Click on a speaker name to read biography.
William D. Aaron, Jr.
(October 30, 2012) William D. Aaron, Jr. is a practicing attorney and the Managing Shareholder of the New Orleans firm of Aaron, PLC A Professional Law Corporation. He is a graduate of Duke University and Loyola University School of Law. Mr. Aaron has over 34 years of legal experience in the public and private sectors and is licensed to practice law in Louisiana, Texas and the District of Columbia. He has served as Assistant District Counsel for the U. S. Small Business Administration, City Attorney for the City of New Orleans and Special Prosecutor for the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office. Prior to joining Aaron, PLC (formerly Goins Aaron) in January of 2000, Mr. Aaron was a Senior Partner in the regional firm of Phelps Dunbar, LLP.
Mr. Aaron concentrates his practice in the areas of complex and high profile civil and commercial litigation, state and municipal government law, telecommunications, real estate, banking, professional liability, civil rights and insurance. He received the New Orleans City Business Newspaper's Leadership in Law Award in 2008 and 2012, is AV rated, and is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, Louisiana Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Business Edition.
Mr. Aaron is active in bar related activities, and is a former Member and Chairman of the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB). He has served as an Assistant Bar Examiner with the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions for over a decade. A prominent figure in local business circles, Mr. Aaron is also a member of the Jefferson Business Council, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. Active in the rebuilding of the New Orleans Area, Mr. Aaron is an Organizer and Director of First NBC Bank, a highly successful commercial bank headquartered in New Orleans and chartered by the State of Louisiana less than a year after Hurricane Katrina.
Charles E. Allen, III
(June 23, 2009) Mr. Allen is the Associate Director at the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research (CBR). He also helps direct the CBR's Sustainable Urban Ecosystem Initiative (UrbanEco). Through this initiative, the CBR is studying the dynamic interface between the built and natural environments and the human interactions between these two systems. It is through this initiative that the CBR is working to help the Holy Cross/Lower 9th Ward Community of New Orleans chart a path toward an energy efficient, sustainable post-Hurricane Katrina recovery. Mr. Allen serves as President of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association (HCNA) and represents the Holy Cross Historic District as a member of the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission. He is co-chair of a partnership and project known as REACH-NOLA, which works to improve access to quality health care for New Orleans residents, and is a board member of the Louisiana Clean Tech Network.
Mr. Allen also serves as a board member for the Foundation for Science and Math Education, the Lower 9th Ward Stakeholders Coalition, and the Lower 9th Ward Education Advisory Group. He has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to offer a community perspective on the post-Katrina recovery efforts of New Orleans and work to keep USGBC connected to these efforts. He has been appointed to the Louisiana Governor's Advisory Committee on Coastal Restoration and Protection.
Mr. Allen is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana where he received his Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology in 1995. He is also a graduate of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine where he received his Master's of Science in Public Health in 1998.
(May 2, 2011) Thalia Anagnos first became interested in earthquakes when her mother dragged her out of bed as the house shook wildly during the San Fernando earthquake on the morning of February 9, 1971. At first she was intrigued by the three glorious days when middle school was canceled, but later became interested in how earthquakes affect the whole community. She is now a professor in the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San José State University with research in the areas of earthquake risk and loss estimation.
Professor Anagnos is a past-president of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and currently serves as the Co-Leader for Education, Outreach, and Training for the George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES).
(June 23, 2009) Miles Anderson is the Bureau Chief of Mitigation within Florida's Division of Emergency Management. He leads the Bureau in efforts to collaborate with cities, counties and other organizations in reducing the potential devastation and long-term risk to human life from the impact of natural disasters.
His career spans over three decades of leadership experience encompassing emergency management, public administration, nonprofit organizations, private business, social services and community volunteerism. Mr. Anderson entered public service in the late 1990s as a manager in Florida's Bureau of Recovery & Mitigation. In this role, he oversaw federal funds for local governments to find solutions for hazard mitigation, unmet needs and flood mitigation/assistance. He is an authority on FEMA operations and is recognized by his peers for his ability to facilitate productive relationships between the private sector, public sector, and nonprofit interests. His familiarity with all stakeholders and his professional advice is proclaimed to have been indispensible in helping communities rebuild post-storms.
In 2005, the Escambia County Commission recognized Mr. Anderson for his work as an appointee of the Governor serving as West Florida's Deputy State Coordinating Officer. The Commission applauded Mr. Anderson for leading the state's response team after hurricanes crossed the state. He championed the cause of residential mitigation in the Escambia county area and laid the foundation for REBUILD Northwest Florida, an initiative that has strengthened over 3000 homes, and has plans to retrofit many more.
, Bureau Chief of Mitigation
Florida Division of Emergency Management
(February 21, 2008) Michael Armstrong is the Senior Vice President for Member Services at the International Code Council (ICC). He is a Visiting Professor at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., instructing in the Crisis, Emergency and Risk Management Concentration in the Graduate Program of the School of Engineering, and serves as a Trustee for the Association of State Floodplain Managers Foundation. His work at the Code Council includes oversight for training and education, certification and testing, membership support, program development, and national conferences.
Prior to joining the Code Council, he spent over five years as a management consultant specializing in homeland security and emergency management projects for federal, state and local government clients at ICF International. Mr. Armstrong served for seven years as an appointee of President Clinton at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), first as Region VIII Director in Denver and then as Associate Director (Senate-confirmed) for Mitigation. He managed national programs addressing risk reduction including pre- and post- disaster grant programs, ongoing oversight for the nation's flood, hurricane and earthquake programs, support for academic and building science research, and the launch of initiatives in pre-disaster mitigation, mapping modernization, "safe room" technology, public/private partnerships and cost-benefit analysis. He also served as the Colorado Governor's Deputy for Energy Conservation, and spent a decade as an assistant city attorney specializing in land use issues.
Mr. Armstrong holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Juris Doctorate from the Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California. He is admitted to the practice of law in Colorado and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chester (Chet) Arnold
(October 8, 2014) Chet Arnold is an Extension Educator and the Director for Outreach of the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR), a partnership of the Department of Extension, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, and the Connecticut Sea Grant Program.
Mr. Arnold has been with the University since 1987, and has worked on the Long Island Sound Study Public Outreach Program, the NEMO Program, the National NEMO Network, and CLEAR — all of which he helped to create. He has authored several national award-winning papers and has been Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on over $14M of external grants. As the Center's Director of Outreach, Mr. Arnold focuses on the integration and dissemination of CLEAR land use research, geospatial tools and training, and outreach programs to best serve CLEAR's municipal and other audiences.
, Director for Outreach
Center for Land Use Education and Research, University of Connecticut
Earl J. Jay Baker
(June 23, 2009) Jay Baker is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at Florida State University and is president of Hazards Management Group, an emergency management research and consulting firm. Since 1975 Dr. Baker has conducted studies following hurricanes to document how the public responded and why. Study locations have included every Gulf and Atlantic coastal state from Texas through Massachusetts, as well as Hawaii. He has conducted studies on hazard perception and evacuation response intentions in those states and has applied the findings of his research to the development of hurricane evacuation plans. Most recently he was the behavioral analyst for the Florida Statewide Regional Evacuation Study. Dr. Baker's research also includes public attitudes toward hurricane hazard mitigation options, household preparedness for disasters, and public response to other hazards, including tornadoes, floods, and nuclear power plants. He has worked on methods to assess the costs incurred by local governments in evacuating residents and has worked with colleagues to evaluate the effectiveness of local government comprehensive plans in Florida in mitigating certain aspects of hurricane hazards in coastal areas. He was a founding partner in the inception of the National Hurricane Conference and continues to be on the conference's planning committee. Dr. Baker received his doctorate in Geography from the University of Colorado in 1974.
Earl Jay Baker
, Associate Professor, Department of Geology
Florida State University
Debra T. Ballen
(October 8, 2014) Debra Ballen joined IBHS in 2008 as the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Public Policy. In this capacity, she is responsible for managing all of the organization's legal matters and overseeing IBHS' public policy efforts. In addition, she also serves as the organization's Corporate Secretary.
Prior to her work with IBHS, Ms. Ballen was the Executive Vice President of Public Policy Management for the American Insurance Association in Washington, D.C. She developed and implemented policy for AIA's priority federal and state public policy issues. She also has served on the OECD High Level Advisory Board on Financial Management of Large Scale Catastrophes, which includes a heavy emphasis on mitigation measures.
Ms. Ballen graduated with a juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School and an A.B. degree from Princeton University. She also has received the CPCU designation.
, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Public Policy
Institute for Business and Home Safety
(June 28, 2010) Chuck Banks is the Principal and Founder of Chuck Banks Associates, a national consulting firm advising clients on unique economic and community development opportunities. Drawing upon his extensive private and public sector professional experience, Mr. Banks is a nationally recognized leader known for developing innovative, cross-sector partnerships to successfully navigate numerous nationally-recognized events, including most recently the widely recognized sustainable recovery of tornado-stricken Greensburg, Kansas.
In February 1995, Mr. Banks accepted a position with then-Congressman Pat Roberts as his Congressional Director in Kansas. Following the 1996 election, U.S. Senator Roberts appointed him as his Assistant State Director, with responsibilities for economic development policy issues. In November of 2001, he was appointed the 13th Kansas Director of USDA Rural Development. Utilizing innovative private sector and community development program delivery models, the Agency significantly increased its level of funding and technical assistance during Mr. Banks' seven year tenure as USDA State Director. Under his leadership, USDA Rural Development was recognized nationally for its successful support of several economic and community development challenges in Kansas, including assisting with the 2005 Base Realignment Commission decision to significantly expand personnel at Fort Riley and numerous disaster recovery efforts, including post-disaster recovery results following the May 2007 Greensburg EF-5 tornado. At the invitation of the Obama Administration, Mr. Banks remained with USDA in the capacity of Confidential Assistant to the Undersecretary of Rural Development during the first half of 2009 to help enhance agency program delivery capabilities.
Mr. Banks has spoken frequently across the United States about important community and economic development issues, covering topics ranging from renewable energy opportunities to comprehensive sustainable disaster recovery strategies. In addition to his extensive professional experience, he is very active in numerous national non-profit organizations including the Safe America Foundation and has received several national awards including the 2009 Greensburg Green Initiative Award.
Mr. Banks graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Agricultural Economics specializing in banking and finance.
(May 16, 2013) Sherrod Banks is President of Banks Law Firm and serves as the Vice Chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law.
He has taught seminars and lectured extensively in the area of affordable housing and community economic development law for the American Bar Association, Duke University Law School, North Carolina Central University School of Law, Institute of Government, Carolina's Council of Housing and Code Officials, North Carolina Community Development Initiative, North Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations, and Duke University's Certificate Program in Nonprofit Management. Mr. Banks published an article entitled "PHAs Engaged in Mixed-Finance Transactions: Material Participation Versus Significant Functions" in the Fall 2000 edition of the ABA Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law.
He received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1988.
Juliana Barrett, Ph.D.
(October 8, 2014) Juliana Barrett is an Associate Extension Educator and Coastal Habitat Specialist with the University of Connecticut Sea Grant College Program and the Department of Extension. Her responsibilities focus on developing outreach and tools pertaining to climate change adaptation and coastal habitat management in coordination with Connecticut's municipalities, NGO's and state and federal partners.
Dr. Barrett received a bachelor's degree in Biology from Smith College in 1982. She also holds a master's degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Prior to coming to Sea Grant in 2006 she worked as a private consultant and for The Nature Conservancy as the Director of the Connecticut River Tidelands Last Great Places Program. Dr. Barrett is a co-author of the Vegetation of Connecticut and numerous other publications.
(February 21, 2008) As a third generation, licensed Building Contractor in Florida, Ms. Beall is the mastermind behind a new concept in safe, affordable housing called 'Storm Safe Homes'. Her innovative design and building concepts have made her an industry leader and a sought-after home improvement expert and speaker. As a result, she has been seen on ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's TODAY Show, the Weather Channel, DIY, the Do-It-Yourself Network, HGTVPro, and in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and BUILDER Magazine to name a few. Ms. Beall is currently the "Contract-Her" on the nationally syndicated morning talk show The Daily Buzz, giving homeowners the tricks of the trade in home maintenance, repair, and design.
She and her family have built 3500 homes over the past 50 years and have won numerous building and design awards. Ms. Beall's first Fortified®, 'Storm Safe Home' won both the 2007 Parade of Homes and the coveted Aurora Award, for the best home between $200,000-$300,000 in the Southeast. She is currently building America's first affordable, Fortified?for safer living® community as designated by the Institute for Business and Home Safety.
Ms. Beall holds a bachelor's degree from Stetson University and a master's degree in Television from the University of Central Florida.
, Director of Communication, Education and Outreach
Southern California Earthquake Center
, Executive Director
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
(June 23, 2009) Lisa Blackwell is Vice President of State and Local Strategic Outreach for the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC). She complements the Council's federal legislative and regulatory program by mobilizing members and resources to respond to apartment-related issues at the state and local level. At the federal level, she also manages select housing issues for the NMHC/National Apartment Association Joint Legislative Program.
Ms. Blackwell brings more than 20 years of government affairs and real estate experience to the Council. Most recently, she was the Managing Director of Government Affairs for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), where she developed legislative strategies on behalf of the nation's architects. Prior to that, she spent nine years with the National Association of Realtors working on a variety of housing issues. She also directed Cornell University's government relations program and worked for two New York State members of Congress.
Ms. Blackwell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the State University of New York College at Fredonia.
, Vice President of State and Local Strategic Outreach
National Multi Housing Council
Hon. Don Brown
(June 28, 2010) Don Brown has served on the Walton County Board of County Commissioners, President of the Walton County Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Walton County Airport Authority. He has also served as Republican State Committeeman, Chairman of the Walton County Republican Executive Committee and as a State Representative in the Florida House of Representatives. Don has been an Independent insurance agent for over 35 years.
While serving in the Florida House of Representatives Don became known for his work on Medical Malpractice Reform, Elections Reform, Workers' Compensation Reform and Tort Reform. In 2004 he was recognized by the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors for his work on real estate issues. He was also recognized in 2004 by the Florida Pharmacy Association as their Most Outstanding Legislator. In 2005 the Florida Retail Federation named him the "House Legislator of the Year" and in 2006 the Florida Chamber of Commerce named him "Most Valuable Legislator".
Don Brown is best known for his work on insurance issues. In 2002 and 2003 he was recognized by the Florida Association of Insurance Agents and the Florida Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors for his significant contribution to insurance reform.
(May 2, 2011) Amy Brown was appointed by Mayor Edwin M. Lee on January 11, 2011, to serve as Acting City Administrator. The City Administrator is assigned by the Charter to oversee administrative services within the executive branch of City government; and has overall responsibility for the management and implementation of policies, rules and regulations promulgated by the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors and the voters. The City Administrator also is the head of the City's General Services Agency, which consists of 22 departments, divisions, offices and programs, with a budget of $239 million and 656 full time employees.
As Acting City Administrator, Ms. Brown also serves as the County Clerk, the Chair of the City's Committee on Information Technology, and the Chair of the Capital Planning Committee. She co-chairs the Lifelines Council, an innovative forum where the City government meets with the utility service providers-power, water, telecommunications, transportation-to coordinate disaster response and recovery planning, and is charged by Mayoral Executive Directive with overseeing the City's Earthquake Safety Implementation Program.
Ms. Brown previously served as a Deputy City Administrator since 2008 and as Director of Real Estate since 2006, reporting to City Administrator Lee. She also has been very involved in disaster planning efforts, working closely with the Department of Emergency Management and overseeing the City's disaster recovery planning efforts, including significant community engagement efforts like the Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN). As Director of Real Estate, Brown led the City's Real Estate Division and facilities management efforts.
Brown also served as Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney's Office from 1999 to 2006. Prior to that, she was in private legal practice for several years. Ms. Brown holds Bachelors degrees in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kansas and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
, City Administrator
City & County of San Francisco
(July 10, 2008) Cherie Burns is the author of "The Great Hurricane: 1938", published by Grove/Atlantic (2005) in soft and hardcover. The Washington Post referred to her book as "? sure to help keep the terrible storm in its proper place in New England's memory..." (Jonathan Yardley), and The Daily News referred to it as "A must if you care about brilliant reporting?" (Liz Smith).
Ms. Burns's previous book, "Stepmotherhood?How to Survive Without Feeling Frustrated, Left Out or Wicked" (Times Books) has been reprinted by HarperCollins and Three Rivers and has sold over 40,000 copies in the U.S., England and Germany. It has remained in print for 20 years. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, People, Glamour, New York, Sports Illustrated, Constitution and other publications.
Ms. Burns is presently working on the first biography of Standard Oil heiress and fashion icon Millicent Rogers for St. Martin's Press.
(February 21, 2008) Phil Burton manages the McKinney, Texas, branch for Simpson Strong-Tie, a company that manufactures structural connectors, prefabricated shearwall panels, and other fastening products that reinforce the frame of a home, helping it to resist high winds and earthquakes. Joining Simpson Strong-Tie in 1994, Mr. Burton has held several positions within the company. In his current role, he oversees the production, sales and operations of one of Simpson's largest facilities. His branch inspired the creation of Simpson's "High Wind Framing Connection Guide" to help builders and contractors build homes to the higher wind speed standards, reducing damage caused by high wind events. His branch is committed to training customers on high wind construction and offers complimentary workshops throughout the Southeast region.
Mr. Burton graduated from The University of North Texas, earning his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing.
(May 2, 2011) Mr. Buscovich is a licensed structural engineer in the State of California with 20 years experience in structural engineering projects. He established Patrick Buscovich & Associates Structural Engineers, Inc. (PBSE) in San Francisco in 1990. Since graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a Master of Engineering in 1979, he has specialized in seismic analysis and design for Bay Area projects. Projects include the Marin Civic Center, Orpheum Theater and Plaza Renovations at 1, 50 and 555 California Street. Mr. Buscovich also specializes in code consultation on the San Francisco Building Code to clients and other engineers.
Mr. Buscovich is the author or co-author of numerous portions of the San Francisco Building Code including sections dealing with the earthquake damage trigger, UMB retrofit standards, seismic upgrade requirement and the UMB Board of Appeals.
, Structural Engineer
Patrick Buscovich & Associates Structural Engineers, Inc. (PBSE)
Larry S. Buss, P. E., CFM, D. WRE
(October 30, 2012) Larry S Buss has over 39 years of experience serving with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a senior advisor/national expert in flood risk management and nonstructural flood risk reduction. Mr. Buss retired from the Corps of Engineers as Chief of Hydrologic Engineering, Omaha District, having led a team of 50 people with expertise in such areas as Water Control, Water Quality, Hydraulic Structure Design, Statistical Analysis, River Ecosystem Restoration, Flood Plain Management, Emergency Flood Fighting, Flood Control Design, Sediment/Erosion Control, Watershed Modeling, Flood Warning Systems, Nonstructural and Structural Flood Mitigation, and Hydrographic Surveys.
He is currently involved on National task force teams dealing with levee security, levee safety, flood risk management, and implementation of nonstructural measures. Mr. Buss also serves as Co-Chair of the Association of State Flood Plain Managers Committee on Flood Proofing/Retrofitting. This committee is responsible for promoting and providing expertise on flood proofing and retrofitting of structures to reduce flood risk.
Mr. Buss is a past Chair of the US Army Corps of Engineers National Nonstructural/Flood Proofing Committee, whose responsibilities consist of promoting the development, implementation and proper use of non-structural flood mitigation techniques as well as providing a source of expertise in the use of non-structural techniques throughout the United States.
He is a Registered Professional Engineer and a licensed real estate broker in the State of Iowa. He is also a member of the Association of State Flood Plain Managers and a Certified Flood Plain Manager. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska.
(May 16, 2013) Dave Canaan is the Director of Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services in Charlotte, North Carolina. His position involves providing the overall direction and guidance on financial, budgetary, organizational, planning and regulatory matters related to storm water/floodplain management; and land development services in Mecklenburg County.
From 1994 to 1999, Mr. Canaan served as the Chair of the North Carolina Association of Floodplain Managers (NCAFPM). In 1997 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) and served a two-year term.
In 1999, Mr. Canaan received both the State of North Carolina and the national Larry R. Johnson Award for Local Floodplain Manager of the Year. He received the Mecklenburg County Employee of the Year Award from the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce in March 2000.
From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Canaan served as the Co-Chair of the Floodplain Management Committee of the National Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Management Agencies (NAFSMA), and represented NAFSMA on FEMA's Community Rating System Task Force.
Mr. Canaan has over 25 years of experience in civil engineering, water resources and storm water management. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 1987.
Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services
Governor Donald L. Carcieri
(July 10, 2008) Governor Donald L. Carcieri was inaugurated as Rhode Island's 57th Governor in 2003. A native Rhode Island resident, his election followed a career in business that was capped with his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Cookson America and Joint Managing Director of Cookson Group Worldwide.
