Donald E. Powell

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Donald E. Powell, Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, was assigned November 1, 2005, by President George W. Bush "to oversee the federal government's disaster recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast. ... Powell will be the administration's point person for dealing with Congress, state and local governments, and private businesses on the hurricane relief efforts. He eventually will replace Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad Allen, who has been the day-to-day top federal coordinator for Katrina recovery," Associated Press writer Lara Jakes Jordon reported.

Powell, "a wealthy contributor to President Bush's presidential campaign, will be in charge of the long-term plans to rebuild the states hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the late summer," Jordan wrote.

"Known for his affable, informal attitude, Powell is described as having more than 30 years experience in the financial services industry. Qualifications for federal response officials have been fiercely scrutinized since Katrina, and former Federal Emergency Management Director Michael Brown resigned amid questions about his experience to handle disasters.

"Before becoming FDIC chairman in August 2001, Powell was president and chief executive officer of First National Bank in Amarillo, Texas, and chairman of the board of regents for the Texas A&M University System -- an earlier Bush appointment.

"One of the 'Pioneers' who raised at least $100,000 for Bush's presidential campaign, Powell has great personal wealth. He was praised by the banking industry when Bush appointed him to chair the FDIC," Jordan wrote.

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