Richard Hainje

Regional Administrator, Region VII

Photo of Dick Hainje

Dick Hainje was appointed in 2001 as Region VII Administrator of FEMA.  As Regional Administrator, he coordinates mitigation, preparedness and disaster response and recovery activities in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Prior to coming to FEMA, Mr. Hainje served with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue for 24 years - rising to Division Fire Chief - before retiring to serve in the George W. Bush administration as Regional Administrator.  While in the fire service Chief Hainje progressed rapidly through the ranks serving as incident commander of many complex fire and emergency situations.

Mr. Hainje was a member of the South Dakota Senate, serving as the Assistant Majority Leader. Mr. Hainje also served as chairman of the Tax Committee.  Senator Hainje sponsored legislation to provide Advanced Placement (AP) classes over the Internet to all schools regardless of size.  Mr. Hainje was instrumental in reorganizing and funding South Dakota State Radio to ensure that all first responders could talk on common radios and frequencies in emergencies and also passed legislation limiting liability and providing funding for public access defibrillation statewide. He also served on the National Conference of State Legislature's Special Task Force on Telecommunications and Internet sales taxation.

On May 4, 2003 a historic tornado outbreak occurred in FEMA Region VII.  Regional Administrator Hainje was asked by the White House to provide President Bush a briefing of the damage in Pierce City, Mo.  To help some of the communities hit hardest by the tornados Regional Director Hainje led the Region in an innovative approach to provide sustainable long-term recovery.

Mr. Hainje also spent considerable time in 2004 working the Florida hurricanes, and in Mississippi in 2005 in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Mr. Hainje holds a fire science degree from Kilian College at Sioux Falls, S.D. He was an instructor and served on the faculty senate of Kilian College.  Mr. Hainje is a former board member of the American Red Cross in South Dakota, the Northland American Heart Association, Good Samaritan Village and Southeastern Council of Governments.

Mr. Hainje was raised on a farm near Dell Rapids, S.D., where he attended a one-room school before transferring to Dell Rapids Public School. He and his wife Becky have been married for more than 27 years and have three children and one grandchild.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 03-Apr-2007 10:35:07 EDT