At Cookson Group Worldwide, Governor Carcieri was instrumental in the growth of the business into a major manufacturer employing over 12,000 people worldwide, and from a company generating $30 million to over $3 billion in sales at the time he retired in 1997. Prior to Cookson, Governor Carcieri was at Old Stone Bank, reaching the position of Executive Vice President. He also taught at Newport's Rogers High School and then at Concord Carlisle Regional High School in Concord, MA.
Governor Carcieri attended Brown University on an academic scholarship and graduated in 1965 with a degree in International Relations.
(May 2, 2011) Alan Carr is a Senior Staff Engineer for International Code Council (ICC), Codes and Standards Department where he is responsible for developing and reviewing technical documents related to the structural provisions of International Building Code. Since 2000 he has served as Secretariat to the International Code Council's Structural Committee. Mr. Carr holds a Master of Science degree in civil engineering and is a registered civil and structural engineer in the State of Washington. He is a member of the Structural Engineers Association of Washington (SEAW) and has served on the board of directors of the Seattle Chapter. Mr. Carr has also been a member of the main committee for ASCE 7 Standard, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.
, Codes and Standards
International Code Council
(May 2, 2011) Arrietta Chakos is a public policy advisor on urban disaster resilience and works on crisis management and community/multi-sectoral engagement in California cities. Ms. Chakos's work with San Francisco, Palo Alto and regional institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area focuses on strategies to improve disaster readiness and emergency response. She is a member of the Disasters Roundtable at the National Academies of Science and chairs the public policy committee at the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. Ms. Chakos served as the project director of the Harvard Kennedy School's Acting in Time Disaster Recovery Research Project. She previously served as assistant city manager in Berkeley, California, directing innovative hazard mitigation initiatives, intergovernmental coordination and multi-institutional negotiations.
, Chair of Public Policy Committee
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
(May 16, 2013) Leslie Chapman-Henderson is President and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster-resistant nation including: BASF, FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, International Code Council, Kohler Power Systems, NOAA/National Weather Service, North Carolina State University, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm, Texas Tech Wind Science & Engineering, The Home Depot, University of Florida, USAA and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc.
Ms. Chapman-Henderson and FLASH have championed the cause of disaster-resilient construction methods through the creation of groundbreaking consumer awareness programs like StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort; and Blueprint for Safety®, an integrated educational program on disaster-resistant construction techniques for homebuilders, homeowners and design professionals.
Ms. Chapman-Henderson's civic, community and professional recognition include the 2010 designation by Cable News Network as a member of the CNN New Guard of the South - an elite group of leaders from academic, business, entertainment, government, nonprofit, philanthropy and sports fields. She and FLASH have received a myriad of awards including: the 2011 National VOAD Partner of the Year Award, 2011 Governor's Hurricane Conference Governor's Award, 2009 Governor's Hurricane Conference Corporate Award for StormStruck®, 2008 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement in Mitigation Award, 2008 Governor's Hurricane Conference Corporate Award, 2006 Texas Silver Spur Award for Public Education Excellence, 2006 Governor's Hurricane Conference Public Information/Education Award, 2005 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement in Public Awareness Award, 2005 National Weather Association Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award, 2005 NOAA Environmental Hero Award and many more.
Ms. Chapman-Henderson has served as co-chair of the legislatively-created My Safe Florida Home Advisory Council, as a board trustee for Florida International University - International Hurricane Research Center, an advisory council member for the Florida State University Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center, consumer representative and chair for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council, guest lecturer at Florida State University and the University of Florida - School of Construction and as a Florida representative to the Federal Communications Commission WARN Committee.
Other past service includes trustee for the Florida Fire and Emergency Services Foundation; consumer representative to the Louisiana Uniform Building Code Task Force; consumer representative and vice chair of the 2005 Florida Legislative Task Force on Long Term Solutions for Florida's Hurricane Insurance Market; and insurance consumer representative to the 2006 Property and Casualty Insurance Reform Committee chaired by former Lt. Governor Toni Jennings.
FLASH program successes include television appearances on CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC and nationally-syndicated programs This New House, Bob Vila and Home Again with Bob Vila; production of a one-hour, nationally televised multi-hazard PBS Special entitled, Blueprint for Safety - Disaster-Resistant Homes; and "A Tale of Two Houses" a multi-media awareness campaign showcasing code and code-plus construction success stories in wildfire and high-wind zones.
Dr. Arindam Chowdhury
(February 21, 2008) Dr. Arindam Chowdhury is Director of the Laboratory for Wind Engineering Research, at the International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) at Florida International University. Dr. Chowdhury spearheads research at the RenaissanceRe Wall of Wind at FIU, which is enabling innovative testing of full-scale structures fully engulfed in properly simulated hurricane flows, leading to performance-based design for hurricanes through direct correlation of wind speed with performance and damage levels. Current projects, funded by federal and state agencies and by private industry, are creating a sound scientific basis for developing risk-based and performance-based design criteria, contributing to the attainment of a national objective: achieving more sustainable coastal communities.
Dr. Chowdhury has a doctorate in Engineering Mechanics from Iowa State University and a master's degree in Technology, Structural Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.
Dr. Arindam Chowdhury
, Director, Wind Engineering Research Laboratory
International Hurricane Research Center
(July 10, 2008) Karen Clark is President and CEO of Karen Clark & Company, which she formed in 2007 to help insurers and other entities better understand and manage catastrophe risk. Ms. Clark developed the first hurricane catastrophe model and in 1987, founded the first catastrophe modeling company, Applied Insurance Research (AIR), which subsequently became AIR Worldwide after acquisition by Insurance Services Office in 2002. She has spent over 20 years working closely with meteorologists, seismologists, engineers and other experts to develop the most scientifically advanced catastrophe models, and she has led the development of software applications that are used globally as standard tools for catastrophe risk assessment and management.
In 2000, Ms. Clark was selected by Business Insurance as one of the "Top 100 Women in the Insurance Industry." In 2001, she was honored as "Woman of the Year" by the Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW). In 2007, she was honored with the Review Worldwide Reinsurance Award's Lifetime Achievement award. Most recently, Ms. Clark has been honored with an award certificate for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize bestowed on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for her support of the work of the IPCC since its inception. She has appeared numerous times on national television and was featured in two History Channel specials on Northeast hurricanes and earthquakes.
Ms. Clark holds a Masters Degree in Economics and an MBA, both from Boston University.
(October 8, 2014) Dr. Rachel Cleetus is a senior climate economist with the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Her expertise is in the design and economic evaluation of climate and energy policies at the state, federal and international levels, as well as the analysis of the costs of climate change.
Dr. Cleetus is part of a multidisciplinary research team working on UCS' climate impacts initiative, currently focusing on two major climate impacts: the growing risks and costs of sea level rise, coastal storms and flooding, and how communities can help protect themselves from these risks; and the growing risks of hotter, drier conditions to Rocky Mountain Forests, including wildfires. She has authored a UCS report, Overwhelming Risk: Rethinking Flood Insurance in a World of Rising Seas and co-authored Playing with Fire: How Climate Change and Development Patterns are Contributing to the Soaring Costs of Western Wildfires. She is also a power sector expert, and is doing research and analysis related to the power plant carbon standards. She has co-authored a UCS study, Ripe for Retirement: The Case for Closing America's Costliest Coal Plants.
Dr. Cleetus holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from Duke University.
, Senior Climate Economist, Climate and Energy Program
Union of Concerned Scientists
(October 30, 2012) Sidney Coffee joined the America's WETLAND Foundation in early 2008 as senior advisor. Prior to that, she headed the Governor's Office of Coastal Activities under Governor Kathleen Blanco and chaired the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana. In this position, Ms. Coffee helped lead creation of the state's Master Plan for Coastal Restoration and Protection and the reorganization of state government to more comprehensively address coastal restoration and protection efforts.
While serving Governor Mike Foster, Ms. Coffee worked in Washington, DC, on legislation to fund and authorize the state's coastal restoration efforts, including the sharing of Federal offshore oil and gas revenues with coastal producing states.
(October 8, 2014) Michael Cohen is the Vice President of Government Affairs for RenaissanceRe, a global provider of reinsurance and insurance to cover the risk of natural and man-made catastrophes.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Cohen was a director of industry and state relations at Freddie Mac. He also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the White House Community Empowerment Board in the Clinton White House, was the White House liaison at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and ran the Office of Special Actions for HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo. Mr. Cohen was a legislative assistant in U.S. House of Representatives and has held various other positions both in and out of government.
He grew up in Miami, Florida and earned a B.A. at Columbia University and a J.D. at Emory University School of Law.
(May 2, 2011) Larry Collins is a battalion chief and task force leader of the L.A. County Fire Department's urban search and rescue task force for domestic and international disaster response. His most recent international disaster responses included the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami catastrophe. A member of the fire service for 31 years, he was a Rescue/USAR Company fire captain for 20 years, assigned to one of the most active fire department Rescue/USAR units in the nation. Battalion Chief Collins is an operations chief on the FEMA USAR Incident Support Teams coordinating federal rescue operations, which have included the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9-11 Pentagon collapse, Hurricanes Frances, Ivan, Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Gustav, Ike, Dolly, Earl, and several national security events like the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Chief Collins has helped establish swiftwater rescue systems, water rescue teams, urban search and rescue systems and teams, specialized rescue programs including helo/high rise teams, helo/swiftwater rescue teams, rapid intervention protocols, earthquake preparedness programs, multi-agency water rescue plans, tsunami response plans, and years of next-generation research and development on science, technology, and their use in emergency planning and response. He sits on the So Cal Shakeout advisory group, the Earthquake Country Alliance advisory group, the Los Angeles County Tsunami Committee, the Multi-Agency Earthquake Task Force for Los Angeles County, and other advisory positions. Over the past two decades, he has authored many articles and cases studies, as well as the textbook series Technical Rescue Operations, the Rescue chapter of The Fire Chiefs Handbook, and the Support of Rescue Operations chapter of Fire Engineering's Handbook for Firefighter I and II.
, Battalion Chief
Los Angeles County Fire Department
(May 2, 2011) Mary Comerio is an internationally recognized expert on disaster recovery. She joined the faculty in the Department of Architecture at U. C. Berkeley in 1978 and served as Chair of the Department from 2006-2009. As an architect, she has designed numerous public and private facilities including market rate and affordable housing. Her research focuses on the costs and benefits of seismic rehabilitation (particularly housing), post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, and loss modeling.
Professor Comerio led the FEMA sponsored Disaster Resistant University Program. Her research together with the UC Berkeley campus seismic rehabilitation program was recognized by Engineering News Record as one of the ten best seismic rehabilitation projects in the United States in 2006. She also led the Building Systems Research in the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, during the ten years when PEER was one of three NSF funded national earthquake centers. Professor Comerio is currently working on a NSF Grand Challenge project focused on the mitigation of collapse risk in nonductile concrete buildings. She spent a sabbatical year (2009-10) as a Visiting Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and consultant to the United Nations Environment Program on post-disaster recovery efforts in China and Haiti. She recently led the PEER/EERI reconnaissance teams to both earthquakes in New Zealand and has participated in several other teams.
Mary Comerio is the author of Disaster Hits Home: New Policy for Urban Housing Recovery, (U. C. Press, 1998), and ?Can Buildings be Made Earthquake Safe? (Science Vol. 312, No. 5771, April 14, 2006).
, Professor, Department of Architecture
University of California, Berkeley
(December 3, 2008) David Conrad has been actively involved in water resource policy since 1977 and has been with NWF since 1989. In this position, and in previous positions with Friends of the Earth and American Rivers, he has been an advocate for river and water resources protection, concentrating on issues such as hydroelectric power regulation, federal water resources development, and flood insurance reform. Recently, Mr. Conrad's work has focused on policies and programs to restore ecosystem health to water resources, and redirecting federal flood control programs toward a new and greater emphasis on improved floodplain management.
Mr. Conrad was project director and a principal author of NWF's 1998 Higher Ground report that addresses repetitive flood insurance claims and argues for voluntary property buyouts as an alternative strategy for reducing flood risks. He was also a principal author of the 2000 Troubled Waters report issued by NWF and Taxpayers for Common Sense, and of the recently published (March 2004) report called Crossroads: Congress, the Corps of Engineers and the Future of America's Water Resources. Mr. Conrad was a founder and serves on the Steering Committee of the national Corps Reform Network, a group now with more than 160 conservation, taxpayer and civic organizations. In 2000, he received the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Outstanding Public Service Award for his work to promote protection of the nation's floodplains. In May 2003, the Association of State Floodplain Managers granted David the Goddard-White Award, its highest honor, in recognition of his instrumental work in the field of floodplain management.
Mr. Conrad holds a B.A. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia.
, Senior Water Resources Specialist
National Wildlife Federation
(June 28, 2010) Steven Cooper is the Deputy Regional Director of the National Weather Service Southern Region - serving Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mr. Cooper has served the National Weather Service for over 31 years and has received numerous awards and recognition for his contributions and leadership. He led the Meteorological Services Division in the successful implementation of National Weather Service modernization and restructuring across the southern United States during the mid 1990s. He and his team were subsequently recognized with NWS Modernization Awards in 1995 and 1996. He received a Commerce Department's Bronze Medal for coordinating weather support for the 1996 Paralympics (Atlanta, Ga.), another in 2003 for his support in providing weather support following the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, and a Bronze Medal for his 2005 support during the extremely active hurricane season. He was awarded the National Weather Service Southern Region Isaac M. Cline Award for Leadership in 2002.
He co-developed an innovative Southern Region leadership development program called BLAST (Building Leaders for A Solid Tomorrow). He was instrumental in launching the highly successful Turn Around, Don't Drown® flood safety program, earning him and his team a NOAA Administrator's Award in 2004 and the National Weather Association's Public Education Award in 2006. He served on numerous national hurricane committees and has served as the team leader for several National Weather Service Disaster Service Assessments. Beginning in 1998, he has also served as the principal liaison between the NOAA/NWS and one of the agency's key partners - the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH).
Mr. Cooper received a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Florida State University and a Master's degree in Geography (Climatology) from the University of New Mexico. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.
, Deputy Regional Director
National Weather Service Southern Region
(June 28, 2010) Jim Cowen is Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide where he co-manages the Emergency Risk Communication team for Ogilvy's Social Marketing Division. He currently supports the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) "FloodSmart" effort, an integrated marketing and direct response campaign to increase awareness of flood risk and the financial benefits of flood insurance.
Mr. Cowen brings more than 16 years of experience in outreach and marketing, media relations, and strategic communications, coupled with knowledge of the Homeland Security, government exercises, and the U.S. defense landscape. He served 10 years of active duty as an officer in the United States Navy where his assignments included Deputy Public Affairs Officer for the Chief of Naval Operations and Congressional Director for the Secretary of the Navy.
Mr. Cowen is a graduate of Marquette University and holds a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University. He also completed Oxford University's International Management Graduate Business Program.
, Vice President
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide/FloodSmart Program
Neill A. Currie
(February 21, 2008) Neill Currie was a co-founder of RenaissanceRe in 1993, and served as a Senior Vice President until he retired from the company in 1997. He re-joined the company in July 2005 as an Executive Vice President to oversee firm-wide marketing and client relations activities and lead the Specialty Underwriting business. In November 2005, Mr. Currie assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.
Mr. Currie has most recently served as a director of Platinum Underwriters Holdings, and has been an active supporter of numerous nonprofit initiatives in his home state of North Carolina. Prior to joining RenaissanceRe in 1993, Mr. Currie was Chief Executive Officer of G.J. Sullivan Co.- Atlanta, a private domestic reinsurance broker. From 1982 through 1992, Mr. Currie served as Senior Vice President at R/I and G.L. Hodson, predecessors to Willis Group Holdings Ltd.
, President and Chief Executive Officer
RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.
(May 16, 2013) Margaret Davidson was appointed Acting Director of the NOS Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) in April 2012. In this position, she plays a leading role in the OCRM and the Coastal Services Center plan to join forces and bring a greater and better coordinated level of products and services to their constituents.
Previously, Ms. Davidson served as special counsel and assistant attorney general for the Louisiana Department of Justice and was the executive director of the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. She joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the Director of the NOAA Coastal Services Center in 1995. She also served as the acting assistant administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service from 2000 to 2002. She holds a faculty appointment at the University of Charleston and serves on the adjunct faculties of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.
Ms. Davidson has served on numerous local, state and federal committees and has provided leadership for national professional societies. She has focused her professional work on environmentally sustainable aquaculture, mitigation of coastal hazards and impacts of climate variability on coastal resources.
Ms. Davidson has been an active participant in coastal resource management issues since 1978, when she earned her Juris Doctorate in natural resources law from Louisiana State University. She later earned a master's degree in marine policy and resource economics from the University of Rhode Island.
National Ocean Service (NOS) Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management
(June 28, 2010) Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst serves as President of the Texas Senate. Over the past seven years, Lt. Governor Dewhurst has worked to pass legislation to cut taxes, expand economic opportunity, improve public schools and universities, build more highways and protect public safety. In 2007, he led the effort to pass one of the toughest Jessica's Laws in the nation to protect children against sexual predators.
A fiscal conservative, Lt. Governor Dewhurst has reduced taxes while working to balance four budgets by holding state spending below the rate of inflation plus population growth. These conservative budgets have helped the state's economy grow faster than the national economy and create more than one million new jobs in Texas the last six years. In 2006, he fought successfully to raise teacher salaries and educational standards, increase accountability and reduce student drop-out rates, while leading the Senate in approving $7 billion per year in local school property tax cuts. To make university study more affordable, he worked to hold down tuition increases and provide more financial aid to deserving students, including passing the "B-on-Time Loan Program," which provides college students with zero-interest, forgivable loans if they graduate on time with at least a "B" average.
As Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, where he served from 1999-2002, Lt. Governor Dewhurst reduced the workforce and budget, and turned back money each of two biennia to Texas' taxpayers. He certified almost $1 billion in below-market interest rate loans to veterans to honor their service and to stimulate the Texas economy, and helped protect the environment and increase tourism by restoring Texas' beaches and bays. In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, he was appointed by Governor Rick Perry as Chairman of the Governor's Task Force on Homeland Security.
Lt. Governor Dewhurst began his business career in the late 1970s after serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, the CIA and the U.S. State Department. In the early 1980s he founded Falcon Seaboard, a Texas-based diversified energy and investments company. An early developer in the 1980s and 1990s electric cogeneration business, he has earned a reputation as an innovative and successful businessman.
Lt. Governor Dewhurst earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, then attended Georgetown University Law School.
(June 28, 2010) As an attorney and political strategist, Julie Drenner promotes sound public policy by shepherding issues ranging from legal reform to public health through the legislative process. Ms. Drenner, who came to Heartland from a legislative consulting position for The Lanier Law Firm and Texas for Family Values PAC, has worked in and around the state legislature since 2003. She has frequently testified before the legislature on topics ranging from public health to family law and has been interviewed and quoted by media outlets including CNN, The Los Angeles Times, News Austin 8, KLBJ, and Dallas Morning News. She played key roles in drafting more than 20 bills currently before the legislature.
Her involvement in her local community led her to be a founding member and serve as chairman of the board for the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, an organization dedicated to serving women and children in need.
Ms. Drenner holds a law degree from California's Oak Brooke College of Law and studied at Southern Methodist University.
, Director of Texas Office Center on Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
The Heartland Institute
The Hon. Michael Henry Dunkley, JP, MP
(June 2, 2016) The Hon. Michael Henry Dunkley, JP, MP, was appointed Premier of Bermuda on May 20, 2014.
Since 1997 he has held several Shadow Ministerial Portfolios in his Parliamentary career as both an MP and a Senator.
Following the December 2012 General Election, he was appointed Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety, later named the Ministry of National Security – a portfolio he held until its reassignment on May 13, 2016.
Widely recognized throughout Bermuda as a very successful and astute businessman, Premier Dunkley has been the Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Dunkley’s Dairy, a milk processing plant and one of the largest food importers in Bermuda. He is also President of Dunkley’s Management Holdings Ltd, Vice President of Island Properties Ltd, and former President of the Mid Ocean Club – one of Bermuda’s signature golf courses.
He attended Saltus Grammar School, Trinity College School, and the University of Richmond where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Scholar Athlete Award.
An active sportsman, Premier Dunkley is married to Pamela and they have two daughters.
(February 21, 2008) Mr. Aditya Dutt is an Executive Director in the Financial Institutions Group of Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York. He joined Morgan Stanley in 2000 and has over ten years of investment banking experience, working with financial institutions clients in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and London. His expertise is in capital raising and corporate finance advisory for the life and nonlife insurance industry and he has spent several years covering clients in Bermuda.
Mr. Dutt has been active in raising capital for insurance and reinsurance companies following 9/11 and 2005 and has worked closely with several clients on structured financing solutions and joint ventures. He has also been involved in several transactions in Asia, including the first bancassurance transaction in 1999 and establishing the first Pan-Asian reinsurer in 2006, among others. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Mr. Dutt was an associate at Salomon Brothers in New York and Hong Kong.
Mr. Dutt graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in mathematics.
