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James Lee Witt was appointed executive director of Rebuild North Bay, a nonprofit launched to coordinate wildfire recovery efforts in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake and Solano counties in California. Witt, a former Chief Executive Officer of the International Code Council (ICC), was the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the Clinton administration, where he was responsible for the recovery process for nearly 350 disasters across the nation.
Witt led the Code Council from 2003 to 2006, where he began to emphasize the important role the association plays in building safety across the U.S. and the relationship between building codes and natural disaster mitigation.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Witt said his focus as head of Rebuild North Bay will be on squeezing federal, state, and local dollars to their last penny so that everybody can “build back better and safer, and build back with more resiliency than ever before.”
“James Lee is a close friend to me as well as to the Code Council,” said ICC Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “Given James Lee’s considerable experience with codes and standards, emergency management, and disaster recovery, I know that the North Bay will be in good hands as they begin the rebuilding process after the devastating wildfires. We stand ready to lend our support as needed.”