesday. “I am thrilled to have him join the agency’s leadership team, as I am confident he will greatly contribute to our mission of helping communities before, during and after disasters.”
“His experience and background will build on our efforts to infuse equity across our agency, advance our nation’s emergency management and readiness and address the growing threat of climate change,” she added. “Mr. Hooks is a proven leader with a long and distinguished career and offers an invaluable perspective to FEMA’s work.”
In January 2017, Hooks was appointed by the governor of North Carolina as the secretary of public safety and the state’s homeland security advisor. Hooks provided cabinet-level leadership to the NC Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Section, the NC National Guard, the NC Office of Recovery and Resilience, the NC State Highway Patrol, the NC Alcohol Law Enforcement Division, the NC State Capitol Police, the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, the Governor’s Crime Commission, and support divisions within the state’s Department of Public Safety. Hooks led approximately 27,000 sworn and civilian public safety professionals as well as approximately 12,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen.
A native of North Carolina, Hooks has more than 30 years of public safety experience. He has been responsible for leadership coordination of homeland security and emergency management functions to provide comprehensive and coordinated preparedness, mitigation, prevention, protection, response and recovery for emergencies, disasters, and acts or threats of terrorism. As North Carolina’s State Administrative Agent, Hooks administered federal funds to state, local and tribal entities across North Carolina. Hooks chaired the North Carolina State Emergency Response Commission and coordinated law enforcement counterterrorism prevention, preparedness, and response training on a statewide basis resulting in a cohesive team response by both law enforcement and emergency first responders to acts of terrorism or a terrorist threat.
Hooks served on the Executive Committee of the National Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council and is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.