(February 21, 2008) John D. Echeverria is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Echeverria is the former General Counsel of the National Audubon Society, the former General Counsel and Conservation Director of American Rivers, Inc., and a graduate of the Yale Law School and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Mr. Echeverria served as law clerk to the Honorable Gerhard Gesell of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. He has written extensively on property rights, land use and on other environmental topics. At the most recent annual meeting of the American Bar Association, Mr. Echeverria received the Jefferson Fordham Advocacy Award for his successful representation of state and local governments in regulatory takings litigation.
, Executive Director
Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute
(May 16, 2013) Chris Estes became President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Housing Conference (NHC) in 2012. Formed in 1931, the nonprofit National Housing Conference has been dedicated to helping ensure safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America. He leads NHC's policy and advocacy work both in Washington and throughout the country.
NHC has earned its strong reputation as the United Voice for Housing by actively engaging and convening its membership in nonpartisan advocacy for effective housing policy solutions at the local, state and national levels. NHC's research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, works in concert with NHC's policy, advocacy and education efforts to highlight evidence-based learning and best practices in housing development.
Mr. Estes comes to NHC after nine years as Executive Director of the North Carolina Housing Coalition, one of the nation's best-known state housing groups. Prior to his work with the Coalition, Mr. Estes worked for CAHEC, a regional tax-credit equity syndicator, and DHIC, a nonprofit affordable housing developer in Raleigh as well as several other area nonprofits as a resource development officer.
Mr. Estes graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he double-majored in Economics and Industrial Relations. He also holds two master's degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill: one from the School of Social Work with a concentration on community practice and the other from the Department of City & Regional Planning with a concentration on housing and community development.
In 2007 Mr. Estes co-authored The Economic Cost of Substandard Housing Conditions Among North Carolina Children with Dr. David Chenoweth. In 2008 he was named a Local Urban Community Advisor for the Triangle Chapter of the Urban Land Institute and a Fannie Mae Fellow. Mr. Estes was appointed to the Housing Study Committee of the NC General Assembly in 2009 and in 2011 he joined the Board of Directors of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. He has served two years on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (2012 in Charlotte, NC and Baltimore, MD in 2013).
, President & CEO
National Housing Conference
(June 23, 2009) Andrew Fahlund was appointed Vice President for Conservation at American Rivers in 2004. Working with a staff of more than 20, his department is responsible for developing and implementing innovative policy and science tools to protect and restore targeted rivers and watersheds through four principle campaigns: Healthy Waters, Water for Life, River Renewal, and River Heritage. Mr. Fahlund also serves as the co-chair of the Clean Water Network's Global Warming working group. Prior to his promotion, he directed the American Rivers Dam Reform Program. His responsibilities included directing the organization's national policy and fieldwork in these areas. Between 1999 and 2005 he served as Chair of the Hydropower Reform Coalition, a consortium of 125 conservation and recreation groups involved in restoring rivers through the licensing of hydropower dams. He served on the board of directors for the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, which certifies environmentally responsible hydropower for ?green? electricity markets.
Mr. Fahlund has served on several governmental advisory groups, has testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as numerous federal agencies, and participated in various policy forums and negotiations addressing water policy in the United States.
Mr. Fahlund received his M.S. in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, with honors.
(May 2, 2011) André Filiatrault received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1988. After a two-year stay as an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, he joined the Department of Civil Engineering at Ecole Polytechnique of the University of Montreal, where he became a Full Professor in 1997. Professor Filiatrault joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego in 1998 where he was a Professor of Structural Engineering until 2003. Currently, he is a Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB), State University of New York.
From 2003 to 2007, Professor Filiatrault served as the Deputy Director of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER). He is now serving as the Director of MCEER. His research over the last twenty two years has been centered on the seismic testing, analysis and design of Civil Engineering structures. Professor Filiatrault led the first team of French-speaking engineers who conducted emergency building inspections for the United Nations (UNOPS) following the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Since then, he has been leading through MCEER the development of a professional earthquake engineering educational program in Haiti.
, Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
University at Buffalo (UB), State University of New York
(October 8, 2014) Curtis Fisher, Northeast Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), is an attorney and a former environmental advisor to three New Jersey Governors.
Curtis has led many major successful conservation efforts, including: passing the landmark Highlands Protection Act which protected over 400,000 acres of critical habitat in northern New Jersey. In 2008, Curtis designed and launched the region's first multi-state climate vulnerability and resiliency project, including working with scientists and state fish and wildlife agencies on the first vulnerability study from Virginia to Maine. More recently, Curtis and his NWF team have worked to create model local projects to demonstrate effective conservation and green infrastructure strategies to address rising sea levels and climate change. In 2014, NWF either led or partnered on three climate resiliency projects totaling more than $10 million, with $7 million in federal funding. Curtis also leads an effort to educate and connect kids to nature via the international program called Eco-Schools in New York and New Jersey which has more Eco-Schools than any other metro region in the country with over 350 registered schools.
, Northeast Regional Executive Director
National Wildlife Federation
(June 23, 2009) Jenn Fogel-Bublick joined McBee Strategic in December, 2008. Ms. Fogel-Bublick brings 9 years of government experience to the firm, including nearly 7 with the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. As Counsel to the Banking Committee, she served under Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT). In this position, she was responsible for housing, insurance, community development, in addition to playing a key role in mortgage lending and financing. In the 110th Congress, Ms. Fogel-Bublick's portfolio included the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, as well as following general financial market conditions and government interventions. Prior to joining the Senate Banking Committee, she was a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and worked at a number of advocacy organizations.
Ms. Fogel-Bublick has a J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law, the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
(February 21, 2008) As the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Mr. Fugate oversees an agency with 138 full time staff and budget of 1.6 billion dollars (FY 2006-07). The Division coordinates disaster response, recovery, preparedness and mitigation efforts with each of the state's 67 counties and local governments. In September 2003, the Florida Emergency Management Program became the first state emergency management program in the nation to receive full accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program.
From volunteer firefighter, Paramedic, to Lieutenant with Alachua County Fire Rescue, his 15 year career in local government included serving 10 years as the Emergency Manager for Alachua County, Florida. In May of 1997, Fugate was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Preparedness and Response with the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Mr. Fugate was appointed by former Governor Bush to serve as Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management in 2001.
With the events of September 11, 2001, the Division was tasked with the role of managing the Federal Homeland Security funding and developing Florida's Domestic Security Strategy with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Governor Charlie Crist reappointed Mr. Fugate to serve as State Director in December 2006. During his tenure, Director Fugate has served as the State Coordinating Officer in over 25 Declared State Emergencies, 13 of which were Presidential Declared Disasters totaling nearly 5 billion in federal assistance.
Florida Division of Emergency Management
(July 10, 2008) Mr. Galagan has 17 years of technical and management experience. Mr. Galagan makes extensive use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and numerical modeling technologies for scientific studies, and has developed and implemented numerous software applications for coastal and marine environmental investigations. He has provided GIS, coastal/environmental geology and sediment transport model application capabilities within Applied Science Associates since January 1992.
Mr. Galagan holds a B.S. degree in geology from George Mason University (1987), and a M.S. degree in geology from The University of Rhode Island (1990).
Jennifer Gerbasi, J.D., CFM
Terrebonne Parish Department of Planning and Zoning - Recovery Assistance and Mitigation Planning Division
(October 30, 2012) Jennifer Gerbasi joined the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government Department of Planning and Zoning, Houma, LA in July 2008 to complete the Hazard Mitigation Plan Update and implement the Long Term Recovery Plan goals for the Parish. Toward that end, Jennifer has developed successful applications for $39M FEMA hazard mitigation grant programs, drafted the Gustav/Ike Recovery Plan for over $135M in Community Development Block Grant funds and is implementing $56M in programs for elevations, acquisitions, reconstructions, marine debris removal, and five critical facility hardening projects.
Jennifer's earlier work included policy and advocacy work in the areas of soil and water protection in Tennessee and the Mississippi River Basin, water rights, and international trade. She has earned degrees in law from the University of San Diego, a Master's of Professional Sciences from Cornell University, a Masters in Advocacy from Georgetown Law School, and has earned certifications as a Water Operator and Floodplain Manager.
Jennifer Gerbasi, J.D., CFM
, Senior Planner
Terrebonne Parish Department of Planning and Zoning - Recovery Assistance and Mitigation Planning Division
Dr. Ian Giammanco
(October 8, 2014) Dr. Ian Giammanco is a Lead Research Meteorologist at Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety's (IBHS) Research Center in South Carolina. His responsibilities include providing leadership in instrumentation design and data collection, multi-hazard testing, field measurement programs, and provides guidance on weather and climate issues within the IBHS public policy program.
He is currently serving a three-year term on the American Meteorological Society's Committee on Weather and Climate Financial Risk Management. Dr. Giammanco has over a decade of meteorological field research experience, serving as the field coordinator for the IBHS Characteristics of Hail Field Program and participating in numerous hurricane and severe thunderstorm field research projects, including the National Science Foundation and NOAA funded VORTEX 2.
Dr. Giammanco received a bachelor's degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2002. He also holds a master's degree in Atmospheric Science, as well as a Ph.D. in Wind Science and Engineering both from Texas Tech University. During his doctoral studies he was appointed as a National Science Foundation — Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training Fellow, and served as an intern scientist at NOAA's Hurricane Research Division in Miami. Dr. Giammanco is currently appointed as an Adjunct Faculty Research Associate within the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University.
Dr. Ian Giammanco
, Lead Meteorologist
Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety
(June 28, 2010) Mike Gifford, CBCP, is an IT Senior Manager within IT Risk Management for the Capital Group Companies' Information Technology Group (ITG). His responsibilities include managing Capital's Disaster Recovery Program and IT Risk Support, and being the insurance liaison for IT.
Prior to joining the Capital Group Companies in March 2005, Mr. Gifford was the Director of Audit Assurance and Regulatory Programs for JPMorganChase's Global Technology Infrastructure team. Before the merger of Bank One with JPMC in 2004, he was the Director of Disaster Recovery for Bank One's Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) team within Technology and Operations. He also worked for State Farm Insurance for 21 years in a variety of leadership positions, including manager of the Systems Disaster Recovery Team, and manager of the Systems Catastrophe Services team.
Mr. Gifford served as the founding President of the Alamo Chapter, San Antonio, TX for 4 years and has now joined the National Board of the Association of Contingency Planners as its National Director of Membership. He is also a member of board of directors of the Fund, San Antonio, TX.
Mr. Gifford earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota.
, IT Senior Manager
Capital Group Company Information Technology Group/Association of Continuity Planners
Dr. Isaac Ginis
(December 3, 2008) Dr. Isaac Ginis, Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island and Principal Scientist at WeatherPredict Consulting Inc., has an international reputation as a leading expert in numerical modeling and forecasting of air-sea interaction during hurricanes. Dr. Ginis was chairman and co-founder of Accurate Environmental Forecasting Inc., which provided customized environmental modeling products to the reinsurance industry since 1998. AEF was acquired by RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. in 2007.
Dr. Ginis is actively involved in both U.S. and international tropical cyclone research and forecast communities. He has published over 70 papers in scientific journals and books on this topic and authored a chapter on hurricane-ocean interaction for the book "Global Perspectives on Tropical Cyclones" published by the World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland in 1995. His ground-breaking work in developing a coupled hurricane-ocean interaction model has led to significant improvement in hurricane forecasting. The National Weather Service has embraced this model and made it operational for the National Hurricane Center in 2001 in the Atlantic basin. In 2004, the model was implemented for the eastern Pacific basin and, in 2007, for global tropical cyclone forecasting by the U.S. Navy.
Dr. Ginis is a recipient of several national awards, including the 2001 NOAA Outstanding Scientific Paper Award, the 2002 National Oceanographic Partnership Program Excellence Award. He has been named the 2002 Environmental Hero by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Sarah Owen Gledhill
(December 3, 2008) Ms. Owen Gledhill is a nationally certified land use planner for the Florida Wildlife Federation, a statewide nonprofit conservation organization. She heads up the Northeast Florida field office where she applies her skills and knowledge when addressing growth management issues in seven counties. Ms. Owen Gledhill has provided expert witness testimony in a number of coastal planning hearings. Her involvement with coastal planning began with the Florida Wildlife Federation's participation with the Town of Marineland's comprehensive plan.
Ms. Owen Gledhill obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Florida. She received her Master of Arts degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida.
(May 16, 2013) Wayne Goodwin was first elected as Insurance Commissioner by the citizens of North Carolina in 2008, and returned to office for a second term in 2012. As Insurance Commissioner, Mr. Goodwin has been a champion for consumers through fair rate-making, injury prevention efforts, and close regulation of insurance company solvency and industry practices.
Since taking the oath of office, he has redoubled the department's efforts in fighting insurance fraud and has saved approximately $1.4 billion for North Carolina's consumers and businesses.
Commissioner Goodwin has also been very active with the work of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, where he has focused on preserving state-based insurance regulations.
In addition to his responsibilities as Insurance Commissioner, Mr. Goodwin is also the State Fire Marshal where he plays a vital role in protecting lives and property in North Carolina. The Office of State Fire Marshal is responsible for training fire and rescue personnel, administering the state building code, securing property insurance for state-owned buildings, and reviewing construction plans for state building projects.
A native of Hamlet, North Carolina, where his family was active in agriculture, banking and textiles, Mr. Goodwin served as the Assistant Insurance Commissioner from 2004 to 2008. Prior to joining the Department of Insurance, he served four consecutive terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives where he represented Richmond, Scotland, Montgomery and Stanly Counties.
Mr. Goodwin is a Morehead Scholar and U.S. Senate/William Randolph Hearst Scholar. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with honors in political science, and received his juris doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of Law before practicing law in Richmond County for 13 years.
, Insurance Commissioner & State Fire Marshal
(October 8, 2014) Jessica Grannis is the Adaptation Program Manager for the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) and a staff attorney and adjunct professor at the Harrison Institute, at Georgetown University Law Center. She supervises students and GCC staff who work directly with state and local government officials on projects to help them adapt to climate change.
Her recent publications include an Adaptation Tool Kit for Sea Level Rise (2012); and a book chapter on Coastal Retreat in the Law of Climate Change: U.S. and International Aspects (2012, with Peter Byrne). Prior to joining the Climate Center, she was staff counsel for the California State Coastal Conservancy and the Ocean Protection Council.
(June 2, 2016) Katherine is Deputy Director at the NYC Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency.
She previously worked as Senior Policy Advisor focused on climate change and insurance at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and on the Hurricane Sandy
Rebuilding Task Force under Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, where she also worked on insurance policy.
Prior to the Task Force, Ms. Greig worked at the Boston Consulting Group and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She has an MALD (Masters of Law and Diplomacy) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, an MBA
from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business and a BA from Stanford.
, Deputy Director
NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency
(May 16, 2013) Tom Hall has 23 years of engineering experience conducting loss investigations following hurricanes, floods, tornados, storm surges, hail storms and roof collapses due to snow loading or rain water ponding. Mr. Hall has missed only a few of the major hurricanes or floods in the eastern United States in the past 20 years.
Mr. Hall is a specialist in roofing design and analysis for wind resistance, as well as fire ratings. A major focus of his career has been devoted to the field evaluation of roofing and building envelopes for resistance to wind and hurricane related damage.
Mr. Hall is a founding member and former president of the Carolinas Chapter of the Roof Consultants Institute. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues, which is a technical research group focused on weather related roofing failures and performance.
, Technical Director - Natural Hazards
Zurich North American - Risk Engineering
(October 8, 2014) Ethan Handelman is the Vice President for Policy and Advocacy, National Housing Conference (NHC). He directs NHC's policy and advocacy agenda focused on advancing federal housing policy to assist low- and moderate-income people, strengthening the nation's housing finance system, restoring neighborhoods, advocating for housing policy during tax and budgetary reforms, and improving the coordination of housing, transportation and energy policy. He has testified before Congress and speaks and writes regularly on housing issues.
Mr. Handelman joined NHC in March, 2011, after leading the advisory practice at Recap Real Estate Advisors, assisting public- and private-sector clients to understand and shape the affordable housing financial and policy environment. Ethan received his MA in International Relations from Harvard University and holds a BA in Political Science from University of Michigan. He serves on the board of Housing Unlimited, a non-profit housing provider in Montgomery County, Maryland.
, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy
National Housing Conference
(June 23, 2009) Paul Harrison leads Environmental Defense Fund's campaign to secure restoration of the natural functioning of the Mississippi River Delta and wetlands complex, where 2,000 of 7,000 square miles of land have been lost in less than a century as flood control, navigation, and energy extraction activities turned off the natural land-building mechanisms of the river. This task must be accomplished while addressing the needs and health of southern Louisiana's diverse communities and economic infrastructure?including oil and gas, ports and navigation, and fisheries.
Paul manages our coalition of national and local civic groups using the negotiation, organizing, and technical analysis skills he acquired as a litigating attorney in Washington and while organizing New York City communities in support of neighborhood traffic calming.
, Senior Director - Mississippi River & East Coast, Center for Rivers and Deltas
Environmental Defense Fund
Dr. Robert Hartwig
(December 3, 2008) Robert Hartwig is president of the Insurance Information Institute, which is generally recognized to be the most credible and frequently used single source of information and referral for the widely diverse insurance industry. Since joining the I.I.I. in 1998 as an economist and becoming chief economist in 1999, Dr. Hartwig has focused his work on improving understanding of key insurance issues across all industry stakeholders including media, consumers, insurers, producers, regulators, legislators and investors. He makes frequent presentations to industry associations, company management, industry executives, analysts and clients and speaks internationally on a wide range of insurance issues. Dr. Hartwig serves as a media spokesperson for the property/casualty insurance industry, and is quoted frequently in leading publications, as well as appearing regularly on television. He has testified before numerous state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Dr. Hartwig previously served as director of economic research and senior economist with the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) in Boca Raton, Florida, where he performed rate of return and cost of capital modeling and testified at workers' compensation rate hearings in many states. He has also worked as senior economist for the Swiss Reinsurance Group in New York and as senior statistician for the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the American Economic Association, the American Risk and Insurance Association, the National Association of Business Economics and the CPCU Society and from May 2005 to May 2008 served on the board of directors of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association of New York. In 2005 and 2006 Dr. Hartwig served on the state of Florida's Task Force for Long-Term Homeowners Insurance Solutions.
Dr. Hartwig received his Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Hartwig holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) credential.
(May 2, 2011) Joanne Hayes-White was sworn in by Mayor Newsom as the 25th Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department on January 16, 2004. San Francisco is now the largest urban fire department in the world with a female chief. Chief Hayes-White oversees a department of approximately 1,800 members and an operating budget of $250 million.
A San Francisco native, Chief Hayes-White came to the department after graduating from the University of Santa Clara with a degree in business. She was hired as a firefighter in April 1990, promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1993 and to the rank of Captain in January 1996. In May 1996 she was made acting Battalion Chief with oversight of the department's dispatch and communications systems. She oversaw the installation of the computer-aided system (CAD) and automated information systems and by doing so, streamlined and improved the department's dispatch and records management capabilities.
Also accomplished during her tenure as the Battalion Chief for Dispatch and Communications, Hayes-White spearheaded the unification of City dispatch operations into the single Emergency Communications Department, a process that combined Fire, EMS, and police dispatch communications under one roof, improving response times and service to the community, as well as strengthening interagency cooperation and collaboration. Promoted to Assistant Deputy Chief in 1998, she was responsible for the Division of Support Services, the Bureau of Communications, the Bureau of Equipment, the Bureau of Engineering and Water Supply, Management Information Systems, and all facility repairs, maintenance and renovations.
Chief Hayes-White is very proud of the fact that she has, either as a Firefighter or Officer, worked at every one of San Francisco's forty-two fire stations. She serves on the Boards of the American Red Cross - Bay Area Chapter, the Hibernian Newman Club and Mercy High School, San Francisco.
(June 28, 2010) John Henneberger is one of the state's leading authorities on low-income housing issues and government housing policy. His work began in 1974, when, as an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, he was a full-time volunteer in an inner-city African-American community confronting problems of lack of housing and gentrification. Since then, Mr. Henneberger has worked with low-income communities to establish eight nonprofit community development corporations in Texas that have built and rehabilitated more than 500 individual housing units. He is recognized as an innovator in community development.
Mr. Henneberger has drafted and worked for passage of landmark housing legislation in the areas of consumer rights, public housing resident representation, colonias housing initiatives, open records, and the allocation of public resources. In addition to his legislative advocacy, Mr. Henneberger is a tireless administrative advocate before housing agencies and departments. His advocacy work has won the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service the Texas Outstanding Public Service Award from his public interest colleagues working in the Legislature.
Mr. Henneberger is a past board member of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and a founding member of Iniciativa Frontera. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Texas at Austin.
, Professional Staff Member
House Committee on Homeland Security
Alice C. Hill
Senior Advisor for Preparedness and Resilience to the Assistance to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, National Security Council Staff, White House
(October 8, 2014) Retired Judge Alice C. Hill joined the White House National Security Council staff in September 2013 as the Senior Advisor for Preparedness and Resilience to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Lisa Monaco. In this capacity, she serves as the principal advisor on issues involving preparedness and resilience to climate change. Her duties include providing advice and counsel on implementation of the President's Climate Action Plan, developing policy regarding building resilient infrastructure, removing barriers to ensuring resiliency, promoting creation of innovative delivery of climate change related information, fostering regional coordination of federal climate preparedness and resilience services, and leading interagency policy groups.
