WASHINGTON – Two Department of Homeland Security nominees appeared before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Thursday in a routine nomination hearing. The nominees were Ivan K. Fong for DHS General Counsel and Timothy W. Manning for FEMA Administrator in charge of preparedness.

Fong clerked for Federal Appeals Court Judge Abner Mikva and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor after graduating from Stanford University Law School and becoming a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University. He joined the Clinton Administration Justice Department as a Deputy Associate Attorney General where he oversaw civil litigation, environmental matters, and technology issues.

“First and foremost, the General Counsel must advise the Secretary and manage the legal functions of the Department,” Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn. said. “But the General Counsel must also ensure that the fundamental rights of American citizens are protected as the Department carries out its mission. I am confident that Mr. Fong understands these heavy responsibilities. He is an extraordinary well-prepared nominee for this position.”

Manning was most recently Director of New Mexico’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor. He has also held positions with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety as Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Director of the Office of Emergency Management, Director of the Office of Emergency Services, and as coordinator of hazardous materials.

He also has had front line experience, working as a fire fighter and rescue mountaineer.

“Mr. Manning would bring to FEMA the perspective of a state official and a first responder, which would help strengthen the coalitions between the many entities involved in preparing for disasters,” Lieberman said. “The current public health emergency surrounding H1N1, or swine flu, demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that in times of crisis, we need response and preparedness officials who know what they are doing and that the functions of prevention and protection must be closely integrated with preparedness and response.”

The nominees must still be reported out of the Committee to the full Senate for confirmation. The committee has not yet scheduled a business meeting to conduct that vote.