Erik Hooks is sworn in as FEMA’s new deputy administrator. Photo courtesy of FEMA.

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North Carolina native Erik Hooks took his oath Monday to become Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new deputy administrator.

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell swore in Hooks, who most recently served as North Carolina’s secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security adviser.

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. appointed Hooks for the deputy administrator position earlier this year and was confirmed by the Senate last week.

“I am so excited for Erik to be joining our team,” Criswell said in a statement. “He has such an amazing background and will be a tremendous asset in helping us take this agency where we want to go, with a people-first approach.”

Gov. Roy Cooper in 2017 appointed Hooks for the secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security adviser, leading the state’s disaster mitigation, response and recovery efforts. He managed nearly 27,000 sworn and civilian public safety professionals, as well as about 12,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen, according to FEMA.

After being sworn into office, Hooks told a story about some advice his brother Pete gave him during a sermon.

“Help me to walk faithfully in my noble purpose,” Hooks said.

“Helping people before, during and after disasters — there is no more noble purpose. I thank Administrator Criswell for this opportunity and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

Hooks has been in public service in North Carolina for three decades. He served more than 27 years with the State Bureau of Investigation, starting as a special agent.

He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and served on the executive committee of the National Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council.

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