Prior to joining the White House, Judge Hill served as the Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. She also previously served as a Supervisory Judge on both the Los Angeles Superior Court and the Los Angeles Municipal Court. Judge Hill received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and her BA from Stanford University.
Alice C. Hill
, Senior Advisor for Preparedness and Resilience to the Assistance to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, National Security Council Staff
(May 2, 2011) Mr. Holmes is currently Chair of the Project Steering Committee on the FEMA-funded project, Development of Next Generation Performance Based Design, ATC 58, and serves on the Project Management Committee on several other ATC and BSSC research-to-practice projects. A structural engineer, he has been responsible for the structural design or seismic retrofit of many buildings as well as being active in significant research and development in structural and seismic engineering. He has been active in the development of seismic codes and guidelines since he served on the SEAOC Seismology Committee in the mid-seventies and had a key role in the conceptual development of the NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings (FEMA 273/356-ASCE 41). He also served as Chair of the Provision Update Committee, responsible for updating the NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings, 1997 and 2000 editions and is currently Chair of the Building Seismic Safety Council's Board.
Mr. Holmes serves on the Board of the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE) and on the NEES Governance Board. He received his BS and MS from Stanford University.
(May 2, 2011) Jeff Huebner is the Vice President of Cash, Investments and Risk Management for AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Insurance Exchange, a leading provider of personal lines insurance in twenty-three states across the country. Mr. Huebner leads functions relating to treasury operations, investment of approximately $5 billion, operations of three captive insurance companies, corporate insurance, safety and workers' compensation, and ceded and assumed reinsurance, including property catastrophe risk management. He has worked at AAA for ten years.
Mr. Huebner's previous experience includes commercial casualty insurance brokerage, risk management for a real estate investment trust, and personal lines sales. He has an MBA from Notre Dame de Namur University in California and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.
, Vice President, Cash, Investments and Risk Management
AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Insurance Exchange
John M. Huff
(June 2, 2016) Director John M. Huff was appointed director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration by Gov. Jay Nixon on Feb. 6, 2009. An attorney, he leads the department that protects consumers through the regulation of professionals and businesses that impact Missourians' lives daily.
Director Huff was elected by his peers to serve as the 2016 president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the national insurance standard-setting organization for the U.S.
In September 2010, he was appointed to the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council by the NAIC. Director Huff served two terms on the council and was the initial state insurance regulator appointed. The council was created
by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Before entering public service, he spent 11 years as an executive with leading insurers and reinsurers, including Swiss Re and GE Insurance Solutions. Director Huff earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Southeast Missouri State University. He earned an MBA at Saint Louis University, and his juris doctor degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
John M. Huff
, Director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration
State of Missouri
Senator Mike Jackson
(June 28, 2010) Elected to the Texas Senate in 1998, Mike Jackson represents Senate District 11, which includes portions of Brazoria, Harris and Galveston Counties. He chairs the Senate Nominations Committee and is a member of the Senate State Affairs Committee, the Business and Commerce Committee, the Natural Resources Committee, and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. Sen. Jackson is also a five-term veteran of the Texas House of Representatives where he represented District 129.
Since the session ended in June, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has appointed Sen. Jackson to serve as a member of the new Texas Windstorm Insurance Legislative Oversight Board, created as part of a comprehensive bill, which Sen. Jackson sponsored in the Senate, overhauling the state's windstorm insurance pool. Dewhurst also chose him as a Texas representative to the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference as well as to another term on the Redistricting and Elections Committee and to a new position on the Environment Committee, both of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sen. Jackson was also recently appointed as Co-Chairman of the Texas Conservative Coalition's Task Force on Transportation.
Some of Sen. Jackson's honors include a "Coastal Stewardship Award" from the General Land Office and the American Shore and Coastal Preservation Association; a "Special Recognition Award" from America's Wetland Foundation; the "Texas Affordable Housing Leadership Award;" the Texas Chemical Council's "Legislative Leadership Award;" and the distinction of "Gulf Coast Area Statesman of the Year," from Vocational Guidance Services.
, Senator/Senate Nominations Committee Chair
(October 30, 2012) Pamela Jenkins, Ph.D., is a Research Professor of Sociology and faculty in the Women's Studies Program at the University of New Orleans. She is a founding and associate member of UNO's Center for Hazard Assessment, Response and Technology. Before Katrina, her research interests were diverse but focused on how communities respond to a variety of problems.
Her research interests post Katrina include documenting the response to Katrina as part of a national research team on Hurricane Katrina evacuees. She has published on first responders, faith-based communities' response to the storm, and the experiences of elderly during and after Katrina. At a community level, she is involved in several projects that work directly with best practice for violence prevention including domestic and community violence.
, Research Professor, Sociology
University of New Orleans
(October 30, 2012) Susan Kaderka is the Regional Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation's South Central Regional Office. Since 1999 she has overseen NWF's conservation and environmental education initiatives in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Iowa, with a particular focus on the conservation and restoration of water resources.
In 2001, she launched the Texas Living Waters program, a multi-year collaborative effort that has successfully advanced more sustainable water management and use in Texas. Susan has also led NWF's advocacy on behalf of the restoration of coastal Louisiana. She has served on the Louisiana Governor's Advisory Commission on Coastal Restoration and Conservation, and has advocated for federal support for an ecosystem-scale restoration program for the area.
Susan has more than 18 years of experience in environmental program management, in both the non-profit and state government sectors, and six years' experience as a consultant and trainer for non-profit organizations. She also spent five years as a policy analyst and as director of policy research for the Texas House of Representatives. She holds a Master's degree in Journalism and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, both from the University of Texas at Austin.
, Regional Executive Director
National Wildlife Federation's South Central Regional Office
(October 8, 2014) As President and Executive Director of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR), Mr. Kading directs ABIR's public policy activities around the world.
Mr. Kading gives talks regularly to numerous policymaker and industry groups and has had articles published in the Journal of Insurance Regulation and in the Geneva Association Papers on Risk and Insurance.
Prior to joining ABIR, Mr. Kading served for 14 years as Senior Vice President and Director of State Relations for the Reinsurance Association of America.
, President & Executive Director
Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers
(May 2, 2011) Sarah Karlinsky the Deputy Director of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), a public policy think tank promoting good planning and good government. Ms. Karlinsky is responsible for managing SPUR's housing, community planning and disaster planning work, and for coordinating SPUR's policy efforts. Prior to joining SPUR, Ms. Karlinsky developed affordable housing throughout the Bay Area with Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition (MPHC), one of the largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing in the Bay Area. Ms. Karlinsky is a board member of TransForm and the Community Housing Partnership and has taught land use planning at San Francisco State University. She is the author of several essays on planning, including "The Long Road Home: What Has the Market and Octavia Plan Taught Us About Community Planning in San Francisco?" and "Toronto's Good Bones." Ms. Karlinsky began her career teaching urban planning to middle school students as a Teach for America Corps Member in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her Master's degree in public policy and urban planning from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Ms. Karlinsky also holds a BA in History from Columbia University.
, Deputy Director
San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association
(June 23, 2009) Bill Kelly is President of SAHF, the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future. SAHF is a consortium of nine national social enterprise nonprofits committed to affordable rental housing. His prior experience includes 25 years as a partner in the Washington DC office of the law firm of Latham & Watkins, where his practice included all aspects of project finance, including affordable housing and energy finance. He also served as a senior advisor to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Carla Hills, and as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Mr. Kelly is a director of Ashoka Innovators for the Public, the International Senior Lawyers Project, the Governance Institute, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and the National Human Services Assembly.
For having launched a second career innovating in the social sector, he was named a Purpose Prize Fellow in 2007, and was Mullen Visiting Professor at Georgetown University.
Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future
Ernst W. Kiesling, P.E., Ph.D.
(June 28, 2010) Dr. Kiesling directs the storm shelter program for the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech, including the debris impact test facility. He was instrumental in founding the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) in 2000 and has served as Executive Director since 2001.
Dr. Kiesling has spent most of his career administering engineering education and research programs at Texas Tech University. He was Chairman of the Civil Engineering Department for twenty years, during which time the wind science and engineering research program was formed and the concept of the above-ground storm shelter emerged. Some have referred to Dr. Kiesling as the "Father of the Safe Room". He was awarded the FLASH Leadership Award at Disney's Epcot Center in 2009.
Dr. Kiesling is a member of the International Code Council (ICC) committee that developed the ICC-500, the ANSI-approved Safe Room Standard. He was recently awarded a Hazard Mitigation Grant to develop web-based instructional programs on storm shelter quality.
, Executive Director
Texas Tech University/National Storm Shelter Association
(June 28, 2010) Troy Kimmel, a native Texan, was involved in broadcast meteorology even before graduating from university. Starting in television back in 1978 at KBTX-TV in Bryan/College Station, he was responsible as Weather Director for the weeknight weathercasts. In 1984, he moved to KVUE 24 Television (ABC) in Austin where he worked for almost ten years. He has since worked as Chief Meteorologist with the Lower Colorado River Authority, KTBC/Fox 7 Television, KEYE Television and KVET/KASE (Clear Channel) Radio Stations in Austin.
Mr. Kimmel has been involved in teaching in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas at Austin since 1988. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2007. He also serves as Manager of the Weather and Climate Resource Center in the Department of Geography and the Environment. In addition, he serves as a member on the University of Texas Safety and Security Committee as well as a member of the Public Affairs Advisory Committee in the College of Liberal Arts.
Mr. Kimmel has been elected as a Councilor of the National Weather Association for 2008 through 2010. In addition, he is author of several publications including Inclement/Severe Weather and Extreme Temperature/Precipitation/Wind/Pressure Climatology for Austin and South Central Texas (2006), SkyWarn - A Guide for National Weather Service Spotters in South Central Texas (2004), Central Texas Law Enforcement Weather Spotting/Information/Safety Handbook (2004) as well as the USA Broadcast Meteorologist/Weathercaster Directory (1999).
Mr. Kimmel is a member of Austin Police Department's Civil Defense Battalion and CERT Team (where he has a special assignment to the Austin Police Department Training Academy, the Austin Airport Public Safety Division, the Operations Area at Austin Bergstrom International Airport and the Office of Emergency Management). In addition, he volunteers as the Texas State Coordinator of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, which is a national citizens grassroots weather observer network based at Colorado State University with support of NOAA/National Weather Service and the National Science Foundation.
Mr. Kimmel has a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A & M University.
, Chief Meteorologist
University of Texas at Austin
(June 28, 2010) Butch Kinerney is Chief of Communications for the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration in the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington D.C. In that role he oversees communications efforts aimed at helping communities and the public build safer, stronger and smarter to lessen the impact of natural and manmade disasters.
Mr. Kinerney has served in many capacities since joining FEMA in 2004: spokesperson for the National Flood Insurance Program, spokesperson for FEMA's Mitigation Division and he received a battlefield appointment to Press Secretary during the 2005 hurricane season immediately following the departure of FEMA senior staff in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He's also been a field disaster information officer for a number of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other events.
For five years, Mr. Kinerney was a Public Affairs Specialist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, VA responsible for communications activities associated with natural hazards including floods, earthquakes and volcanoes along with water quantity and quality issues. He also led the USGS communications response to the West Nile Virus outbreak in the United States from 1999 to 2004. Prior to joining the federal system, he served as Chief Public Information Officer of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and as a Community Affairs Officer at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
Mr. Kinerney spent nearly six years in daily newspaper journalism in the early 1990s after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Richard Knabb, Ph.D.
(May 16, 2013) Richard Knabb, Ph.D., is the Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.
Dr. Knabb received his Bachelor's Degree in Atmospheric Science from Purdue University (1990) and his Masters of Science and Doctorate in Meteorology from the Florida State University (1993, 1999). He completed his postdoctoral work at the University of Hawaii (2000).
From 1999 to 2001, Dr. Knabb was a Research Meteorologist and Lead Forecaster at the Mauna Kea Weather Center. He joined Risk Management Solutions, Inc., in Newark, California, in 2001 as an Assistant Product Manager for Weather Risk.
Later that year, he joined NOAA's National Hurricane Center as the Science and Operations Officer, and was a senior hurricane specialist there between 2005 and 2008.
In 2008, Dr. Knabb became the Deputy Director of NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He served in that capacity until 2010, when he joined The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia as its on-air Hurricane Expert and Tropical Science Program Manager.
He is a member of the American Meteorological Society.
Dr. Gregory Kopp
(February 21, 2008) Between 1995 and 1997 Dr. Kopp held a NSERC Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Chemical Engineering Department at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain. He returned to Canada in the summer of 1997 to an appointment of Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario and as a Senior Research Engineer at the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory. He was promoted to Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering in July 2007. He currently holds a Canada Research Chair in Wind Engineering and is a Faculty Scholar in the Faculty of Engineering. Dr. Kopp is currently also a Research Director and a member of the Board of Directors of the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory.
Dr. Kopp received a B.Sc.M.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1989, a M.Eng. from McMaster University in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1995.
Dr. Gregory Kopp
, Professor & Canada Research Chair, Wind Engineering
University of Western Ohio
(June 23, 2009) John Kostyack is Senior Counsel in the National Wildlife Federation's (NWF) Washington D.C. office, where he manages the Federation's Species Conservation Program, a nationwide effort to protect and restore endangered species and other imperiled wildlife. His responsibilities include strategic planning, management, policy analysis, advocacy, media and public education on land use and biodiversity conservation. A leading expert on the Endangered Species Act, he is responsible for overseeing NWF's advocacy on imperiled species before Congress, the federal agencies and the courts. He also supervises NWF's outreach efforts on imperiled species conservation, such as Endangered Species University, Species Recovery Fund, Frogwatch, and other partnerships with NWF state affiliates and like-minded organizations.
Mr. Kostyack has served as counsel for NWF and other environmental groups in a variety of legal initiatives, including an ongoing campaign to re-orient the federal government's policies toward development in the habitat of the critically-endangered Florida panther. In 2001, he secured a major legal victory for an environmental coalition in Sacramento, California, that sets a national precedent concerning regional habitat conservation planning under the Endangered Species Act.
In 2000, Mr. Kostyack launched NWF's Smart Growth and Wildlife initiative, which is working in key places around the country to counter development harmful to imperiled fish, wildlife and plants, and to promote development alternatives that benefit people and wildlife. He has advocated for imperiled species and habitats in testimony before House and Senate committees, on television and radio broadcasts, in written comments on legislative and regulatory proposals, and at numerous conferences, meetings and workshops. Mr. Kostyack joined NWF in February 1994.
Prior to joining NWF, he worked six years for a private law firm in Washington, D.C., and two years as a federal judicial clerk in Florida. He has also worked extensively on land use issues as a volunteer leader for Sierra Club chapters in Washington, D.C. and Florida.
He holds a J.D. from Stetson University College Law in St. Petersburg, Florida, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.
(October 8, 2014) Daniel Kreeger is co-founder and executive director of the Association of Climate Change Officers. He has vast experience establishing partnerships and collaborating with Federal agencies, municipal governments, environmental non-profits, academic institutions and multinational corporations, and has a unique familiarity of key climate and sustainability leaders and initiatives in the United States.
Since 2008, Mr. Kreeger has been a leader in producing industry leading professional development conferences such as the GreenGov Symposium (in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality) and the Climate Leadership Conference and Awards (in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). In 2013, he launched ACCO's efforts to develop the world's first comprehensive climate change certification program.
He is a native Floridian and is graduate of Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Kreeger has published numerous papers and spoken at dozens of industry events on operational and workforce issues related to climate change, environmental sustainability and national security. He serves on the Dean's Council of Advisors at the FIU College of Architecture and the Arts, is an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University School of Law, and frequently lectures at top sustainability focused graduate and executive education programs such as Harvard and Arizona State University.
, Executive Director
Association of Climate Change Officers
(June 23, 2009) Howard Kunreuther is the Cecilia Yen Koo Professor of Decision Sciences and Public Policy at the Wharton School, and Co-Director of the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. He has a long-standing interest in ways that society can better manage low-probability/high-consequence events related to technological and natural hazards and has published extensively on the topic. He is a member of the OECD's High Level Advisory Board on Financial Management of Large-Scale Catastrophes; a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); a member of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program's Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction; Distinguished Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis, receiving the Society's Distinguished Achievement Award in 2001.
Dr. Kunreuther has written and co-edited numerous books and papers, including On Risk and Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina, (with Ronald J. Daniels and Donald F. Kettl; 2006), Catastrophe Modeling: A New Approach to Managing Risks (with Patricia Grossi; 2005), and Paying The Price: The State of Natural Disaster Insurance in the United States (with John Roth, Sr.; 1998). He is the recipient of the Elizur Wright Award for the publication that makes the most significant contribution to the literature of insurance.
Dr. Kunreuther received his Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Howard Kunreuther
, Co-Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, Wharton School
The Honorable Mitchell J. Landrieu
(October 30, 2012) The Honorable Mitchell ("Mitch") J. Landrieu was sworn in as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans on May 3, 2010. He has pledged to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for the people of New Orleans. Mitch knows it will be a long, hard road to overcome the City's challenges, but together we can create jobs, improve schools and make streets safe.
Mitch's governing philosophy is rooted in his Jesuit education, where he learned to be committed to service. He was educated at Jesuit High School, Catholic University, and earned a law degree from Loyola University.
Mitch had a successful law practice for 15 years. He became an expert mediator, focusing on alternative dispute resolution. In life, law and government, he always seeks to bring people together to find common ground.
As a State Legislator, Mitch represented the Broadmoor neighborhood for 16 years. During his tenure, he made his mark as a reformer who could get the job done. As Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, Mitch served as an executive, managing a $127 million budget and 800 employees. To deliver results, he put in place strict standards of accountability.
After Hurricane Katrina, he led the effort to rebuild the tourism industry and the thousands of jobs it creates. And when other government agencies failed, Mitch's team got more than $22 million in grant money from Congress into the hands of hundreds of homeowners quickly. During his tenure, Mitch focused on creating jobs. He launched the Cultural Economy initiative to grow jobs through our culture, music, food, film and art. The cultural economy accounts for 144,000 jobs in our state.
(May 2, 2011) Edwin M. Lee is the 43rd Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco. The former City Administrator, Lee was appointed unanimously as successor mayor by the Board of Supervisors on January 11, 2011 to fill the remaining year of former Mayor Gavin Newsom's term, who was sworn in as California's Lieutenant Governor on January 10, 2011. Lee is the first Asian-American mayor in San Francisco history.
In 2010, Mayor Lee was appointed to a second term as City Administrator by Mayor Newsom and his appointment was confirmed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors. As City Administrator, Mayor Lee spearheaded government efficiency measures and reforms that reduced the size and cost of government, from reducing the vehicle fleet to consolidating departments and back office functions to save tax dollars. He implemented the City's move to cleaner vehicles and an infrastructure to support electric vehicles and green City government. Mayor Lee also developed and oversaw implementation of the City's first ever Ten Year Capital Plan to guide our capital priorities and infrastructure investment.
Working with the Department of Emergency Management, Mayor Lee has overseen the City's disaster recovery and response planning efforts, bringing every department together to coordinate response and recovery for the next major earthquake or emergency. With the Fire Chief, Mayor Lee led efforts to work with PG&E to assess the City's gas and electric infrastructure and ensure its safety and reliability. For the 2010 U.S. Census, Mayor Lee organized the outreach efforts to ensure our City continues to make progress on inclusion and cultural competency.
Mayor Lee first began working for the City and County of San Francisco in 1989 as the Investigator for the City's first Whistle Blower Ordinance and has since served as the Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission, Director of City Purchasing, and Director of the Department of Public Works before he was first appointed as City Administrator in 2005.
Prior to his employment with the City and County of San Francisco, Mayor Lee was the Managing Attorney for the San Francisco Asian Law Caucus, for which he worked from 1979 to 1989. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bowdoin College and from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley.
City and County of San Francisco
(December 3, 2008) Eli Lehrer is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute?a think tank with offices in Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee, Florida. At CEI, he directs studies of insurance, natural disaster, and credit policies. He has played a leading role in the Americans for Smart Natural Catastrophe Policy coalition and has written extensively about flood policy.
Prior to joining CEI, Lehrer worked as speechwriter to United States Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.). He has previously worked as a manager in the Unisys Corporation's Homeland Security Practice, as Senior Editor of The American Enterprise magazine, and as a fellow for the Heritage Foundation. He has spoken at Yale and George Washington Universities. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Washington Times, Weekly Standard, National Review, The Public Interest, Salon.com, and dozens of other publications. He also serves on the board of the independent think tank D.C. Progress.
He holds a B.A. (Cum Laude) from Cornell University and a M.A. (with honors) from The Johns Hopkins University where his Master's thesis focused on the Federal Emergency Management Agency and flood insurance.
