PEARL, Miss. (WDAM) – Mississippi Emergency Management Executive Director Stephen McCraney now has a right-hand man.
McCraney announced Tuesday that he had appointed Clayton French as MEMA’s new deputy director for the agency.
“Clayton is a tremendous asset to the MEMA team and the state as a whole,” McCraney said in a statement. “He’s the first one in and the last one out of the office, dedicating his time to ensure our state can recover from every disaster.
“As my deputy director, I know he’ll bring that same dedication to this position as he has to this agency for these past eleven years.”
French began his tenure at MEMA in 2010 as a public assistance project officer.
He worked exclusively with Hancock County, managing $96 million in Hurricane Katrina public assistance grant funds.
Promoted to public assistance bureau director in 2017, French oversaw 22 open federal public assistance disaster grants, worth more than $3.3 billion.
Before coming to MEMA, French was an active-duty member of the United States Air Force.
He served for 28 years at six bases, including a three-year tour in Panama, a year in Ecuador and a year in Qatar.
As an aircraft mechanic, he deployed to multiple theaters throughout the world supporting peacekeeping, counter-narcotic and war/fighting missions.
“I’m grateful to be entrusted to lead alongside Director McCraney and to continue serving the people of Mississippi,” French said in a statement.