- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 20, 2019

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Charlie Baker has named a new head of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Samantha Phillips will take over from outgoing MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz as head of the agency that works to make sure the state is prepared to respond to emergencies and disasters.

Phillips has served two mayors as the director of emergency management for Philadelphia and has worked as an emergency management consultant.

Baker said Phillips’s “extensive skills and experience in the public and private sectors, as well as academia, will help her lead this critical state agency.”

The Republican governor also thanked Schwartz, who he said has spent three decades in public service.

Baker said Phillips was key to Philadelphia’s response to several emergencies, including Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and a fatal Amtrak derailment in 2015.

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