, Senior Fellow
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Michael Lingerfelt, FAIA LEED AP
(May 16, 2013) Michael Lingerfelt is a high-energy executive with more than 33 years of experience in design and project delivery. His resume documents a results-oriented executive with a proven ability to lead large, complex projects and multi-disciplined design teams. To date, he has built over $3.6B in hard construction. This diverse portfolio of projects ranges from schools, theme park attractions, merchandise, restaurants, health care and hospitality facilities.
Mr. Lingerfelt has served on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Disaster Assistance Committee (beginning in 2007 and currently as chair in 2013), represented the AIA at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute's Strategic Plan 2009 - 2014 Focus Group, participated in the Haiti Rebuilding Summits (2010 and 2011) and has been a California Emergency Management Agency Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Trainer since 2008. To date, he has trained over 1,185 architects, engineers, building officials and inspectors in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas and the US Virgin Islands.
He has provided safety assessment evaluations for Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA (2004), Northridge, CA Earthquake (1994), Birmingham, AL (2011), as well as fire and flood assessments in California.
Mr. Lingerfelt has completed the Emergency Management Institute's Professional Series (2009) that includes IS 100 - Introduction to the Incident Command System, IS 139 - Exercise Design, IS 200 - ICS for Single Resources & Initial Action Incidents, IS 230 - Principles of Emergency Management, IS 235 - Emergency Planning, IS 241 - Decision Making & Problem Solving, IS 240 - Leadership & Influence, IS 242 - Effective Communication, IS 244 - Developing & Managing Volunteers, IS 700 - National Incident Management System (NIMS) an Introduction and IS 800 National Response Framework and Introduction.
He has been responsible for negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding between the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects and the Building Officials Association of Florida, the City of Orlando, Orange County Government and is finalizing one with the Florida Department of Emergency Management.
Mr. Lingerfelt was elevated into the prestigious American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 2012 for his efforts in advocating that architects should serve the public surrounding a disaster. The Fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. Out of a total AIA membership of over 80,000, over 3,000 members are distinguished with this honor.
Nanette J. Lockwood
(December 3, 2008) Ms. Lockwood brings over 14 years of professional engineering experience to her position as the Director of Legislative Affairs at Solutia Inc, a global performance materials and specialty chemicals company. Her responsibilities include working with state legislatures and federal governments to bring about adoption of statewide building codes that increase hurricane resistance. To date, Ms. Lockwood has helped get stronger hurricane resistant codes adopted in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana where strong mandatory statewide codes are now in effect. She is currently working in Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.
Most recently, Ms. Lockwood held the position of Director of Building Codes and Engineering at the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). Her responsibilities included strengthening building codes to increase the resistance of structures to natural disasters, managing research projects to support state adoptions of building codes and developing educational programs and materials to help consumers and builders understand the importance of better construction.
Ms. Lockwood earned a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of South Florida. She is scheduled to complete her Juris Doctorate from Concord Law School in June 2009.
(May 16, 2013) Steve Ludwig is a Vice President at The Hartford Financial Services Group, and leads the Catastrophe Risk Management group within the Insurance Risk Management area. Steve is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, and also holds the CFA and CPCU designations. He earned a Bachelors degree in Statistics from Purdue University, and has been with The Hartford for over 35 years.
(June 28, 2010) Trenise Lyons brings 8 years of communications and social marketing experience to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. - FLASH®. She is responsible for the day-to-day management of several outreach initiatives including the Great Hurricane Blowout.
Prior to joining FLASH, Ms. Lyons was with the Washington, DC office of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. Her clients included the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program FloodSmart campaign.
Ms. Lyons earned her Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL, and her Master of Arts in Public Communication from The American University in Washington, DC.
, Project Manager, Great American Blowout
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)
Dr. Steve Lyons
(June 28, 2010) Dr. Lyons' expertise is in Tropical and Marine Meteorology. He has participated in more than 50 national and international conferences and provided World Meteorological Organization training courses in marine meteorology, tropical meteorology and ocean wave forecasting. Each spring he is a guest speaker at many hurricane preparedness conferences from Texas to New York.
Prior to joining The Weather Channel in April 1998, Dr. Lyons managed the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch of the Tropical Prediction Center, National Hurricane Center. He has worked directly for private weather companies and traveled around the world forecasting weather in various tropical locales. He has also been a private consultant forecasting ocean waves for numerous surfing beaches. Familiar with on-camera assignments, Dr. Lyons worked on-air for a station in Ventura County, California.
Among his many interesting jobs, he has been a research scientist for the U.S. Navy, for the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) at Princeton University, and for the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He has also been a professor of meteorology at Texas A&M University, where he is still an adjunct faculty member, and at the University of Hawaii where he remains involved with the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR). Dr. Lyons has worked for the National Weather Service South Region Scientific Services Division, where he trained NWS meteorologists. He routinely reviews scientific papers related to tropical and marine weather submitted for publication in American Meteorological Society and other international journals. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society. He has published more than 20 papers in scientific journals and written more than 40 technical reports and articles for the National Weather Service and for the Navy.
Currently Dr. Lyons is seen during "hurricane season" on Tropical Updates. In his spare time he develops various models and continuously improves them - they provide many of the forecasts of hurricane impacts on land you see on The Weather Channel cable network and weather.com.
Dr. Lyons obtained a B.S., and a M.S., culminating in a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Hawaii.
(May 2, 2011) Stephen Mahin is the Byron and Elvira Nishkian Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and is Director of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center. After working as a consultant for the seismic design of buildings, offshore platforms and nuclear power plant facilities, he joined the faculty at UC Berkeley. He has carried out research on a wide variety of topics related to the seismic behavior and design of building, bridge and infrastructure systems, and is internationally recognized for the integration of experimental, theoretical and computational research in developing guidelines for improving seismic safety and performance.
Dr. Mahin has more than 300 technical papers, and has supervised the research of more than 80 students. He has received several major awards, including the Huber Research Prize and Norman Medal from ASCE, and James Cooper Award from FHWA, and has served in leadership positions in several academic and professional organizations. He received his BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.
, Byron and Elvira Nishkian Professor of Structural Engineering
University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Valerie Maier-Speredelozzi
(July 10, 2008) Dr. Valerie Maier-Speredelozzi is an assistant professor in the Industrial and Systems Engineering department at the University of Rhode Island. Her research interests include flexibility metrics, lean systems, and manufacturing system design across multiple industries.
She has worked with Georgia Power Company, Volvo Penta of the Americas, and General Motors, as well as completing numerous other projects with industry. Dr. Maier-Speredelozzi has also worked with Dr. Jyh-Hone Wang and a team of students from the ISE department on projects related to human factors in transportation systems, and on dynamic messaging over highways for use during hurricanes or other natural or manmade emergencies.
Dr. Maier-Speredelozzi received her Ph.D. in 2003 and her Master's degree in both Mechanical Engineering and Industrial & Operations Engineering in 2001 from the University of Michigan. She has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology.
(May 2, 2011) David Mar has practiced structural engineering for more than twenty years, having received his undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined
Steve Tipping and Associates in 1990. His work and research demonstrate his desire to provide a complete design product that is thoughtfully integrated with the project's environment: accommodating long-term sustainability, seismic conditions, cost, and interdisciplinary design parameters.
Since having been named Principal and lead designer of Tipping Mar in 2000, Mr. Mar has continued in the company's longstanding tradition of well-crafted engineering solutions, while introducing a new philosophical emphasis on creativity and exploration supported by practical, project-specific research. His focus on high-performance seismic and sustainable design has positioned Tipping Mar at the forefront of the green building movement. His enthusiasm for innovation has expanded his design palette from traditional steel, concrete, and wood construction to rammed earth, bamboo, straw bale, timber frame, and structural insulated panels.
Mr. Mar frequently lectures at the engineering departments of UC Berkeley, Stanford, and the Lean Construction Institute. He has authored numerous publications and received many local and national awards in the areas of new construction, seismic renovation, and sustainable design.
, Structural Engineer and Principal
Valsin A Marmillion
(October 30, 2012) Val Marmillion is recognized as one of the top campaign strategists in the country. Under his leadership, Marmillion + Company has emerged as one of the nation's premiere marketing and strategic communications firms.
A highly skilled professional facilitator, his vast experience includes moderating panel discussions, focus groups and strategic planning sessions for such esteemed clients as the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Jobs for the Future, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Counties, The State of Louisiana, The Academy of State and Local Governments, The National Conference of State Legislators, The National Endowment for the Arts, UCLA and the Office of Senator Mary Landrieu.
(December 3, 2008) Patrick Maroney is the Kathryn Magee Kip Professor in the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate and Business Law. He has been a faculty member at Florida State University since 1981. He currently serves as the director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center. Prior to that position he served as the associate dean for Graduate Programs in the College of Business from 2003 until January 2008. He also served as the Chairman of the Risk Management and Insurance Department from 1994 until the fall semester of 2001.
Professor Maroney has authored or co-authored more than forty articles and books. Professor Maroney's research concentration is in the area of insurance law and regulation. Articles have appeared in the Journal of Insurance Regulation, Risk Management and Insurance Review, Florida State University Law Review, Florida Bar Journal, Journal of Insurance Issues, Insurance Counsel Journal, and The American Business Law Journal. He has presented papers at regional and national academic conferences. He has received a Teaching Incentive Program award for excellence in teaching and has been named Student Organization Advisor of the Year. He has served as continuing education chair of the Administrative Law section of the Florida Bar and been recognized for outstanding service to the section. He has also served as an officer and board member of the section.
Professor Maroney was a member of the NCCI Insurance Fraud Commission. He has served as a board member of the Southern Risk and Insurance Association and as President of that organization. He was the executive consultant to the Automobile Insurance Task Force and a co-author of the Insurance Study of Sinkholes.
(October 8, 2014) David Marra is named Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer - Casualty & Specialty for RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. Mr. Marra is based in Connecticut and also holds the position of President of RenaissanceRe Underwriting Managers U.S. LLC.
Mr. Marra has over 15 years of insurance and reinsurance experience, including more than 10 years in the Bermuda reinsurance market.
Mr. Marra holds a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Kentucky and is also a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society.
, SVP and Chief Underwriting Officer - Casualty & Specialty
RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.
(June 23, 2009) Brian Martin is Policy Director for Representative Gene Taylor (D-Mississippi). Mr. Martin has worked for Representative Taylor for 19 years as the lead staffer on health care, the budget, and financial issues. He also has taken on special policy assignments for Congressman Taylor, including military retiree health care reform, base closure analysis, and Hurricane Georges recovery. Since Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Martin has focused on insurance, housing, and disaster recovery policies and reform efforts.
Mr. Martin has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Princeton University and a Master's in Political Science from the University of Southern Mississippi.
, Policy Director
Office of Representative Gene Taylor, Mississippi
Dr. Forrest Masters
(February 21, 2008) Dr. Forrest Masters joined the University of Florida as an Assistant Professor of Civil and Coastal Engineering in 2006. His research interests include field measurement of surface-level tropical cyclone winds, wind effects on structures and stochastic simulation of natural hazard events. Since 1999, Dr. Masters has deployed for 19 named tropical cyclones, including all of the major hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. During landfall, he and his colleagues deploy mobile weather stations to capture ground-level wind speeds and instrument single-family homes to measures wind pressure loading. After the storm, damage assessments are conducted to evaluate the performance of the building stock and the codes and standards that guided their construction. Currently, he is developing a mobile windstorm simulator to reproduce the actual dynamics of hurricane winds impinging on a low-rise structure at full scale.
Dr. Masters has given over 20 invited presentations to groups ranging from the International Codes Council to every federal agency that comprises the US Hurricane Warning Program. PBS, the Discovery Channel, National Public Radio, CNN, Popular Mechanics and MIT Technology Review have also produced pieces on his work. He has served as guest editor for Natural Hazards Review and as a reviewer for the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering. The National Science Board invited him to participate in the Workshop on Hurricane Science and Engineering, and he drafted the MOU between the US and Bangladesh for the NSF Consortium for Windstorm/Storm Surge. Dr. Masters is a member of the ASCE/SEI Technical Activities Division Wind Effects Committee and Sub-Committee on Computer-Aided Wind Engineering. He is also a member of ASTM E6.51 (Performance of Windows, Doors, Skylights and Curtain Walls) and the Coastal Windstorm PML Standard Development.
Dr. Forrest Masters
, Assistant Professor of Civil and Coastal Engineering
University of Florida
(February 21, 2008) Rod Matthews is Underwriting Vice President at State Farm Insurance Companies in Bloomington, Ill. Mr. Matthews joined State Farm in 1979 as an administrative and technical trainee in the Charlottesville, Va., office and became an underwriter later that year. He was promoted to underwriting supervisor in 1981 and moved to the Concordville, Pa., office in 1982. He was named operations superintendent in 1985 in the Jacksonville, Fla., office and assistant division manager in 1988. He moved to the Frederick, Md., office in 1989 as division manager. He was named executive assistant at corporate headquarters in 1994 and Vice President ? Operations in the Murfreesboro, Tenn., office in 1995. He returned to corporate headquarters in 1998 as Vice President ? Underwriting of State Farm Mutual and assumed his current position in 2002.
Mr. Matthews received a bachelor's degree from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. He earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation in 1985.
, Underwriting Vice President
State Farm Insurance Company
(July 10, 2008) David Maurstad, Assistant Administrator for Mitigation, provides leadership for some of the nation's leading multi-hazard risk reduction programs, which seek to secure the homeland from natural hazards. His areas of oversight include the National Flood Insurance Program, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, the National Dam Safety Program and the National Hurricane Program. He works closely with public and private risk managers, as well as leaders in government, industry, research and academia.
Mr. Maurstad was appointed Director of FEMA's Mitigation Division and Federal Insurance Administrator in April 2006 and previously held both positions in an acting role beginning in June 2004. From 2001-2005, he was Regional Director of FEMA's Region VIII and coordinated FEMA's prevention, preparedness, and disaster response and recovery activities in Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Maurstad was the Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, a position to which he was elected in 1998. In addition, he previously served as a member of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.
Mr. Maurstad has nearly 25 years of experience as an insurance agent in Nebraska, and was mayor of Beatrice, Nebraska. He is the first locally-elected official and insurance agent to head the National Flood Insurance Program.
Mr. Maurstad holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and an MBA from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
, Assistant Administrator for Mitigation
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
(May 2, 2011) With over 25 years in senior leadership positions in global marketing management in the wine industry, Ben May was recruited in 2000 by one of his largest clients, the Walt Disney World® Resort, to become a member of a new team responsible for business development at Epcot®. Mr. May is a member of the team responsible for developing alliances, sponsorships and business relationships with companies and organizations, as well as with governments and countries for Disney Parks. He also speaks for the Disney Institute on the subjects of brand development and strategic thinking; as well as career and individual development.
In addition to his responsibilities with Disney Parks, Mr. May is a former fire fighter and fire commissioner who writes, speaks and educates fire and emergency service organizations on the contribution marketing management can make to their critical public mission. A contributing editor to Firehouse Magazine and Firehouse.Com, he frequently speaks to senior fire officers at the US Fire Academy and other public forums on the subject of leadership in emergency services public service marketing such as the National Weather Service.
Mr. May received a B.A. with Honors in Public Affairs from the University of Oklahoma and a Master's Degree in International Communications from the American University's School of International Service in Washington, D.C. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Mr. May is conversant in German, Russian and Hebrew. He is a member of the Society of Executive Fire Officers, the Institution of Fire Engineers, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and the Florida Fire Chiefs Association. Mr. May is also a Member of the Board of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.
, Business Development Director, Disney Corporate Alliances
The Walt Disney Company
(May 2, 2011) Richard McCarthy has served as the Executive Director for the California Seismic Safety Commission since 1995. The California Seismic Safety Commission was established by legislation in January 1975 to set goals and priorities for earthquake safety and advises the Governor and the State Legislature on earthquake risk reduction issues. In addition, the Commission is responsible for developing and maintaining the California Earthquake Loss Reduction Plan. This document is a comprehensive strategic plan that sets forth statewide policy and direction in pursuit of the vision for a safer California.
Prior to joining the Seismic Safety Commission, Mr. McCarthy worked as the senior engineering geologist for the California Coastal Commission from 1979 to 1990. This Commission regulates development within the California Coastal Zone. From 1975 to 1979, Mr. McCarthy was a production geologist with Getty Oil Company in Ventura, California. Between 1973 and 1975 he was a staff geologist with Fugro Inc. in Long Beach, California and participated in site identification for nuclear power plants in California, Arizona, and Puerto Rico.
Mr. McCarthy is dedicated to the reduction of earthquake risk to the people and property in the State of California. He has published numerous articles and reports and has served on many scientific committees and federal/state task forces.
Diana L. McClure
(June 28, 2010) Diana McClure is Business Resiliency Program Manager at the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). She was responsible for the development of the Open for Business® program at IBHS, a business continuity and property protection planning tool for small to mid-sized businesses. She has worked in a number of other capacities at IBHS, including community resiliency programs and work on land use issues. She has been with the non-profit organization for thirteen years.
From 1989 to 1996, Ms. McClure served as a mitigation specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in New England. She traveled throughout the U.S. to help communities recover from natural disasters. Prior to that, she served as a regional representative for the Insurance Information Institute, and as a consultant on civil liability of law enforcement officials and on civil rights conflict management.
Ms. McClure has a BA in International Relations from Brown University and a Masters degree from Boston College.
, Business Resiliency Program Manager
Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
Samantha A. Medlock
(June 2, 2016) Samantha A. Medlock is Senior Advisor for Resilience in the White House Office of Management and Budget, coordinating across the Executive Office of the President and the administration to reduce the risks and costs of disasters with an emphasis on strengthening standards, leveraging private capital, and prioritizing the needs of vulnerable populations. Ms. Medlock staffed the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force and launched the Insurance Partnership called for in the President’s Climate Action Plan to reduce economic risk and drive resilience-based codes and standards. She also led the Council on Environmental Quality's work on Executive Order 13690 and the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, the first update to US flood policy in nearly 40 years.
Ms. Medlock has more than twenty years of experience in land use and disaster law, and has testified in Congress on flood risk, levee safety, and resilient recovery from disasters. She has provided expert testimony and authored amicus briefs on private property rights and the National Flood Insurance Program. Ms. Medlock is a recipient of the Army Commander’s Award for Public Service in recognition of her service on the National Committee on Levee Safety created by Congress after Hurricane Katrina. In addition to supporting U.S. domestic resilience policy and practice, Ms. Medlock has participated in numerous bi- and multilateral technical exchanges, including with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the UK Environment Agency, and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
Ms. Medlock is a Juris Doctor graduate with honors of Vermont Law School and earned a Bachelor of Science summa cum laude from Texas Woman’s University.
R. King Milling
(October 30, 2012) R. King Milling was elected Director of Whitney National Bank on March 22, 1978 and Director of Whitney Holding Corporation on February 13, 1979. Mr. Milling is a graduate of Washington & Lee and Tulane Universities. Mr. Milling served as President of Whitney National Bank and Whitney Holding Corporation from 1984 until April 2007 and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors from April 2007 until December 2008.
Mr. Milling is a lifelong resident of New Orleans and is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He serves on the boards of LSU Health Sciences Center, Dillard University, and Greater New Orleans Education Foundation. He is a member of the Tulane Law School
Dean's Advisory Board and is a member of the board of directors of the New Orleans Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He is the Chairman of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection and Restoration, and the America's WETLAND Foundation and serves as a member on the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and is a Director of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation.
, Disaster Assistance Task Force Chair
American Institute of Architects
(October 30, 2012) Ray Misomali is an Emergency Management Planner within the Miami-Dade County Fire Department's Office of Emergency Management where he is the chair of the county's Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) Working Group and is also the LMS Coordinator. Working with a variety of agencies, including educational, private sector, health care, non-profit, local, state and federal government, he coordinates the county-wide strategy to reduce the impact of hazards on Miami-Dade County.
Serving as Infrastructure Branch Director within the Emergency Operations Center, he coordinates the resumption of services for infrastructure agencies and also overseas damage assessment and debris clearance and removal operations following a disaster. In addition, he coordinates the county's evacuation program and critical infrastructure and vulnerability assessment.
Ray has worked for Miami-Dade County for close to five years. Prior to that, he worked in the private sector as a consultant. Ray's experience is in an all-hazards comprehensive emergency management environment where he is involved in all phases of emergency management.
Ray has participated on various panel discussions and recently was part of the team working to contribute to the formulation of the Mitigation Framework in support of Presidential Policy Directive 8. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of North Texas.
, Emergency Management Planner
Miami-Dade County Office of Emergency Management
(May 2, 2011) A former journalist and legislative staffer, Peter Mitchell got into social marketing a decade ago when he was asked to direct the marketing campaign for a new anti-tobacco initiative in Florida. The campaign became ?truth? ? an effort that transformed tobacco control and got replicated on a national scale after Florida showed the first statewide drop in teen smoking in 19 years. Since then, Mr. Mitchell has developed and directed dozens of social marketing campaigns across the globe, first as a senior marketing specialist for the Academy for Educational Development, a large international non-profit, and later as a founder of Marketing for Change, which is now part of Salter>Mitchell.
