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James Lee Witt

James Lee WittBorn: 6-Jan-1944
Birthplace: Paris, AR [1]

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Government

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: FEMA Director, 1993-2001

Witt founded Witt Construction in 1968, and then was elected a county judge in 1970. Bill Clinton selected him in 1988 to head the Arkansas Office of Emergency Services, and Witt moved with Clinton to Washington to head FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, which at the same time was elevated to cabinet-level. Clinton used FEMA more than any other president, declaring disasters 348 times. Witt now heads a disaster consulting firm, James Lee Witt Associates, LLC.

During the 3 October 2000 televised debate between Presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore, Bush made the point of thanking FEMA for their help over fires in Texas while he was Governor. Gore responded with "I accompanied James Lee Witt down to Texas when those fires broke out." Unfortunately for Gore, the truth is he did not go to Texas in any sort of official capacity; he actually was there to attend a fundraiser and happened to bump into some FEMA officials at the airport. Witt was not present. D'oh.

[1] Born in Paris, Arkansas, but grew up in Dardanelle.

Wife: Lea Ellen Hodges Witt (one son)

    Director of FEMA (1993-2001)
    Council for Excellence in Government
    Friends of Hillary
    Hillary Clinton for President

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