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Report: Gov. Justice appoints Mark Sorsaia as Secretary of Dept. of Homeland Security

WV’s Gianato elected to NGA Homeland Security exec panel


For Immediate release                                                                                     

Contact: Lawrence Messina
(304) 558-2930


Jan. 26, 2017


W.Va.’s Gianato elected to NGA Homeland Security exec panel

– West Virginia’s disaster response chief will help lead the homeland security experts who advise the nation’s governors.

 Jimmy Gianato, the Mountain State’s designated homeland security advisor since 2010, has been elected to the eight-member executive committee for the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC).

 The council is part of the Center for Best Practices for the National Governors Association. This collaboration allows all 50 states, U.S. territories and Washington, D.C., to share information, expertise and ideas to protect the homeland.

 Since 2005, Gianato has been director of the W.Va. Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. This component of the Cabinet Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety has performed crucial roles in homeland security preparedness and responses to such recent major events as the June 2016 flooding, the 2014 water contamination crisis and the 2013 derecho.

 “Mr. Gianato is respected across the State of West Virginia and the United States as an expert in the field of emergency management,” said Cabinet Secretary Jeff Sandy. “No matter what type of natural disaster, Gianato is one of the first to arrive and the last to leave. It is an honor to have him working for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety”. 

 Gianato also serves as the governor’s authorized representative to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and as chairman of the State Emergency Response Commission. He traces his roots in emergency response to his native McDowell County, where he has been an active member of Kimball Volunteer Fire Department since 1972 and its chief for more than 15 years.

 Gianato was elected by the council’s general members to a one-year term. He has previously served as its chairman.


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