Eric Holdeman, director of the Office of Emergency Management, is leaving King County for greener pastures, namely a private consulting gig. …It was only a matter of time, I suppose.
Holdeman’s one of those stars you come across in the trenches of government only every so often. While in D.C. covering FEMA’s lapses in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I regularly relied on Holdeman for insights into how local departments charged with emergency preparedness and response in other parts of the country were learning from the debacle.
The man’s a straight-shooter and an innovator who lives and breathes his job— and sleeps next to his pager. For a window into his dedication (bordering on obsession), check out his blog and podcasts at Eric’s Corner before the county takes it down.
No surprise that Holdeman was recently named one of the top 25 innovators in the country by Government Technology Magazine. I learned (as the result of much research and comparison) that he was on the forefront of preparations for pandemic flu and based on my conversations with him, would say that King County is hands down the best place to be if the bird flu ever breaks out. (No kidding. But that’s not why I moved back).
The county’s press missive says Holdeman is leaving mid-May, that an interim director will be named before he goes, and a national search will ensue to fill his position.
Here’s hoping for all of our sake that they find someone half as good as Holdeman.