Kevin Guthrie to stay on as Division of Emergency Management Director

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the DEM leader will stick around for a second term.

Kevin Guthrie, Director of the Division of Emergency Management, will remain part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration.

DeSantis tweeted the emergency operations leader will stay on during the Governor’s second term, which begins in January. He shared a highlight reel of Guthrie speaking at press conferences during an eventful tenure.

“From the tragic condo collapse in Surfside to the destructive Hurricane Ian, Kevin Guthrie has led emergency response efforts with leadership and skill,” DeSantis tweeted. “It is my pleasure to announce that he will be returning as the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management in our second term!”

Guthrie has worked in the Division since 2018, when then-Gov. Rick Scott appointed him as Chief of Staff for the agency. A video notes the first day for Guthrie on the job was the day Hurricane Michael made landfall in North Florida, devastating the Panhandle and Big Bend region.

He later was promoted in January 2019 by DeSantis to Deputy Director under Jared Moskowitz, who served as the DEM Director for the start of DeSantis’ administration.

Moskowitz left and was later appointed by DeSantis to the Broward County Commission. The Democrat this month won a seat in Congress.

Meanwhile, DeSantis appointed Guthrie to succeed Moskowitz at the DEM.

Since that time, Guthrie led the department through multiple disasters, including hurricane events and collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside.

He also led the Division when Tropical Storm Elsa made landfall in Florida in 2021. More recently, he oversaw response to Hurricane Ian this year, which many expect to be the costliest hurricane in U.S. history, and with Hurricane Nicole.

His agency has also administered millions of vaccines for COVID-19, something the agency touted last year as a sign of success with its “Seniors First” approach to distribution.

The Division also coordinated resources with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on numerous large-scale and small scale disasters throughout the state.

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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