Louis O. Giuffrida

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Louis Onorato Giuffrida (October 2, 1920 – November 20, 2012[1]) was the Ronald Reagan administration's first director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency[2] from 1981 to 1985.

Giuffrida graduated from the University of Connecticut (B.A.) and Boston University (M.A.).

He had a lengthy career in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of colonel in 1968.

In a newspaper article in the Miami Herald, July 5, 1987, reporter Alfonso Chardy claimed that, at the US Army War College, Giuffrida had once written a paper advocating the forcible relocation of millions of black Americans to concentration camps in the event of a national emergency, but no such paper has even been offered into evidence.[3] This newspaper article turns out to be the only authority for the existence of that paper.

In 1971 he left the Army and organized the California Specialized Training Institute for then California Governor Reagan. The institute trained state employees in emergency management and police in counter-terrorism activities.. It was during this time that Giuffrida became friends with Edwin Meese.

He also served as an advisor on terrorism, emergency management, and other special topics for Governor Reagan. He was eventually promoted to the rank of general in the California Giuffrida was confirmed on May 18, 1981. At the time of his nomination Giuffrida was president of the Specialized Management Services Co. and director of the California Specialized Training Institute.

During his tenure at FEMA, Giuffrida developed much of FEMA's civil defense programs, including Continuity of Government.

Giuffrida was eventually forced out of the agency in 1985 after it was alleged that he spent government money to build a private residence at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland.


  1. ^ "Louis O. Giuffrida Obituary: View Louis Giuffrida's Obituary by The Middletown Press". Legacy.com. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  2. ^ Cooper, Christopher; Block, Robert (2007-05-29). Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security. Macmillan. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-8050-8650-8. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Louis Giuffrida". Historycommons.org. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
Government offices
Preceded by
John W. McConnell (acting)
Federal Emergency Management Agency director
Succeeded by
Julius W. Becton, Jr.