LEAKED FEMA MEMO; John “Pat” Philbin’s Going-Away Email
October 29, 2007
PRNewser has just come in to possession of John “Pat” Philbin’s going-away email, dated October 18th. The news of Philbin’s new job at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was reported in the last line of the Washington Post’s story about FEMA’s apology for staging the fake press conference, confirmed by ODNI’s spokeswoman Vanee Vines. PRNewser also confirmed the job change from FEMA’s press secretary Aaron Walker.
Following Homeland Security’s Michael Chertoff’s “Anglo-Saxon” call for disciplinary action, Philbin no longer has a job at ODNI. The AP and Reuters reported that according to a statement from ODNI, Philbin “is not, nor scheduled to be the director of public affairs.”
PRNewser’s call and email to Ms. Vines were not returned. FEMA’s media department promised to get back to us. We received the full text–complete with Philbin’s personal email (not printed here)–of what appears to be Philbin’s going-away email this afternoon. It is was addressed to over 70 staffers at FEMA:
From: Philbin, John (Pat) Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 12:17 PM
Subject: Transition Note from Pat Sensitivity: Personal Team
Please accept my sincere appreciation to all those whom I have had the pleasure to work with since my arrival last year. FEMA attracts terrific people with enormous passion to help those in need—and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time learning to appreciate this wonderful quality. Although I understood my time with FEMA was limited, I did not anticipate that it would end so soon—or as abruptly. Under most circumstances, I envisioned remaining through the end of the Administration.
As I discussed last week during our meeting, I have been offered a unique opportunity to continue to serve America in a position that I deem critical to national security in support of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Much has been accomplished, but much work remains, which is why my early transition comes with some degree of anxiety at not having fully realized what we began. However, we are well on the transformation path, and I hope you continue these important external affairs efforts for the New FEMA—as these will sustain the important progress we have made. There will always be new ways and ideas to improve FEMA. You have affirmed my faith and confidence in public servants, and each of you has taught me much. Your support has been more than I could have asked for, and I will carry your professionalism and friendship forward as I face the next challenge supporting the DNI. You must know that I will forever be a huge fan of FEMA and will endeavor on your behalf whenever I have the opportunity in the future. If you need to contact me beyond the transition date, you may reach me via my personal e-mail: XXX.
I want thank Administrator Paulison and Admiral Johnson for the opportunity to serve you. Through my years of service, I have seldom had the benefit of working under such terrific leaders who are so singularly focused on improving the organization. In the interim, Dan Shulman will serve as the Acting Director of External Affairs, and Cindy Taylor will serve as the Acting Deputy Director. This will be announced more formally in the near future. I know that you will accord them the same support and insight that you provided me. I wish you all the best as you continue the transformation effort. The effective date of the transition is October 25, 2007, which will be my last day in the office. All the best, Pat John P. “Pat” Philbin, Ph.D