A graduate of Colgate University, Mr. Mitchell spent a decade as a reporter, including covering Florida for The Wall Street Journal, and served as the policy coordinator for Florida's Senate President. Over the years, he has designed behavior-change campaigns domestically and in Bangladesh, India, Jordan and Tanzania, for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Chesapeake Bay Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the United Nations and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
, Executive Director
National Leased Housing Association
(May 2, 2011) Jim Mullen became the Washington State Director of the Emergency Management Division effective July 21, 2004. He has been an outspoken advocate of local and county emergency managers. Innovation has characterized his tenure at Washington EMD: he has dramatically increased the public education outreach effort, which includes the highly praised Map Your Neighborhood Program initiative. A second innovation has been to increase the direct, two-way interaction between the public and private sector, with the promise of more in the future.
In October 2010 Mr. Mullen was elected Vice President of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), and assumed the office of President of NEMA January 14, 2011. Prior to becoming President of NEMA he served as NEMA's Region 10 Vice President and as Mitigation Committee chairman. He is a member of the National Homeland Security Consortium and was a driving force behind the formation of the National Collaborative Mitigation Alliance. Throughout his career in emergency management, Mr. Mullen has contributed constructive commentary on the impact of the Homeland Security Department upon FEMA, and the collateral impact upon the safety of the nation from all hazards.
Emergency Management Division, Washington State
Christopher S. Murphy
(October 8, 2014) Senator Christopher Murphy is the junior United States Senator for Connecticut. Elected in 2012, Mr. Murphy serves on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee.
Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Mr. Murphy served Connecticut's Fifth Congressional District for three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. During his three terms, Mr. Murphy served on the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Committee on Financial Services.
Before his service in the U.S. Congress, Murphy served for eight years in the Connecticut General Assembly. Senator Murphy grew up in Wethersfield, Connecticut, and attended Williams College in Massachusetts, graduating with honors and a double major in history and political science. In 2002, he graduated from UConn Law School in Hartford, Connecticut. He practiced real estate and banking law from 2002-2006 with the firm of Ruben, Johnson & Morgan in Hartford.
(May 2, 2011) Christopher Nance joined the California Earthquake Authority in 2008. He previously served as Deputy Secretary for the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, was Senior Consultant for the California Legislature, and Press Advance Representative for The White House. Mr. Nance has worked for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in Sacramento, Fleishman-Hillard in Kansas City, and Hill & Knowton in Chicago. He has earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in communications from Michigan State University.
Sam W. Nelson, P.E.
(June 28, 2010) Sam Nelson is Chief Engineer at the Texas Department of Insurance. He is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) building code specifications, used for building construction along the Texas Gulf Coast. He assists in the rule-making process of the agency relating to building specifications and windstorm inspections.
Mr. Nelson has oversight over windstorm inspections performed by licensed engineers in Texas. His other activities include the development of product evaluation reports for building products and participation in delivering educational training classes along the Texas Gulf Coast regarding windstorm resistant construction.
Mr. Nelson has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas.
, Chief Engineer, Engineering Section
Texas Department of Insurance
(May 16, 2013) Frank Nutter has been president of the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) since 1991. He held the same position with the RAA from 1981 to 1984. In the interim, he was president of the Alliance of American Insurers and the Property Loss Research Bureau.
Mr. Nutter currently serves on multiple boards, including the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, an adjunct to the Harvard University School of Public Health, and the Advisory Board of the OECD's International Network for the Financial Management of Large Scale Disasters. He has also served on the Council of the American Meteorological Society; the Board of the University Center for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of universities managing the National Center for Atmospheric Research sponsored by the National Science Foundation; and the Board of the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences.
Mr. Nutter has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Worker's Compensation Research Institute, and the Board of Overseers of the Institute for Civil Justice, a subsidiary of the Rand Corporation.
Mr. Nutter has a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati. He was an officer in the U.S. Navy and is a Vietnam veteran.
(February 21, 2008) Brian O'Neill retired at the end of 2005 after a 35-year career at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute. Both are research and communications organizations dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries, and property damage on the nation's highways. Mr. O'Neill was president of both organizations for more than 20 years. A highway safety expert, consulted frequently by both print and electronic media reporters, Mr. O'Neill appeared regularly on NBC Dateline, other TV news magazine shows, and network news programs.
Mr. O'Neill was instrumental in developing the Institute's state-of-the-art Vehicle Research Center in the early 1990s and then establishing consumer oriented vehicle testing programs that have prompted automakers to significantly improve the safety of their new vehicle designs. He is the author of numerous scientific papers, co-author of The Injury Fact Book, and has served on the boards and committees of many highway safety groups.
Since retirement Mr. O'Neill has served on advisory boards for Nissan and Cento Zaragoza (a research center in Spain), and has done consulting work for Consumers Union, General Motors, and the International Hurricane Research Center.
Mr. O'Neill has a degree in mathematics and statistics.
International Hurricane Research Center
(June 2, 2016) Collin O'Mara joined National Wildlife Federation, America’s oldest and largest wildlife conservation and education organization, as President and CEO on July 7, 2014.
Mr. O'Mara came to the NWF from the state government of Delaware where he led the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control since 2009. In that position, Secretary O’Mara served as the state’s top environmental official, led the state’s efforts to conserve and restore wildlife and fishery habitat, improve air quality and public health, ensure access to clean water, expand outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities, and enhance the state’s resilience to extreme weather and other climate impacts.
A native of Syracuse, New York, O'Mara was a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford, a University Fellow at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and a Presidential Scholar at Dartmouth College. He is a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professional, and completed Stanford Business School’s Executive Management Program in Environmental Sustainability.
Walter Gillis Peacock
(June 23, 2009) Walter Peacock is Director of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and in the Sustainable Coastal Margins Program, and the Interim Executive Associate Dean for the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. He is also the Rodney L. Dockery Endowed Professor in Housing and the Homeless at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on natural hazards and human systems response to disaster with an emphasis on social vulnerability, evacuation, and the socio-political ecology of long-term recovery and mitigation, and on housing recovery and housing issues.
Dr. Peacock has conducted research in a variety of countries including United States, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Italy, India, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, and the US Virgin Islands.
He has authored over ninety chapters, articles, papers, and technical reports. His published articles have appeared in a variety of journals including American Sociological Review, Natural Hazards Review, Disasters, the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Landscape and Urban Planning and Ekistics. He has also published two books and his latest, coauthored with Betty Hearn Morrow and Hugh Gladwin, is entitled, Hurricane Andrew: Ethnicity, Gender and the Sociology of Disaster.
Dr. Peacock holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Georgia.
, Director, Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center
Texas A & M University
John Plodinec, Ph.D.
(May 16, 2013) John Plodinec is the Associate Director, Resilience Technologies, for the Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI). In this role, he is responsible for identifying and evaluating technologies useful for enhancing community resilience.
Mr. Plodinec also played the lead technical role in development of CARRI's Community Resilience System. He developed CARRI's Resilient Home Program, aimed at improving the survivability of American homes to disaster. This built on earlier work he did while at Mississippi State University, where he led the university's efforts to develop programs related to severe weather events. He is the author of a chapter in McGraw-Hill's latest Encyclopedia of Homeland Security dealing with implementation of Whole Community efforts at the community level.
Mr. Plodinec is also an internationally recognized expert in nuclear and chemical waste management. He headed a team to assist the Indian glass and metal foundry industries to convert to natural gas from coal to prevent further deterioration of the Taj Mahal in India. As part of a NATO-sponsored team, he prepared recommendations that have been followed by the government of Estonia in cleaning up the Sillamae site, reputedly the most contaminated site in Europe.
John Plodinec, Ph.D.
, Associate Director, Resilience Technologies
Community and Regional Resilience Institute
(May 2, 2011) Chris Poland's structural engineering career spans over 35 years and includes a wide variety of new design work, seismic analysis and strengthening of existing buildings, structural failure analysis, and historic preservation. As an internationally recognized authority on earthquake engineering, Mr. Poland routinely participates in policy-changing research projects sponsored by the NSF, USGS, NIST and FEMA. A passionate advocate and voice for seismic safety, he actively participates in the academic, ethical and social advancement of his field and lectures often.
Mr. Poland currently presides as Chair of the congressionally mandated Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. His latest interests involving advocacy for Resilient Cities led to his involvement in the SPUR Resilient City Initiative as the chair of the Seismic Hazard Mitigation Taskforce. That work led to his Co-Chair appointment to the San Francisco Lifelines Council. He chairs the ASCE Standards Committee on Seismic Rehabilitation, and led the effort needed to produce the ASCE 31 and ASCE 41 Standards. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association. Mr. Poland served on the Board of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) for 10 years in two separate roles, first as the Secretary and then as the President from 2001 to 2002.
Mr. Poland is the 2006 recipient of the Alfred E. Alquist Award from the California Earthquake Safety Foundation, and was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his career long work in support of Performance Based Earthquake Engineering.
, Structural Engineer and Senior Principal
Chairman Degenkolb Engineers
(June 28, 2010) Bill Proenza is the Regional Director of the National Weather Service (NWS) Southern Region, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. The Southern Region encompasses approximately one quarter of the contiguous United States including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands amounting to 20 percent of the NWS' employees. The region is one of the most severe weather active areas in the world.
Mr. Proenza began his career at the National Hurricane Center in Miami and as a flight meteorologist on "hurricane hunter" aircraft (1963-1967). During his lengthy career with the National Weather Service, he provided key leadership in the modernization, restructuring, and staffing of the NWS as well as managing weather forecasting, severe weather warning and climate services. He was first assigned as Regional Director of the NWS Southern Region in 1998 and held that position through 2006.
He served as Director of the National Hurricane Center from January through August of 2007. During that time, he received an award from the scientists at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory for his satellite and hurricane research advocacy for the nation's hurricane warning program. In 2007, he received the NWS Employee's Organization's national Kip Robinson Award for courageous leadership while at the National Hurricane Center. Since September, 2007, he has served in the South's senior NOAA position of Regional Director of the National Weather Service Southern Region.
Mr. Proenza is a long standing member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the National Weather Association, and the International Association of Emergency Managers. In 2001, the AMS recognized him with its prestigious Francis W. Reichelderfer Award for outstanding environmental services to the nation. Two years later, he was named a "Fellow of the AMS" and in 2006, the AMS national membership elected him as a Councilor on the AMS leadership board. In 2009, he received the annual Career Excellence Award from the International Association of Emergency Managers for outstanding and innovative support to the nation's emergency managers and responders. The award also recognized his courageous leadership while at the National Hurricane Center.
Mr. Proenza is an internationally recognized meteorologist officially representing the U.S.A. Since 2005, he has led United States delegations to the United Nations (UNESCO) meetings on tsunamis and the oceans. In 2007, he served as chairman of the World Meteorological Organization's Hurricane Sub-Committee and now serves as a senior member of the U.S. delegation to the UN's World Meteorological Organization's Region IV which encompasses over 30 nations in the Americas.
, Regional Director
National Weather Service Southern Region
(May 2, 2011) Steven E. Pryor, S.E., has been with Simpson Strong-Tie for 14 years and currently serves as their International Director of Building Systems. Prior to joining Simpson, Mr. Pryor was a practicing structural engineer in California. While at Simpson, Mr. Pryor developed Simpson's Tyrell T. Gilb Research Laboratory, one of the world's premier large-scale structural systems test facilities, which has the capability to simulate both wind and seismic effects on light-frame structures via both quasi static/cyclic and dynamic test machines that can apply vertical and lateral loading simultaneously. An expert in the structural response, analysis and testing of light-frame buildings, Mr. Pryor participates on several state and national building code committees. Most recently Mr. Pryor was the primary industry technical consultant for the highly successful NEESWood Capstone testing in Miki, Japan of a full-scale seven-story mixed-use steel/wood structure, the largest building ever tested on a shake table.
(May 2, 2011) Mayor Jean Quan got her start in Oakland politics in 1989 as a parent trying to save the schools' music and arts programs. She served on the Oakland Board of Education for 3 terms and the Oakland City Council for 2 terms before being elected Oakland's first woman and first Asian American mayor in 2010.
As the first Asian American woman mayor of a major US City, she has been a leader at the local,
regional, state and national level, serving on the boards of the California and National League of Cities and a number of other policy-level organizations focused on smart growth, green economies and urban issues.
A resident of Oakland for more than 30 years, she has dedicated her life to making government work for people. Jean's family roots in Oakland date back to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, when her great-grandfather, grandfather and his two brothers took the ferry across the Bay and became part of a new Oakland Chinatown. She received a scholarship to attend the University of California, Berkeley, where she helped found Asian American Studies and worked to recruit poor and minority students.
Lee Ann Quinn
(July 10, 2008) Lee Ann Quinn has more than 30 years as a Manager of patient and employee safety in the Infection Control and Occupational Health Services at South County Hospital. She has been the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for South County Hospital since 2004. She is a member of the State's Hospital Preparedness and Planning Committee. In that role she oversees training, drills, and exercises for hospital preparedness. Such activities include hospital incident command training, decontamination activities and response, staff training for communication technologies and development of emergency operation planning.
Ms. Quinn has developed the Regional Pandemic Influenza Plan for South County Hospital as one of Rhode Island's regional healthcare areas, and the Hospital is now recognized as a regional isolation center within the State of Rhode Island. She has collaborated with the Department of Health to coordinate grant funding for an airborne infection isolation unit to house 10 adults or 10 pediatric patients, convertible for known or suspected airborne infections. Ms. Quinn has presented locally and nationally on several issues regarding immunizations. In 2004, she spoke at the Annual ICPSNE Conference on "Influenza Epidemic ? Not IF but When".
Ms. Quinn received her BSc in Health and Human Services with a minor in Epidemiology from the Roger Williams University. She is a Rhode Island Licensed Registered Nurse (RN) and holds the Board Certified Infection Control designation (CIC).
Lee Ann Quinn
, Manager, Infection Control
Occupational Health Services and Emergency Preparedness at South County Hospital
Karthik Ramanathan, Ph.D.
(May 16, 2013) Dr. Ramanathan is an Engineer in AIR's Research and Modeling group, working primarily on the wind vulnerability of civil engineering systems.
He has been involved in the development of hazard and vulnerability paradigms of the storm surge component of the US Hurricane model. Most recently, he participated in a damage survey following Hurricane Sandy.
Dr. Ramanathan holds two Masters Degrees in Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials from the University of Pittsburgh and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a special focus on earthquake engineering. The central focus of his dissertation research was on the seismic vulnerability and risk assessment of highway bridge classes in California, in support of risk mitigation efforts for highway transportation networks in the state.
Dr. Sai Ravela
(February 21, 2008) Dr. Ravela is a research scientist at the Program in Oceans, Atmospheres and Climate in the Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department of MIT. He builds statistical models of stochastic processes with application to earth systems' prediction and predictability challenges.
He has published several papers in data assimilation, statistical inference for natural hazard modeling, and pattern recognition. He is a founder of Windrisktech LLC, holds several patents and a doctorate in computer science with specialization in machine intelligence.
Dr. Sai Ravela
, Professor and Research Scientist
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(October 8, 2014) Mr. Read currently serves as an on-air contributor for KPRC in Houston, Texas, as the hurricane expert and analyst during times of significant weather activity.
Mr. Read retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS) in June 2008 after serving 40 years, including the honor of Director, National Hurricane Center in Miami from 2008 through June 2012. Previously, Mr. Read was the meteorologist in charge at the Houston-Galveston Area NWS forecast officer from 1992 to 2007. He was the operational and administrative leader of many significant weather operations as well as major technological and organizational changes. In this capacity, he led the office through the installation of the NEXRAD Doppler radar, WSR-88D, and had added responsibilities associated with the restructuring of the field operations of the NWS. Mr. Read has also been a member of the Hurricane Liaison Team, augmenting the staff at the National Hurricane Center to brief high level governmental agencies for land falling hurricanes; specifically, Isabel (2003), Charley (2004), and Katrina (2005).
, Former Director
National Hurricane Center
Mary Ann Goudeau Reid
(June 28, 2010) Mary Ann Reid is the President of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce. She is a Civil Service Commissioner for the City of Port Arthur. Prior to her current position, she worked for Acadian Ambulance as the Community Relations Supervisor of Southeast Texas Operations.
Mrs. Reid was honored with the 2004 Athena Award from the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce. She is a board member of the following organizations: Symphony of Southeast Texas; Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation, CHRISTUS Health of Southeast Texas, Leadership Southeast Texas, Foundation of Southeast Texas, and Regional Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) a group dedicated to bringing opportunities to Southeast Texas. Mrs. Reid has completed her second year of both the Texas Community Development Institute and third year of Institute for Organization Management. Reid also serves as Secretary for the Gulf Coast Chamber Executives organization.
Mrs. Reid attended Lamar University.
Timothy Reinhold, Ph.D., P.E.
(May 16, 2013) Named as an Engineering News-Record Top 25 Newsmaker in 2010 for creating the IBHS Research Center, Dr. Timothy Reinhold is a well-respected professional engineer known for developing techniques to build and retrofit new and existing structures for greater resiliency.
Dr. Reinhold joined IBHS in 2004 as director of engineering and vice president after 12 years with Clemson University, where he was a professor of Civil Engineering. He was promoted to senior vice president of research and chief engineer in 2008.
His professional career includes 10 years as a consulting engineer with firms in the U.S., Canada and Denmark and five years at the National Institute for Standards and Technology. He holds bachelor, master's and doctoral degrees in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech.
Dr. Reinhold has conducted research on wind effects and structural resistance for most of his professional career. In addition to directing numerous studies to determine wind loads for tall buildings and specialty structures, he has been heavily involved in research relating to the performance of housing and low buildings in hurricanes and other severe wind events. His research includes post-event assessments, model and full-scale laboratory studies, and in situ field structural testing. Dr. Reinhold serves on the American Society of Civil Engineers ASCE 7 Wind Loads subcommittee. He served for eight years on the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) Wind Load subcommittee and is a past member of the Board of Directors for the American Association for Wind Engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Colorado, and has authored or co-authored numerous journal papers, chapters of books and conference publications.
Dr. Timothy Reinhold
, Director of Engineering and Vice President
Institute for Business and Home Safety
(February 21, 2008) Commissioner Scott H. Richardson was appointed as the Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance by Governor Mark Sanford on February 15, 2007. Having served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1992 ? 1996 and the South Carolina Senate from January, 2000 until his appointment, Director Richardson brings an unparalleled level of experience to the Department.
During his tenure in the Legislature, he served as Chairman of the House Property and Casualty Subcommittee and served on the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee and Senate Finance and Banking and Insurance Committees. Director Richardson did extensive work on the South Carolina Reinsurance Facility, as well as the South Carolina Automobile Insurance and Captive Insurance laws. During his tenure in the Senate, he was heavily involved with many insurance issues and is recognized as an insurance expert in the government arena.
In addition to his public service, he has firsthand knowledge of the insurance business having served 21 years as an insurance agent for Carswell of Carolina Insurance Agency. Director Richardson became an owner/partner in 1985 and helped grow Carswell into one of the most successful agencies in the state. He remained with Carswell until 1999, when he sold his interest. He has also served as a Sales Executive for Sea Pine Real Estate Co. in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He is truly committed to his community, serving on various boards and commissions.
Director Richardson graduated with a B.A. in Psychology, with honors, from the University of Tennessee in 1974.
(December 3, 2008) William Riker joined RenaissanceRe in its founding year, 1993, and retired in December 2007 as a Director, President and Chief Underwriting Officer, with overall responsibility for enterprise-wide modeling and underwriting. He held the previous positions of Chief Operating Officer of RenaissanceRe, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Glencoe Group Holdings Ltd., the Dallas-based individual risk segment of RenaissanceRe.
Prior to joining RenaissanceRe, Mr. Riker was Vice President of Applied Insurance Research, Inc. He was also Senior Vice President in charge of treaty and facultative operations for American Royal Re. He was responsible for developing analytical tools while holding various positions at American Royal from 1984 through 1993. Mr. Riker has significant experience in designing, selling, consulting on and using catastrophe models.
Mr. Riker is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, and holds a B.A. in Economics and B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University.
(June 23, 2009) Jerome Ringo came to the Apollo Alliance in 2005 as a dedicated champion of environmental justice and vocal advocate of clean energy. He has first-hand experience of the challenges we face after working for more than 20 years in Louisiana's petrochemical industry. More than half of that time was spent as an active union member working with his fellow members to secure a safe work environment and quality jobs. Louisiana's petrochemical industry focuses on the production of gasoline, rocket fuel, and plastics ? many of which contain cancer-causing chemicals. As he began observing the negative impacts of the industry's pollution on local communities ? primarily poor, minority communities ? Mr. Ringo began organizing community environmental justice groups.
