The rumored exit of Jared Moskowitz, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, became official Monday.
During a press conference, Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed reports that Moskowitz was leaving and said that Kevin Guthrie, Moskowitz’s deputy at the Florida Division of Emergency Management, will replace him.
Moskowitz has been the point of the spear leading Florida’s pandemic response and the state’s vaccine rollout.
He told USA Today Network about his decision to resign.
“My departure won’t be imminent,” Moskowitz said, adding that it would be a “gradual transition.” He did not give an exact timeline.
Moskowitz, 40, is a Democrat and former member of the state House. He was appointed as Emergency Management director by DeSantis in January 2019 following a career in emergency services spanning over 10 years.
“He’s worked incredibly hard. He’s done a fantastic job. I think Florida has the best emergency response in the country,” DeSantis said.
Moskowitz told USA Today overseeing the emergency response to the coronavirus outbreak has been a demanding and stressful role that has taken a toll on his family life. He has two small children at home in Parkland.
“It’s been two years. He’s worked extremely hard, and his family is almost a world away in some respects,” said the governor.
Moskowitz has, for the most part, been complimentary of DeSantis’ leadership during the pandemic and has defended his decisions. Last month, Moskowitz reportedly told a Florida senate committee the state’s planning for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines were undermined by a lack of information from the federal government. He also said a supply problem had hindered Florida’s vaccine distribution.
Moskowitz indicated he anticipates leaving prior to June 1, in order for the new director to settle in before the beginning of hurricane season.
DeSantis said of Moskowitz’s successor, “I have a lot of confidence in Kevin. He’s been fantastic. He’s been in the emergency management space for a long time.”