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 Home > News & Policies > April 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 18, 2008

Fact Sheet: President Bush Selects Major General Doug O'Dell to Serve as Gulf Coast Coordinator
Major General O'Dell Effectively Commanded The 4th Marine Division In Aftermath Of Hurricanes Katrina And Rita

     Fact sheet President Bush Selects Major General Doug O’Dell as Coordinator of Federal Support for Recovery and Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast

Today, President Bush selects Major General Doug O'Dell USMCR (Retired) to serve as Coordinator of Federal Support for the Recovery and Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast. General O'Dell is passionate about the revitalization of the Gulf Coast region. His established credibility and proven leadership skills in New Orleans, as well his military record and business acumen, make him an ideal selection to take over for Donald Powell as Gulf Coast Coordinator.

  • As Gulf Coast Coordinator, General O'Dell will continue the Administration's efforts to build this region back better than it was before. The President established the position in 2005, as part of his commitment to rebuild and renew this important region. President Bush believes that General O'Dell is the right person to continue this mission. General O'Dell will work effectively with the people on the ground to identify the priority of needs for long-term rebuilding; communicating those realities to decision makers in Washington; and advising the President and his senior leadership on the most effective strategies to support a full and vibrant recovery.

General O'Dell Has Extensive Experience Serving In The Gulf Coast Region

General O'Dell has built relationships with State and local leaders during his time in the region. General O'Dell was headquartered in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005, as the commanding General of the 4th Marine Division. General O'Dell employed 2,700 Marines and Sailors and assisted in rescuing and evacuating more than 2,000 civilians, providing more than one million pounds of essential cargo, and restoring basic functions to more than 30 buildings, including churches. Additionally, with the impending landfall of Hurricane Rita, he embarked 1,000 of his Marines on available amphibious shipping and followed the storm's path, thereby allowing his troops to commence relief operations within hours of the storm's passage.

General O'Dell previously resided in New Orleans from 1998 to 2001 while he served as Vice Chief of Staff for Marine Forces Reserve and Assistant Division Commander of the 4th Marine Division. General O'Dell is well regarded in the Gulf Coast Region.

General O'Dell Has Been A Strong Leader In Both The Military Service And Private Sector

In 2007, General O'Dell retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after a distinguished 39-year career, and he retired in 2001 from a successful 27-year business career in investment management. General O'Dell left active duty in 1974 but was activated several times over the course of his military career.

Following 9/11, General O'Dell was assigned the role of Commanding General of the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, which was newly reorganized for antiterrorism, before being promoted to Commanding General of the entire 4th Marine Division. During his tenure, General O'Dell organized, trained, equipped, and deployed nine battalions, a division advisory group, and numerous supporting elements to combat operations in Iraq.

From 1974 to 2001, General O'Dell led a successful business career as an investment manager. Starting in 1988, General O'Dell served as Regional Vice President for AIM investments. He was named a Partner in 1993 and ultimately retired on September 10, 2001. General O'Dell entered the Marine Corps through the Platoon Leaders Class in March 1968 and completed The Basic School at Quantico.

General O'Dell received his bachelor's degree in history and Latin American studies from Rutgers University in 1971.


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