Thad W. Allen
At the time of his nomination, Allen was serving "as Chief of Staff for the United States Coast Guard. He also served as the Principal Federal Official overseeing Hurricane Katrina response and recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast region." 
Vice Admiral Thad W. Allen, the U.S. Coast Guard chief of staff, was assigned Monday, September 9, 2005, to be FEMA Director Michael D. Brown's deputy "and to take over operational control of the search-and-rescue and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast" following Hurricane Katrina, which struck August 29, 2005.
On November 1, 2005, President George W. Bush assigned Donald E. Powell, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation "to oversee the federal government's disaster recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast." 
"The unprecedented task of coordinating the massive effort was handed off to a leader and expert who was described by colleagues as unflappable, engaging and intensely organized," Josh White of the Washington Post wrote September 9, 2005.
"Allen is also familiar with the inner workings of the Department of Homeland Security," White said, as the Coast Guard is also "one of the designated main protectors of the United States. Allen has been one of the primary shepherds of change at the Coast Guard since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and has been praised for his ability to reach out to other agencies to develop 'big-picture' approaches to homeland defense."
"DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff handpicked Allen to essentially lead the federal recovery efforts in New Orleans. As Brown's deputy, Allen will work with Army Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore -- head of the military's Joint Task Force Katrina -- to oversee, manage and lead all military and civilian recovery efforts," White said.
- Lara Jakes Jordan, "FEMA chief relieved of Katrina duties," Associated Press (Boston Globe), September 9, 2005.
- Josh White, "Coast Guard's Chief of Staff To Assist FEMA Head Brown," Washington Post, September 9, 2005.
- Leslie Miller, "Brown Replacement Familiar With Challenges," Associated Press (Guardian (UK)), September 9, 2005.