Bryan Koon, director of emergency management at Wal-Mart Stores, will replace David Halstead as head of the division that since Hurricane Andrew has become a respected model of emergency response for the nation.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency
recently spotlighted Koon
for work done at the retailer.
As head of Wal-Mart's emergency response team, Koon oversees a network of emergency responders led by 40 executives who watch over the company's assets from a 4,000-square-foot response center near the company's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters.
With 1.2 million employees, Wal-Mart
has honed its emergency response system by dealing globally with issues ranging from wildfires to hurricanes to earthquakes, Koon
said in a 2007 interview with HSToday
, a homeland security trade publication.
"Because of our scale, we deal with [emergency issues] every day," Koon
will take over an agency that has been widely respected over the year.