Robert David Paulison (born 1947) is a former fire chief who served as the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Paulison was appointed by President George W. Bush on September 12, 2005 to replace the embattled Michael D. Brown, who resigned amid controversy over his handling of disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Prior to his appointment, Paulison was perhaps best known nationally for his 2003 advisory regarding household items (including duct tape and plastic sheeting) to have on hand in case of terrorist attack. At the 2009 National Hurricane Conference, he announced he would resign January 21, 2009.
Paulison was born in 1947 in Miami, Florida. He attended North Miami Senior High School and earned his bachelor's degree from Florida Atlantic University, and later completed a program at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for government service executives. After beginning his career as a firefighter, Paulison rose through the ranks, and became fire chief of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue in 1992. He was subsequently named fire chief of the year for Florida in 1993, and has thirty years of experience as a firefighter. In addition, he was also president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.