1/2/2013 10:40:00 AM Whitehair steps into Navajo Nation Emergency Management position
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly welcomed Rose Whitehair as the new director of the Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management in November.
"As leaders, we are always encouraging our children to become educated, get experience and come home to help our people. Ms. Whitehair has done that. She brings national expertise to our Department of Emergency Management. Her professional experience will also help improve emergency management from the chapter level upward," Shelly said.
Whitehair most recently worked as a program manager for the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C.
Whitehair is To'aheedliinii and born for Tsin Sikaadnii.
"We are pleased to have Ms. Whitehair leading an important program within the Division of Public Safety. She has extensive experience at many different levels of emergency management. From the volunteer level through the ranks to her most recent work at NCAI. Her wealth of experience will help enhance our services," Public Safety Director John Billison said.
Whitehair's work experience began as a volunteer fire fighter at the Window Rock Fire Department.
"They were tough on us," she said about her training.
She said the experience taught her the importance of being responsible for personal safety in emergency situations.
Her experience eventually led her to complete her Bachelor's Degree in Emergency Medical Services from the University of New Mexico in 2002.
"My passion is emergency management and homeland security. I wanted to bring my passion and my focus to the Navajo Nation," Whitehair said.
Whitehair said she wants to create programs to help chapters become more engaged in planning for emergencies. She also wants to help establish a 911 alert system and train more people to respond to emergencies.
Whitehair added that her previous experience at the state of Arizona and National Congress of American Indians has broadened her network and she wants to bring her network of professional contacts to the chapter level.
Whitehair also previously worked for the Navajo Nation as a judicial liaison for the Navajo Chief Justice. She was also inducted into the International Women in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hall of Fame in 2011.
"Ms. Whitehair knows many people throughout the country and knows many of the processes. Her experience at different levels make her an asset to the Navajo Nation," Shelly said.
Whitehair said she looks forward to bringing her experience from the state and national level to the Navajo Nation.
"We will be consistently moving forward to strengthen preparedness and resiliency of our communities, especially with bridging the talent of our Diné youth with the expertise and training of our veterans, through the guidance of our elders," Whitehair said.