Gov. Paul LePage announced Thursday that he has selected Bruce Fitzgerald of South China to serve as the director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency.

“Bruce has distinguished himself as an expert in the emergency management field through his many years at MEMA, and I am pleased to nominate him as the director,” LePage said in a news release. “He is the right man to manage the agency in times of emergency.”

Fitzgerald has served as acting director of the agency since Robert McAleer retired in November.

Fitzgerald joined the MEMA staff in 2003 as a program manager for Homeland Security grants. He also served as the homeland division director and served the agency through numerous state emergencies, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day and Patriots Day storms in 2007 and, more recently, during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. He holds a degree in political science from the University of Maine.

“I’m pleased and honored to have been selected by the governor for this position. I look forward to continued service with MEMA leading this important agency,” Fitzgerald said in the release. “I am confident that the professionals of the Maine Emergency Management Agency will continue to provide the high level of service to Maine’s citizens to which we have all become accustomed.”

The appointment is awaiting approval of the Maine Senate.