Hawaii Emergency Management Agency announces new administrator

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The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has a new leader.

Thomas Travis, a retired U.S. Navy captain, was appointed HI-EMA’s new administrator. His first official day was Friday.

Travis has served as a national security analyst and was part of the response team after Hurricane Katrina.

He says his biggest priority is restoring the public’s trust by developing a clear vision for the agency and identifying areas for improvement.

“It’s very important that all of us understand what to expect from each other, and so one of my priorities is to be sure we’re clear on what we’re expected to do and what we can expect others to do,” he said. “I look forward to guiding the agency in building our capacity to respond to disasters and enhancing public trust. I also want to acknowledge the hard work of those who came before me in fostering an agency with great people and strong potential.”

Travis was selected from a pool of 10 candidates to head HI-EMA.

Former administrator Vern Miyagi resigned after an emergency worker issued a false missile alert on Jan. 13, believing Hawaii was under a real attack.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Travis most recently resided in Tucson, Arizona, but has previous ties to Hawaii.

From 2011 to 2016, he lived in Kapoho on Hawaii Island. He also served on various submarines at Pearl Harbor from 1977 to 1991.

After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Travis worked as an assistant director at the Joint Advanced Warfighting Program, Institute for Defense Analyses and most recently as the studies director, Joint Center for Operational Analysis, U.S. Joint Staff.

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