Gov. Henry McMaster names South Carolina’s first Chief Resilience Officer

March 9, 2021

SCDRO Director Ben Duncan to Lead S.C. Office of Resilience

Governor Henry McMaster today named the director of South Carolina’s Disaster Recovery Office (SCDRO), Ben Duncan, as South Carolina’s first Chief Resilience Officer. As Chief Resilience Officer, Duncan will lead the S.C. Office of Resilience which was recently created by S.259 in 2020.

As director of SCDRO, Duncan oversees grant programs that focus on rebuilding or repairing homes damaged by severe weather events, such as the severe storm event in October 2015, Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and Hurricane Florence in 2019. Additionally, SCDRO manages federal funds available to assist in disaster recovery. Previously housed under the S.C. Department of Administration, the Disaster Recovery Office is now a part of Office of Resilience.

Duncan has worked at the S.C. Disaster Recovery Office since its inception in November of 2015.

“Through proper coordination, cooperation and collaboration, the South Carolina Office of Resilience can ensure that the state is maximizing the effectiveness of all available resources to best protect the lives and property of our citizens,” said Ben Duncan.

S.259 enacted the “Disaster Relief and Resilience Act” and created the S.C. Office of Resilience, which is led by the Chief Resilience Officer. The Office is tasked with developing, implementing, and maintaining the Statewide Resilience Plan with a goal of coordinating statewide resilience and disaster recovery efforts with the federal, state, local and non-governmental entities. The legislation also establishes the South Carolina Disaster Relief and Resilience Reserve Fund that will be used to maintain the Statewide Resilience Plan and for disaster relief assistance, hazard mitigation, and infrastructure improvements.

Duncan is a graduate of Benedict College and holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of South Carolina. He is 60 years old, a resident of Richland County and is married with 2 children.

The position requires confirmation by the South Carolina Senate.