Arkansas native and former FEMA Director James Lee Witt has been hired by oil and gas company BP to consult on the Gulf Coast disaster that has dominated news headlines for more than a month.
BP hired Witt Associates, the public safety and crisis management consulting group founded by Witt after his tenure as Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the Clinton administration.
According to a press release issued yesterday, BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization will draw on Witt Associates to identify experienced and effective personnel in the region to liaise with state and local government officials and community organizations on behalf of BP.
"Our responsibilities go beyond sealing the well, and the immediate response and cleanup operations, and we want the people of the Gulf Coast to know that we are going to be here as long as it takes to make this right," said Bob Dudley, BP’s newly installed CEO. "Our commitment extends beyond the economic claims. We are committed to restoring communities and the environment. And we continue to bring in the very best people to do that important work."
"BP has made a huge commitment to the Gulf Coast and its people," said Witt. "Our experienced team of crisis managers and recovery specialists look forward to supporting BP’s long-term efforts as they work to restore the region and make things right for Gulf residents and communities that were impacted by the spill."