National Guard official will take over MEMA
Gov. Phil Bryant has named Col. Lee Smithson incoming executive director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
MEMA Executive Director Robert Latham will retire Jan. 31 and Smithson will take over Feb. 1. He is director of military support for the Mississippi National Guard and has been in that role since April 2005.
Bryant re-appointed Latham to the top MEMA post Jan. 10, 2012, after Latham had held the position under Govs. Ronnie Musgrove and Haley Barbour from February 2000 through June 2006.
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"Robert Latham has meant a great deal to the state of Mississippi during his time at MEMA that spans back almost 15 years," Bryant said. "He has led Mississippi through countless difficult times such as Hurricane Katrina, multiple tornado outbreaks and numerous other events.
"I thank him for his unwavering service to the people of Mississippi and wish him well in retirement."