Governor Haley Barbour appointed Mike Womack Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency in December 2006. Womack previously served as MEMA's Deputy Director and as the agency's Response & Recovery Director.
During Hurricane Katrina, Womack was designated as the State Coordinating Officer and coordinated the state's resources as well as the massive amount of resources provided by other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. He continues to serve as the Governor's Authorized Representative for the continuing Hurricane Katrina recovery.
He has also served as the State Coordinating Officer for Hurricane Ivan and as Deputy State Coordinating Officer for two additional major disaster declarations.
Womack has an extensive operations and management background and brings this knowledge to the emergency management setting. He retired in 2001 after serving 29 years in active and reserve military service as a full time Lieutenant Colonel for the Mississippi Army National Guard. During his time in the National Guard Womack developed plans and exercises in support of states mission for Emergency Response. These exercises fully incorporated the National Guard's support to civilian authorities.
Womack began his career with the Mississippi Military Department in 1985 as the senior active duty officer supervising a 1,000 man armored cavalry squadron. In 1994 he was promoted to the senior full time officer position in the 4,000 solider, 155th Armored Brigade.
Womack has received numerous awards for his military service. Among those awards is the Mississippi Magnolia Cross, which is the highest peacetime award presented by the state . He is also the recipient of multiple Army Commendation Medal awards and Meritorious Service Medal awards.
A native of Hernando, he has a Bachelor's Degree in music from the University of Mississippi and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga.
Womack is a member of the Mississippi Civil Defense/Emergency Management Association, Regional Vice President for the National Emergency Management Agency and serves on their Legislative Committee, member of the Board of Directors for the Central United States Earthquake Consortium, the National Guard Associations of Mississippi and the United States, and the United States Army Armor Association where he holds the Order of St. George, signifying significant contributions to the advancement of the Cavalry and Armor Units.
Womack is married to the former Jonie Eatwell of Hernando. The couple has a daughter, two sons and four grandchildren.
What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
The presidential election may be getting all of the attention, but Louisiana residents will be making several important decisions at the ballot box in November. The U.S. Senate seat left up for grabs by retiring Sen. David Vitter has drawn a field of 24 candidates. Louisianians in the south- and northwest parts of the state will also be voting on congressmen. So, what national concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall? What statewide issues should be on the mind of Louisiana’s next Congressional leaders? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Election 2016” Wednesday, October 26 at 7p.m. (Taping Tuesday, October 25)
• Elizabeth Crisp / The Advocate
• Greg Hilburn / Gannett Newspapers
• Martin Johnson, Ph.D. / LSU Manship School of Mass Communication
• Albert Samuels, Ph.D. / Mandela School of Public Policy, Southern University
• Patricia Smith / Guest Moderator / College of Government and Social Sciences, Southern University
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What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?
How well is the state’s public school system really performing?
What difference has a decade made?
Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana’s budget battle?
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