Will President-elect Joe Biden tap Jared Moskowitz to lead FEMA?

Speculation on a Democratic administration has already begun.

A new President means new job openings in Washington. With Joe Biden the winner of the Presidential election, speculation has begun who might become part of the administration.

Even before the election, many wondered if a job could be waiting for Jared Moskowitz.

The most high-profile Democrat in Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ state administration, Florida’s Division of Emergency Management Director has enjoyed a rarified level of bipartisan respect in Tallahassee.

Leading the state through multiple hurricanes and the logistic response to the pandemic, he’s drawn few criticisms. In particular, he’s shown adeptness at cutting through FEMA red tape to deliver reimbursements to local governments.

Could he end up playing a similar support role for a President from his own party on a national stage?

“I’m interested,” Moskowitz confirmed to Florida Politics. “It would be an honor to be considered.”

As President-Elect Biden looks for leaders, expect Moskowitz’s name to come up.

“I think the Biden administration would be sadly mistaken for not making him No. 1 on their top 3 list,” said state Sen.-elect Shevrin Jones, a West Park Democrat. “Jared would do the nation a great deal of good. Not because he’s my best friend but because he’s good at what he does.”

State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an Orlando Democrat, also saw a role. Both have a particular job that comes to mind.

“He’d make a great FEMA director,” Smith said.

Jones also suggested Moskowitz should administer federal emergency management.

Many in Tallahassee’s lobby corps long believed Moskowitz would come under consideration for that job regardless of whether Biden or Donald Trump won the election this year.

His background lends expertise. Before holding his current post, Moskowitz worked for years with Ashbritt Environmental, a company specializing in turn-key disaster response. That gave him a background navigating FEMA’s bureaucracy even before he took over the DEM post in a state that too often serves as landfall to major storms.

Should he join the Biden administration, he would also arrive with some political chops. Besides working in the DeSantis administration, Moskowitz served in the Florida House. There, he became the face of the first gun control measure to pass in the Florida Legislature in decades after his home district suffered through the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in 2018.

Of course, there’s a national pool of experts from which Biden can draw hires, but Moskowitz offers something else. He can serve as a bridge between a Democratic administration and Florida leadership at a time when a Republican closely tied to the outgoing President occupies the Governor’s Mansion. He also enjoys solid relationships with several members of the Congress, some of whom served alongside him in the House in the past.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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