Jerome's experience organizing environmental and labor communities and his drive to further diversify the environmental movement bridges many of Apollo's partners to create a broad based coalition to provide real solutions for our energy crisis. In 1996, Mr. Ringo was elected to serve on the National Wildlife Federation board of directors and, in 2005, he became the chair of the board. In so doing, he also became the first African American to head a major conservation organization. Mr. Ringo was the United States' only black delegate at the 1998 Global Warming Treaty Negotiations in Kyoto, Japan, and represented the National Wildlife Federation at the United Nations' conference on sustainable development in 1999.
(May 16, 2013) Ann Roberson, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, has been employed with the South Carolina Department of Insurance for 14 years. She serves as the Executive Assistant to the Director for External Affairs and Public Information Officer. Among her responsibilities, she works as the Liaison to the South Carolina Building Codes Council and the State Emergency Management Division. She also serves as the agency representative for the Interagency Coordinating Council for the State Hazard Mitigation Plan. Ms. Robinson also manages the SC Safe Home Mitigation Grant Program which was created by the Omnibus Coastal Property Insurance Act in 2007.
Ms. Roberson is a 2003 graduate of the South Carolina Executive Institute. She has always been very interested in outreach and education. The state-wide outreach program she developed for the department entitled Held in Trust, A Child Safety Seat Awareness Program, received the Governor's Year of the Child Community Hero Award in 2001.
Prior to joining the staff at the department, Ms. Roberson worked for the Town of Hilton Head Island, the Lowcountry Council of Governments and the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a grants and special projects coordinator and public relations manager.
, Public Information Officer and Manager, SC Safe Home
SC Department of Insurance
(June 2, 2016) Julie Rochman joined IBHS in late 2007, with nearly 30 years of public affairs and advocacy experience representing major corporations, research and safety organizations, and issue-based coalitions. She is often quoted by both traditional and digital media outlets on a wide variety of topics.
Under Julie’s leadership, IBHS has become a world-class research and communications organization; significant accomplishments include creation of the unique, $40 million IBHS Research Center in South Carolina.
Prior to IBHS, Julie held senior positions at a leading Washington, D.C.-based strategic communication and advocacy firm; at the American Insurance Association; and at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. She serves on several advisory councils and the National Fire Protection Association Board of Directors – and previously served on Boards for the International Hurricane Research Center, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
A native of Omaha, Julie has a BA in International Relations from Tulane University, and a MA in American Government from the University of Virginia. She resides in Tampa.
, President & Chief Executive Officer
Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS)
Rep. Dennis Ross
(February 21, 2008) Representative Dennis A. Ross was born and raised in Lakeland, Florida. He has practiced as an associate attorney at the law firm of Holland & Knight as well as in-house counsel for Walt Disney World Company. In October of 1989, Representative Ross founded the law firm now known as Ross Vecchio, P.A. He has served on the Rules Committee for the Workers' Compensation section of the Florida Bar.
Initially elected to Florida's House of Representatives in November of 2000, Representative Ross was re-elected subsequently in 2002, 2004 and again in 2006. His current council and committee responsibilities include assignment to the Policy and Budget Council and the Committee on Insurance. In addition, Representative Ross is Chair of the Committee on Courts and Vice Chair of the Safety and Security Council.
Representative Ross is a graduate of Auburn University and Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, and is a Certified BBQ Judge by the Kansas City BBQ Society.
, Representative (Retired)
Florida House of Representatives
Lewis M. Rothstein
(December 3, 2008) Dr. Rothstein joined the company in 2007 as Principal Scientist and is responsible for advising WPC and RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. on quantifying the uncertainties associated with the science of climate change for the purpose of advancing adaptive and mitigation-based business solutions. He has authored or co-authored over 75 articles and book chapters and has served as the editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research, one of the premiere science journals in physical oceanography. He was a two-term member of the U.S. Science Steering Committee for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment, has served on numerous other national and international scientific committees, and has served on scientific review panels for the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Dr. Rothstein holds a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from the University of Hawaii, and is also a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.
, Principal Scientist
University of Rhode Island/WeatherPredict
G. Dail Rowe
(July 10, 2008) Dr. Rowe is responsible for leading a team of WeatherPredict scientists focused on hurricane risk assessment and forecasting, and works closely with clients managing their exposure to hurricane risk. Dr. Rowe assumed his present position with WeatherPredict during the spring of 2007 when it acquired Accurate Environmental Forecasting, Inc. Dr. Rowe has over 15 years experience as an oceanographer and meteorologist including several years on the research faculty at the University of Hawaii.
Dr. Rowe holds a B.S. in Physics from Guilford College and a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.
G. Dail Rowe
, Senior Scientist and Regional Manager
WeatherPredict Consulting, Inc.
(July 10, 2008) Pamela Rubinoff is an Associate Coastal Manager for the Coastal Resources Center, University of Rhode Island. Her specialty is coastal community resilience, advancing efforts that link coastal management and natural hazards. Ms. Rubinoff works in both US-based initiatives and International Programs focusing on sustainable coastal community development through capacity building, policy creation, and technical assistance to government and non-government partners.
Ms. Rubinoff currently leads the Center's effort to develop a Coastal Adaptation Guidebook for a global practitioner audience in partnership with the US Agency for International Development. Together with an international team, she recently completed development of a resilience assessment tool as a US contribution to the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System Program. The tool includes a methodology to identify strengths and weaknesses of community resilience, which has been core to training and mentoring Indian Ocean managers in assessment and enhancement of community resilience.
As Sea Grant extension specialist, she works with Rhode Island communities to promote community resilience and adaptation through planning, capacity building, and outreach activities. Activities include the development of a state sea level rise policy and implementation of hazard mitigation initiatives for the Providence Metropolitan area, and coordination of the Smart Hurricane Recovery initiative for southern Rhode Island.
Ms. Rubinoff has a master's degree in Marine Policy from the University of Rhode Island and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware.
, Associate Coastal Manager for the Coastal Resources Center
University of Rhode Island
(October 30, 2012) Josh Saks serves as National Wildlife Federation's Legislative Director, helping set strategy and coordinate outreach to Members of Congress on key campaign priorities, including clean water and wetlands issues, energy policy, federal appropriations for wildlife conservation and protection of public lands in Alaska and the Rocky Mountain West.
He joined NWF in 2010 as a Senior Legislative Representative for water resources campaigns where he worked on aquatic ecosystem restoration of America's Great Waters, Clean Water Act defense, Army Corps reform and more. He has been invited to speak on environmental issues before the House Democratic Caucus, the House Finance Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus and an array of clean water conferences including the Great Lakes, Chesapeake and Restore America's Estuary Conference.
Prior to NWF, Mr. Saks was the federal affairs associate for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and a Policy Analyst at the Clean Air Council in Philadelphia.
Mr. Saks has a B.A. from Ithaca College and is currently pursuing an M.A. in applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University.
, Legislative Director
National Advocacy Center
Jeanne M. Salvatore
(December 3, 2008) Ms. Salvatore works closely with national and local media, appearing often on radio, TV and in print as a spokesperson for insurance-related issues that directly affect the consumer, both individual and commercial. She also serves as the industry liaison to numerous consumer, education, safety and community-based organizations, including the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumers League and Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.
Ms. Salvatore has fulfilled a variety of roles since joining I.I.I. in 1988. Among her earlier achievements, she became an expert on the issue of insurance fraud and was instrumental in the development of a national agenda to combat it, and co-authored Fighting the Hidden Crime: A National Agenda to Combat Insurance Fraud. She also has served as I.I.I.'s director of crisis communications, and produced a series of state-specific auto-safety conferences that culminated in a national conference. She also directed communications programs on insurance topics such as claim filing, disaster preparedness and home safety.
Ms. Salvatore is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and served as president of the New York chapter in 2000. She holds a B.A. in English from Villanova University and an M.A. in Communications from Columbia University and is an adjunct professor in the graduate school of Mass Communications at Iona College and Columbia University.
, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs
Insurance Information Institute
(May 2, 2011) Laura Samant helps communities to understand and reduce their risk from earthquakes and other natural disasters. She has worked with communities worldwide, first as an employee of the California-based non-profit GeoHazards International and now as an independent consultant. Her key interest is translating state-of-the-art technical knowledge about disaster risk reduction into feasible and effective policies and programs that make cities safer.
Ms. Samant's background is in structural engineering and she has extensive experience communicating technical concepts to non-technical policymakers. She recently finished work as a co-project manager for the City of San Francisco's influential Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety program (www.sfcapss.org). This program analyzed the City's earthquake risk and developed consensus among key City officials, tenants, property owners, historic preservationists, business leaders, technical specialists, and many others on policy recommendations to reduce the risk.
, Natural Disaster Risk Mitigation Consultant, Laura Samant Consulting
(May 2, 2011) Charles Scawthorn is internationally recognized as an authority for the analysis and mitigation of natural and technological hazards. He retired in 2008 as Professor and Head of the Earthquake Disaster Prevention Systems Laboratory, Kyoto University (Japan), is President of SPA Risk and a Visiting Professor, Waseda University (Japan) and Visiting Scholar, at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Scawthorn teaches a course on Disaster Risk Assessment, Mitigation and Financing at the World Bank and is a Senior Academic in the Willis Research Network. As President of SPA Risk LLC, he consults to the global insurance industry, the World Bank, FEMA and Global 1000 corporations.
From 1998 to 2003 Dr. Scawthorn led technical development of the US national Flood Loss Estimation Model (HAZUS) for FEMA, and is widely recognized for the development of methods for rapid risk analysis of buildings (FEMA 154), seismic vulnerability assessment of US national infrastructure (FEMA 224), stochastic models of fires following earthquakes, models for optimizing urban land use with respect to natural hazards risk, general loss estimation models for earthquake, wind and flood, and seismically reinforcing low-strength masonry buildings. He is the author or co-editor of a number of books and technical papers on fire following earthquake, earthquake engineering, catastrophe risk and human casualties. Dr. Scawthorn is a graduate of the Cooper Union, holds an M.S.C.E. degree from Lehigh University and received his D.Eng. from Kyoto University.
Larry J. Schweiger
(October 30, 2012) Larry Schweiger is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Wildlife Federation. He returned to the National Wildlife Federation in March 2004 with a commitment to confront the climate crisis and to protect wildlife for our children's future. National Wildlife Federation is America's most effective conservation organization, with 48 affiliates and more than four million members and supporters.
Previously, Larry served for eight years as President and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, where he pioneered watershed restoration and promoted ecological research, land conservation and community outreach. Prior to that, Larry was the Executive Secretary of the Joint House/Senate Conservation Committee for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs at National Wildlife Federation, and 1st Vice President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Larry is an active community leader, having served on more than 40 governing boards, commissions and committees. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of The Climate Reality Project; The Climate Reality Action Fund; the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment; BlueGreen Alliance; and National Wildlife Federation Action Fund.
In 2011 Larry was awarded the Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future Visionary Award for his leadership in raising awareness about the critical impacts of climate change throughout the world and commitment to employing clean energy solutions. He was selected as Pennsylvania's Environmental Professional of the Year in 2002, Pittsburgher of the Year in 2000, and he received a Conservation Service Award from the Christian Environmental Association in September 1995. Larry is married to Clara Schweiger and has three adult daughters, three sons-in-law, and four grandsons. Larry's book on global warming and wildlife, released by Fulcrum Publishing in September 2009, Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth, was awarded First Prize for Non-Fiction by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in 2011 and can be found at http://www.nwf.org/lastchance.
Gail (Lombari) Scowcroft
(July 10, 2008) Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO), leading several national, regional, and state-wide education and outreach programs and teaching graduate ocean science courses for K-16 educators. She has more than 18 years of experience conducting geological oceanographic research focused on climate reconstruction and 15 years of experience developing and administrating educational outreach programs. Ms. Scowcroft has published many manuscripts on her research and outreach initiatives, presented results at numerous scientific conferences, and produced award winning educational web sites. She lectures internationally on improving science education and bringing global environmental issues into K-16 classrooms.
Ms. Scowcroft was recently selected by the National Science Foundation to serve as the Executive Director of the National COSEE (Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence) Network.
(June 28, 2010) Randall (Randy) Shackelford is a Research Engineer/Codes Specialist with Simpson Strong-Tie Company, where he has been employed since 1994. He provides technical assistance and training on building codes, wind and earthquake resistant construction, and the use of Simpson Strong-Tie connectors to builders, designers, consumers, and building officials throughout the country.
Mr. Shackelford sits on several committees, including the AISI Committee on Framing Standards, the AF&PA Wood Design Standards Committee, the ICC Ad-Hoc Committee on Wall Bracing, and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Technical Advisory Committee, and he is on the Board of Directors of the National Storm Shelter Association. He has participated in damage investigation teams for most major hurricanes to hit the U.S. mainland since 1988, including Hurricanes Hugo, Bob, Andrew, Opal, Fran, Charley, and Katrina. Prior to joining Simpson Strong-Tie, he worked for 10 years at the Texas Department of Insurance.
(May 16, 2013) Mark Shelburne works for the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency's rental investment department, which is responsible for the federal and state Housing Credit, HOME, state housing trust fund, and tax-exempt bonds. Together these account for over $250 million in annual subsidy allocations and the monitoring of approximately 60,000 apartments.
His primary responsibilities include coordinating the annual Qualified Allocation Plan, Housing Credit application review, interpreting legal authorities, and the agency's supportive housing partnership with the state Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Shelburne has also testified before Congress and worked with over half of the nation's housing finance agencies.
Immediately prior to working for the Agency, Mr. Shelburne was the general counsel of a Housing Credit equity investor. He also practiced law in the areas of commercial real estate and land use regulation.
His community involvement includes serving on the Governing Committee of the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development, Tax Credit Advisor Editorial Advisory Board, National Association of Homebuilders' Housing Credit Group, and RBC Capital Markets Tax Credit Equity Group Advisory Board.
, Counsel & Policy Coordinator
North Carolina Housing Finance Agency
(May 2, 2011) Ryan Sherriff is a research associate at the Center for Housing Policy in Washington, DC. In addition to managing several other Center projects, he researches best practices nationwide in the development and renovation of disaster-resistant homes for lower income households. Prior to working at the Center, Mr. Sherriff worked in affordable housing development with The Integral Group in Atlanta, GA, and for the real estate and economic development planning firm BBPA in Annapolis, MD.
Mr. Sherriff currently serves as Vice Chair of the Housing and Community Development Division of the American Planning Association, and as Secretary of the Family Selection Committee of the Washington, DC chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning.
(December 3, 2008) Tofigh Shirazi is a real estate developer based in Houston, Texas, with over three decades of national and international industry experience. Upon graduating from University of California at Berkley, Mr. Shirazi was hired by Societe Soletranche S.A. in France as a construction engineer specializing in foundation and concrete construction. In 1977, he moved to the Middle East and worked as construction manager for the Latiyan Contruction Company. After moving to Houston, Texas in 1980, he became VP of Real Estate Development for Zamin Investments Inc.
In 1981, Mr. Shirazi founded Intercontinental United Investors Corporation, a company of which he is still owner and president today. IUI has successfully developed and renovated several hundred thousand square feet of office/retail space and several master-planned communities. He is the town founder of Beachtown Galveston, a nationally recognized and publicized town development project.
Mr. Shirazi graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, then went on to attend Stanford University and UC Berkley, receiving a Masters of Science in Construction Management. He also studied Civil Engineering and Business and Real Estate Law at Rice University, attended Stanford University's Executive Management program, and the OPM program at Harvard Business School.
(December 3, 2008) CFO Sink was first elected statewide in 2006 as Florida's Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Sink oversees nearly 3,000 employees and an annual budget of $300 million in the Department of Financial Services. Her varied responsibilities include managing the state's $24 billion in Treasury funds, serving as the State Fire Marshal, overseeing workers' compensation and the state's risk management programs, and licensing all insurance agents and investigating insurance fraud.
As the state's top fiscal officer, CFO Sink's goal is to understand and prepare for all issues that may affect the future of Florida's economy. To better understand the potential threat of climate change, she partnered with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Charles Bronson to co-host a series of Cabinet Workshops called "Conversations on Climate Change." Out of these Cabinet-level workshops, the CFO launched a new climate change website at www.FloridaClimateChange.com, has joined the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) ? a national network of investors focused on the business impacts of climate change ? and as State Treasurer, has become the first Treasury to ask its investment managers for disclosure of climate risk.
Under CFO Sink's direction, My Safe Florida Home is successfully helping Floridians learn how to harden their homes. At www.MySafeFloridaHome.com, Floridians in single-family, site-built homes can sign up for free wind inspections. Some Floridians are also eligible for matching grants if they choose to make improvements.
The CFO is also a member of Florida's Cabinet, which includes the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Cabinet and Governor supervise executive clemency, land acquisition, bond finance and the Departments of Veterans' Affairs, Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Law Enforcement, and Revenue. As a Cabinet member, the CFO is one of four members of the Financial Services Commission that oversees the appointed commissioners of insurance regulation and financial regulation.
, Chief Operating Officer
State of Florida
(June 28, 2010) Jeffrey Sjostrom is the founding President of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership (GEDP). The GEDP is a public/private partnership focused on the expansion of Galveston's employment and tax bases. The GEDP was formed in 1999, since which it has facilitated a myriad of projects including maritime, biotechnology, housing, infill redevelopment, information services and a host of other activities. Over the past few years and in conjunction with the City of Galveston, Mr. Sjostrom has gained a unique insight into the arena of disaster planning and recovery. He participates in local, regional, state-wide and national initiatives focusing on transferring lessons learned and seeking additional improvements to the area of continuity planning and disaster recovery.
Prior to joining the GEDP Mr. Sjostrom coordinated a 13-county economic development program for the Houston-Galveston Area Council. In this capacity he was responsible for public financing tools and resources to support the region's economic growth. Mr. Sjostrom began his economic development career in Texas with the City of Palacios in 1989. Rural development was the primary goal for this small coastal community. In this capacity projects included aquaculture, tech-prep workforce training, manufacturing and real estate development.
During these 20+ years of service in the field of economic development, Mr. Sjostrom participates on a wide variety of commissions and organizations dedicated to community and economic development.
(October 8, 2014) A results-driven professional, Mr. Smail has extensive educational, project management and research experience in disaster mitigation building practices. He currently leads the research and technical aspects of signature FLASH programs including the professional training program Blueprint for Safety.
Mr. Smail is also the key collaborator with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster to embed mitigation information into the long-term rebuilding process. Prior to joining FLASH in 2011, he was an engineer and program manager for the Savannah River National Laboratory where he led two programs centered on residential home vulnerability and mitigation. Mr. Smail is a member of the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation —Science Master's Program (NSF-SMP) in Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure in the Clemson University Civil Engineering Department and the Florida International University Wall of Wind (WoW) Technical Advisory Committee.
He has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.
, SVP, Engineering and Technical Programs
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
J. David Smith
(July 10, 2008) Chief Smith was selected by Governor Carcieri as Executive Director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. He has been a key participant for many years in State Emergency Management initiatives.
Chief Smith brings nearly thirty years of distinguished law enforcement service to the agency. He retired as the Police Chief from Westerly in 2002 to take the Chief of Police position in Narragansett. In 2007, he became the Director of Public Safety and Transportation at Roger Williams University.
He holds a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies-PH.D. Candidate, ABD from Salve Regina University, is a past president of the Police Chiefs Association, and a 1999 graduate of the FBI National Academy.
J. David Smith
, Executive Director
Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency
(May 16, 2013) Gavin Smith is the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters (UNC Hazards Center) and the Department of Homeland Security's Center of Excellence - Coastal Hazards Center. The UNC Hazards Center research areas include modeling, land use planning, technology applications, the social implications of hazards and disasters, environmental hazards management, law and policy, public health, business and economics. Dr. Smith is currently engaged in planning-related research within the center, focused on a national evaluation of local and state hazard mitigation plans.
Dr. Smith is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Recently, Dr. Smith completed the text, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: A Review of the United States Disaster Assistance Framework (Island Press 2011) and is currently serving as the co-editor of the text, Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning (Springer 2013).
Following Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Smith worked in the Mississippi Office of the Governor, serving as the Director of the Office of Recovery and Renewal. In this role, he and his staff focused on four primary tasks: the identification of federal, corporate, non-profit and foundation financial assistance; the provision of education, outreach and training to local governments and state agencies; providing counsel to the Governor, his staff and state agency officials regarding disaster recovery policy issues, and the implementation of the Governor's Commission Report; After Katrina: Building Back Better than Ever. In this role he testified before Congress twice, providing recommended policy changes to improve the delivery of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction activities. He also developed the concept and wrote policy guidance associated with the $400m Alternative Housing Pilot Program, an initiative intended to test the construction and deployment of improved emergency housing alternatives following Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Smith served as the Assistant Director for Hazard Mitigation in the State of North Carolina. During his tenure with the Division, the Mitigation Section administered mitigation and disaster recovery grant funds in excess of $800m associated with 10 Presidential disaster declarations leading the acquisition and relocation or elevation of over 5,000 and 500 homes respectively. Following Hurricane Floyd, he served as an adviser to Governor Hunt on policies and programs associated with long-term recovery in North Carolina, including the development of 22 state programs that addressed local needs not met by federal assistance.
