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Name: Paulison, R. David
Current Position: Former Administrator

A native of Miami, Florida, R. David Paulison, served as the top administrator of FEMA from September 2005 until the end of the administration of George W. Bush. Paulison earned his bachelor of arts from Florida Atlantic University and completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

He began his career as a firefighter and paramedic, climbing the ranks of rescue lieutenant commander, district chief of operations, division chief, assistant chief and then deputy director for administration before becoming the Miami-Dade Fire Chief. As fire chief he oversaw the Miami-Dade Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. His emergency management experience included Hurricane Andrew and the crash of ValuJet Flight 592.
From 2001 to 2006 Paulison held a number of senior positions within the federal government, including director of the preparedness division of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate and the US Fire Administrator.
While serving as US Fire Administrator, Paulison gained national notoriety in 2003, as the “duct tape guy,” following the federal government’s recommendations for how to survive a terrorist attack. Paulison advised Americans to buy, among other things, duct tape and plastic to protect their homes in the event of an attack involving weapons of mass destruction. The announcement provoked a run on duct tape at hardware stores throughout the country.
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