Many of President Donald Trump's appointees haven't exactly been experts in their newly designated fields.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, formerly the head of ExxonMobil, has no prior background in government, let alone diplomacy. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson is a doctor with no related policy experience. Son-in-law Jared Kushner has nothing approaching traditional qualifications as a Middle East peace broker. And so on.
In one key area, though, Trump has made what seems to be a sound choice.
Louisiana leaders met with the newly minted head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency …
The internet has been awash this week in rumors that the administration doesn't have a FEMA chief in place. I'm not sure that came from, but it's not remotely true. Not only has he made an appointment for the post, he's made what seems to be a good one — particularly when it comes to the types of disasters that can threaten the Gulf South.
Brock Long, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June, is the former head of Alabama's Emergency Management Agency, where he oversaw the state's response to eight presidentially declared disasters. He's also worked at FEMA before, specifically on hurricane response. For comparison's sake, he's more of a Craig Fugate, the former Florida emergency management head who led FEMA under Barack Obama, and less of a Michael Brown, the FEMA administrator under George W. Bush when Katrina struck and a former head of the International Arabian Horse Association.
Brock is about to face his first big test on the job when Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Texas this weekend, and when and if the storm causes major damage here in Louisiana.
The verdict is out until then, as it would be for anyone. But at least the agency appears to be in capable hands.