Steve Golubic, Executive Director for the National Tribal Emergency Management Council (NTEMC) announced June 2 in Washington D.C., that Richard Flores, the recently retired Special Advisor for National Tribal Affairs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is assuming the position of Director of Tribal Relations and Legislative Affairs. The NTEMC is a leader in assisting tribes with their homeland security, emergency management programs, training initiatives, community education and serves as an advocate for tribes in emergency management issues.
The announcement of Flores’ new duties was made preceding a May NTEMC Board Meeting. Golubic outlined some of Mr. Flores’ new responsibilities to include working directly with tribes, tribal organizations, Alaska Native villages and Native communities. Flores will be developing resolutions and partnership agreements with tribal governments, researching grant opportunities for tribes, and delivering training and education programs to tribal leaders and emergency management staff. Mr. Flores will also be working directly with federal agencies and congressional staff on current legislative issues that directly impact emergency management and homeland security in Indian country.
Golubic said, “Richard fills a critical position that will be of benefit to tribes across the country and to NTEMC. We are delighted he decided to become a member of our team of professionals.”
Flores is a retired U.S. Navy Veteran, former Tribal Fire Chief and former Special Advisor for National Tribal Affairs to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. In his latter position, he advocated for a department-wide FEMA Tribal Consultation Policy and advised all component agencies within FEMA of their responsibilities toward tribal consultation. He also advised the FEMA Administrator on tribal issues for establishing, maintaining, and coordinating a nation-to-nation, federal-tribal relationship.
Flores, a well-known and respected name in emergency management in tribal country had this to say about his new mission: “It is an honor to be selected as the Director of Tribal Relations and Legislative Affairs on behalf of the National Tribal Emergency Management Council. I am very humbled that the Board of Directors and member tribes have placed their confidence and trust in me to help lead this national tribal organization.”
Claude Cox, Chairman of the NTEMC and Chief of Police for the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe said, “I am very pleased that Richard has accepted our invitation to serve as the Director of Tribal Relations and Legislative Affairs. He will bring great things to our organization with his national experience and the level of trust that he has already established with so many of our tribes and partners.
Del Ostenberg from the Colville Tribe and Vice Chairman of the NTEMC said, “I am also very pleased that Richard has been selected for the position. He has always advocated for the rights of the Native people with great passion and commitment. He will truly be an asset to NTEMC.”