Director, Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate
Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration
David serves as the Director of the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate (OFIA). In his role as the Flood Insurance Advocate, he leads the OFIA in advocating for the fair treatment of policyholders and property owners by providing education and guidance on all aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), identifying trends affecting the public, and making recommendations for program improvements to senior FEMA leadership. Under his leadership, the OFIA serves as a catalyst to bring the customer perspective to FIMA’s program conversations and support a broader customer-centric focus in FIMA.
He joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 1999 as a Regional Liaison in the Floodplain Management Branch. He has also served as a Regional Liaison in the Risk Management Directorate (formerly Risk Analysis Division) in Flood Hazard Mapping. From 2006-2015, he was the Chief of the Floodplain Management Branch, which oversees NFIP floodplain management policy, community eligibility and enforcement, and the Community Rating System (CRS). David is one of the first 40 people to earn the title of Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) through the Association of State Floodplain Managers certification test in 1999.
David holds a Master of Public Administration from Valdosta State University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Idaho. He is retired from the United States Marine Corps Reserve, having served 22 years. Prior to joining FEMA, Mr. Stearrett worked in the North Carolina NFIP State Coordinating Office as a coastal and riverine flood floodplain management specialist and he has served in several disaster field offices as both a state and Federal employee.