, Executive Director
UNC Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters
Rep. John Smithee (R)
(June 28, 2010) John Smithee was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1984. His district, District 86, includes Dallam, Hartley, Oldham, and Deaf Smith counties. His district office is in Amarillo. Rep. Smithee is currently Chairman of the House Committee on Insurance and serves on the Natural Resources Committee. He has served on the Economic Development, Energy Resources, Business & Commerce, Government Organization, Higher Education, Judicial Affairs, Regulated Industries, and Judiciary committees.
Rep. Smithee was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976 and is a partner at Templeton, Smithee, Hayes, Heinrich & Russell, LLP. John's legislative efforts have centered around judicial reform and insurance reform, and have been the subject of articles in the National Law Journal and Texas Lawyer. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and American Bar Association, and is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is member of the American Legislative Exchange Council and Texas Conservative Coalition.
Rep. Smithee's education includes a B.B.A. degree from West Texas State University, and he is a graduate of Texas Tech University Law School.
(October 8, 2014) Adam Sobel is a professor at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is an atmospheric scientist who specializes in the dynamics of climate and weather, particularly in the tropics, on time scales of days to decades. A major focus of his current research is extreme events - such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and droughts, and the risks these pose to human society in the present and future climate.
Adam Sobel holds a Bachelor's degree in Physics and Music from Wesleyan University, and a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the last few years, he has received the Meisinger Award from the American Meteorological Society, the Excellence in Mentoring Award from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, an AXA Award in Extreme Weather and Climate from the AXA Research Fund, and an Ascent Award from the Atmospheric Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union. Mr. Sobel is author or co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and his popular book about Hurricane Sandy, Storm Surge, will be published by Harper-Collins in October 2014.
, Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Applied Physics & Applied Mathematics
(June 28, 2010) Thomas Spencer has been with the Texas Forest Service for 30 years. He has worked as a Forester, then District Forester for 20 years. Since 1999, he has served in his current capacity as the Predictive Services Department Head with responsibility for administering the agencies Predictive Services Department, which includes monitoring drought, weather, and fire danger conditions across the state
Mr. Spencer received a BS Degree in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University.
, Predictive Services Department Head
Texas Forest Service
(June 23, 2009) A former Biloxi High School teacher, William (Bill) F. Stallworth has served the city of Biloxi in various capacities since 1976, most recently as the Councilman for Ward II, a position he also previously occupied for 12 years. In addition, Mr. Stallworth has been the city's residential and business relocation officer, the Community Development Planner, Community Development Specialist, the Personnel Officer and Voter Registrar, and Vice President for Economic Development for the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. In addition to his public service, Mr. Stallworth is a businessman, founding BFS Services, a construction and landscaping company, in 1985 and becoming a partner of Computer and Technology Support Services in 1992. Compelled to return to politics 12 years later, Mr. Stallworth was once again elected to the City Council as the only African American member shortly before Katrina struck, and since founded the East Biloxi Coordination, Relief, and Redevelopment Agency (later named the Hope Community Development Agency), dedicating himself to the rebuilding of his community.
(May 16, 2013) Diane Standaert is a Legislative Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). Ms. Standaert focuses on state-level legislative and policy solutions for curbing abusive financial practices. She works directly with stakeholders and policy makers in their efforts to promote responsible lending in their state. Ms. Standaert's articles on consumer finance, mortgage lending, and foreclosures have appeared in national publications for lawyers and community development practitioners.
Ms. Standaert currently serves on the Governing Committee for the American Bar Association's Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law and as the Legal Redress chair for the Durham Branch of the NAACP. She is the co-editor of the upcoming book, "Building Community Resilience Post-Disaster: A guide for affordable housing and community development practitioners", to be published by the American Bar Association in May 2013. The book features contributions from the General Counsel and staff of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and chapters and case studies by more than 20 housing and community economic development practitioners examining equitable disaster recovery frameworks that expand opportunities in communities for affordable housing and strong local economies.
Prior to joining CRL, Ms. Standaert served as staff attorney at the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights, working with communities in the rural south to gain access to clean water, build wealth through preservation of family-owned land, and combat discriminatory housing practices.
Diane is a graduate of Florida State University, where she was recognized as Humanitarian of the Year, and received her law degree from the University of North Carolina, during which time she directed the law school's Pro Bono Program.
Dr. Amanda Staudt
(December 3, 2008) Dr. Staudt provides scientific expertise for NWF's activities on global warming. While at NWF, she has coauthored reports on how global warming will affect severe weather, wildfires in the American West, aquatic habitats in California, and the Chesapeake Bay. Prior to joining NWF, Staudt was a senior program officer at the National Academies, where her work focused on climate change, air quality, and weather. As a key liaison between the scientific community and the federal agencies that support climate change research, she directed the National Academies Climate Research Committee and helped author more than a dozen reports on topics including the U.S. strategy for supporting climate change research, radiative forcing of climate, past records of surface temperature, how climate and weather affect transportation, and practices for effective global change assessments.
Dr. Staudt holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences and an A.B. in environmental engineering and sciences from Harvard University.
(May 2, 2011) Ross Stein is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Geological Society of America, was Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research during 1986-1989, and chaired AGU's Board of Journal Editors in 2004-2006. In 2003, the Science Citation Index reported that Dr. Stein was the second most-cited author in earthquake science during the preceding decade.
Dr. Stein has received the Eugene M. Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award of the USGS, the Excellence in Outreach Award of the Southern California Earthquake Center, and the Outstanding Contributions and Cooperation in Geoscience Award from NOAA. He was keynote speaker at the Smithsonian Institution for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and has given AGU's Francis Birch Lecture and the Frontiers of Geophysics Lecture. He is a cofounder of the Global Earthquake Model, a public-private partnership building a seismic risk model for world, and chairs GEM's Scientific Board.
Dr. Stein has appeared many documentary films, including the Emmy-nominated documentary, 'Killer Quake' (NOVA, 1995), the four-part 'Great Quakes' series (Discovery, 1997-2001), and the award-winning 2004 National Geographic IMAX movie 'Forces of Nature', which he helped to write and animate.
(February 21, 2008) Mr. Sumner currently serves as general counsel of the Florida department of financial services. Prior to serving as general counsel, Mr. Sumner served as assistant director of the division of workers' compensation. Mr. Sumner's service in the department of insurance prior to cabinet reorganization included serving as executive senior counsel, general counsel, director of legal services, director of insurance rating and deputy state treasurer.
Mr. Sumner represented the Florida Department of Insurance and presented oral argument on behalf of the Department before the United States Supreme Court in Barnett Bank v. Nelson. He has been involved in the drafting and legal defense of key insurance reforms in the State of Florida, including the Tort Reform Act of 1986, Workers' Compensation Reform Act of 1990, 1995 Property Insurance Reforms and creation of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in 2002. He was the principal contact with the Internal Revenue Service in obtaining a favorable Private Letter Ruling on the tax status of Citizens.
Mr. Sumner received his bachelor's and law degree from the University of Florida.
, General Counsel
Florida Department of Financial Services
Dr. Daniel Sutter
(June 28, 2010) Dr. Sutter is currently an associate professor in the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Texas - Pan American. His research interests include the impact of weather hazards, the value of weather forecasts, catastrophe insurance, the economics of the news media and news bias, the market for ideology, and constitutional economics. He is a Senior Affiliated Scholar of the Mercatus Institute and has previously taught at Northern Michigan University, Old Dominion University, and the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Sutter has published over seventy five articles in journals including Economic Inquiry, the Southern Economic Journal, Public Choice, Weather and Forecasting, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Natural Hazards Review, and Risk Analysis, and he has co-edited special issues of the Southern Economic Journal and the Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis on Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Sutter earned a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University Ph.D. and a Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
, Associate Professor of Economics
University of Texas, Pan American
(October 8, 2014) Brian Swett is Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston. Over the last year, Mr. Swett has led a variety of major policy and program initiatives in Boston including developing and passing a building energy disclosure ordinance, launching Greenovate Boston, a sustainability education and outreach initiative, and kicking off Climate Ready Boston, a set of climate preparedness initiatives.
Mr. Swett is also leading efforts to update the City of Boston's Climate Action Plan, which is due in 2014. Prior to his appointment with the City, Mr. Swett oversaw sustainability related initiatives at Boston Properties, worked for an environmental justice non-profit, two socially responsible investment firms, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, and several offices in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space
City of Boston
(June 23, 2009) Joe Tankersley is a writer and producer for Walt Disney Imagineering. He has worked on the creative development of projects throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, including StormStruck: A tale of Two Homes(TM), which opened at Epcot in 2008. He was head writer for the Millennium Village, part of Epcot's celebration of the new century. This unique project took him to more than a dozen countries from Brazil to Saudi Arabia. Since then he has worked on projects for Disney's Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Epcot. Currently, Mr. Tankersley leads creative teams developing new projects for Innoventions at Epcot. These projects employ the latest in interactive entertainment technologies to help guests learn more about the world around them.
(June 28, 2010) Andy Teas is Vice President of Public Affairs for the Houston Apartment Association, a non-profit trade association representing the owners and managers of over 500,000 apartment units in the Houston area.
Before joining HAA, Mr. Teas worked as a legislative aide and committee clerk in the Texas Senate and House, and for the Congressional Liaison office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington. He has also served as an instructor at Houston Community College since 1994, teaching political science.
Mr. Teas graduated from the University of Texas, and earned an M.P.A. from the L.B.J. School of Public Affairs.
, Vice President, Public Affairs
Houston Apartment Association
Paul Tertell, P.E.
(June 28, 2010) Mr. Tertell is a civil engineer with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He has over 25 years experience in design, construction, facility management and post-disaster investigation. He joined FEMA in 1992, responding to Hurricane Andrew. In 1993, he moved to the newly formed Mitigation Directorate that provides increased attention to preventing disaster damages. Mr. Tertell has participated in numerous post-disaster investigations that have resulted in recommendations on how to reduce disaster damages from natural hazards. He is responsible for over 16 publications on disaster-resistance topics.
Mr. Tertell received the Director's Award from FEMA for his work on high-wind shelters. He was project officer for the FEMA engineering report on the World Trade Center. Upon returning to Mitigation in August 2009, he led the Mitigation Assessment Team (forensic engineering effort) for Hurricane Ike.
, Civil Engineer/Mitigation Directorate
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Dr. Natacha Thomas
(July 10, 2008) Dr. Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Rhode Island. She specializes in the operation of transportation systems. Her research interests include green (pedestrian, cyclist) transportation systems, intelligent transportation systems, incident detection and management of roadway transportation systems, and emergency evacuation of building and roadway systems. Her research aims primarily to study the impact of the interactions of human behavior on transportation systems. Dr Thomas has received substantial research funding from major state and federal sponsors. One ongoing research study targets, in particular, the preparedness of the populations in the coastal regions of Rhode Island to face a hurricane threat.
Dr. Thomas obtained a PhD in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Natacha Thomas
, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Rhode Island
Congressman Bennie G. Thompson
(June 23, 2009) Chairman Thompson is currently serving his eighth term as the Democratic Congressman for Mississippi's Second District and his third term on the Homeland Security Committee. With more than 40 years of continuous public service, he is the longest-serving African-American elected official in the state of Mississippi. He served as alderman and mayor in his hometown for years, after which he served as Hinds County Supervisor for 13 years before being elected to Congress in 1993. With six district offices - Bolton, Greenville, Greenwood, Jackson, Marks, and Mound Bayou - Congressman Thompson is committed to empowering those who gave him an opportunity to represent the Second District of Mississippi.
To begin the 110th Congress, Congressman Thompson was promoted by his colleagues to serve as the first ever Democratic Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, a committee which was created by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. As Chairman, Congressman Thompson recently introduced and engineered House passage of the most comprehensive homeland security package since September 11th, H.R. 1, the "9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007". Drawing on his 26 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter, Congressman Thompson understands that our nation's law enforcement and first responders are our first line of defense in times of emergency. With that in mind he has constantly fought to ensure they are fully equipped with the resources and tools they need to effectively respond to any and all emergencies.
(June 23, 2009) Eric Thompson is a senior professional staff member of the House Committee on Financial Services. He is the chief insurance advisor for Republicans on the Committee, under the leadership of Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-AL). His prior experience includes ten years in the private sector with the Hartford Financial Services Group as Vice President and Director of Federal Affairs.
A Connecticut native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame, he also served as chief of staff and legislative advisor to former U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT).
, Senior Professional Staff Member
House Financial Services Committee
Congressman Bennie G. Thompson
(June 23, 2009) Chairman Thompson is currently serving his eighth term as the Democratic Congressman for Mississippi's Second District and his third term on the Homeland Security Committee. With more than 40 years of continuous public service, he is the longest-serving African-American elected official in the state of Mississippi. He served as alderman and mayor in his hometown for years, after which he served as Hinds County Supervisor for 13 years before being elected to Congress in 1993. With six district offices - Bolton, Greenville, Greenwood, Jackson, Marks, and Mound Bayou - Congressman Thompson is committed to empowering those who gave him an opportunity to represent the Second District of Mississippi.
To begin the 110th Congress, Congressman Thompson was promoted by his colleagues to serve as the first ever Democratic Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, a committee which was created by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. As Chairman, Congressman Thompson recently introduced and engineered House passage of the most comprehensive homeland security package since September 11th, H.R. 1, the "9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007". Drawing on his 26 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter, Congressman Thompson understands that our nation's law enforcement and first responders are our first line of defense in times of emergency. With that in mind he has constantly fought to ensure they are fully equipped with the resources and tools they need to effectively respond to any and all emergencies.
(October 8, 2014) Mr. Tillman serves as President of WeatherPredict Consulting Inc., a U.S.-based RenaissanceRe affiliate that provides intelligence on natural perils to a range of entities. In his current role at WeatherPredict, he directs a team of advanced scientists with specialties in oceanography, meteorology, wind engineering, structural engineering, seismic risk and computer simulation. Mr. Tillman also serves as President and Director of RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation Inc., a non-profit foundation that supports advanced scientific research in natural catastrophes, the development of risk mitigation techniques to safeguard communities, efforts that reduce the economic turmoil following disasters, and organizations that preserve coastal habitats.
Mr. Tillman currently serves as an Executive Director for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Mr. Tillman is also a Director for the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Mathematics, as well as the Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) and Risk Management (ARM) designations. He is a longstanding member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.
L. Thomas Tobin
(May 2, 2011) L. Thomas Tobin has worked on natural hazards, risk management and public policy issues for 45 years. As a consultant, Mr. Tobin works primarily for government agencies and non-profit organizations. He has consulted on earthquakes and public policy since 1995. He helped the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) create both Project Impact and the Disaster Resistant University initiatives. Previously he served ten years as Executive Director of the California Seismic Safety Commission. He has lobbied for legislation, having testified to Congressional committees on six occasions and state legislative committees on over 100 occasions. He served on the NEHRP advisory committee from 1991 to 1993 and the California State Historical Building Safety Board from 1991 to 1995.
Mr. Tobin is president of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). Previously he served as a director and vice president of the institute and was the 1996 Distinguished Lecturer. He was the founding secretary-treasurer of EERI's Northern California Chapter and currently is the past president. He was presented the San José State University, College of Engineering's 1996 Award of Distinction, and was the 2004 recipient of the Alfred E. Alquist Medal for Achievement in Earthquake Safety. He is a Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a director of the Coastal Zone Foundation and a Senior Advisor to GeoHazards International.
A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in civil engineering, Mr. Tobin has a Master of Science degree in geotechnical engineering from San José State University. He is a registered professional engineer.
Frederick Tombar, III
(June 28, 2010) Fred Tombar is a Senior Advisor to U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Secretary Shaun Donovan. In this capacity, he leads the strategic direction and policy development, and assists in the coordination of operations of the Department's disaster and recovery programs. This is his second time serving at HUD.
Before rejoining HUD, Mr. Tombar was the President of Tombar Consulting Group, a management consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations transform their business processes and improve their performance. Prior to forming Tombar Consulting Group, Mr. Tombar worked for the HUD's Federal Housing Administration for seven years where he worked to increase homeownership and rental housing opportunities for underserved communities. While serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing at HUD, he managed operations for the development and asset management of more than 30,000 privately-owned multifamily housing projects, administered housing grant and subsidy programs of nearly $8 billion in annual appropriations, and provided oversight to nearly 2,000 staff in fifty-one offices nationwide. Mr. Tombar also served as a Principal Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers for five years where he led projects to improve the operations of public programs at the Federal, State and Local levels of government.
Mr. Tombar is the recipient of numerous awards including twice being named a Distinguished Regulatory Partner by the National Affordable Housing Managers Association and the Outstanding HUD Official by the National Alliance of HUD Tenants. He is a Harry S. Truman Scholar and a Notre Dame Scholar. He is the recipient of both the Notre Dame Distinguished Leader award and a Distinguished Black Exemplar award. In response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Mr. Tombar directed a key project, the Road Home Program in Louisiana. This project served as the largest single housing recovery program in the history of the United States.
, Senior Advisor to the Secretary
US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
(June 23, 2009) Tami Torres currently serves as the Director of the Division of Consumer Services and the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program administered by the Florida Department of Financial Services. The MSFH program, is a $250 million program created in the 2006 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature to help Floridians identify how they can strengthen their homes against hurricanes and to reduce hurricane damage exposure in the State of Florida.
Prior to her role with the Division of Consumer Services and the My Safe Florida Home Program, Ms. Torres served as the Director of Communications for the Florida Department of Financial Services, Majority Office of the Florida Senate and the Florida Association of Counties. She has led numerous public relation and communication efforts including: Verify Before You Buy, A+ Plan for Education and Growing Florida's Economy. She has also managed and directed message development on issues of statewide importance and legislative policies such as complex financial and insurance issues.
Ms. Torres has a Bachelors of Science in Mass Media Communications from The Florida State University.
, Special Programs Administrator
My Safe Florida Home
(June 2, 2016) John Tuttle is the Global Head of Listings for NYSE Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE). Tuttle leads the team that oversees the relationships with more than 2,400 NYSE-Listed companies. He is responsible for driving client-focused initiatives, programs and services to support listed companies and assist them in maximizing the NYSE platform.
Most recently, Tuttle was the Chief of Staff of NYSE Group, where he served as a key adviser to the NYSE President. Previously, he served as Head of Corporate Affairs at NYSE Group and as Managing Director of Global Affairs and Government Relations at NYSE Euronext, then-parent company of the New York Stock Exchange as well as five other financial exchanges in Europe.
Prior to joining NYSE Euronext in July 2007, John held various roles in the United States Government, including at the United States Department of State and at the White House.
John holds a MBA from the University of Notre Dame and BBA from Eastern Michigan University.
, Global Head of Listings
NYSE Group/Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE)
(October 8, 2014) Shana Udvardy has twenty years of experience working in the environmental arena. She brings a decade of experience successfully implementing freshwater, flood risk management and climate adaptation policy strategies and a decade of field research experience assessing and monitoring freshwater and terrestrial systems throughout the United States and South America. Ms. Udvardy is frequently called upon to speak and to present articles on climate adaptation and flood risk management including a recent State Department speaking tour where she engaged with policymakers and civil society organizations in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.
Under the Center for Clean Air Policy's (CCAP) Weathering Climate Risks program, Ms. Udvardy is working to advance corporate and community preparedness for extreme weather and climate change impacts, and assess the economic benefits of risk management and planning ahead. Previously, as president of Udvardy Consulting, she worked on flood risk and climate adaptation initiatives including co-leading the Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance and the American Planning Association's â??Planning for Flood Resilient Communitiesâ?? workshop series.
Ms. Udvardy holds a M.S. in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development from the University of Georgia's Odum School of Ecology, and a B.A. from Syracuse University's Maxwell School.
, Climate Adaptation Policy Analyst
Center for Clean Air Policy
Dr. David Vallee
John van de Lindt
, Professor & Drummond Chair
Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering
(December 3, 2008) Paul VanderMarck is Chief Products Officer of Risk Management Solutions, the leading provider of catastrophe risk models to the global insurance industry. In this role, he has overall responsibility for definition and execution of the firm's product strategy. Since joining RMS in 1992, he has played a central role both in the development of RMS' global catastrophe modeling capabilities as well as in advancing the state of practice for using modeling to manage catastrophe risk. In 2003, Mr VanderMarck was recognized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for his contributions to the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management with the Shah Family Innovation Award.
Mr. VanderMarck holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and an M.S. degree in Structural and Earthquake Engineering, both from Stanford University.
(May 16, 2013) Dr. Peter Vickery joined Applied Research Associates (ARA) in 1988. Prior to joining ARA, Dr. Vickery completed both his Masters and doctoral studies at the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory at the University of Western Ontario.
Dr. Vickery has over 30 years of experience in wind engineering. He has 20 years experience in the application of hurricane modeling relevant to insurance loss analysis/rate making, and 15 years experience in coastal flood modeling and risk assessment. He has published numerous peer reviewed journal papers related to hurricane risk and additional papers related to wind loads on buildings and other structures. The hurricane hazard model developed by Dr. Vickery was used to define the design wind speeds given in ASCE 7-98 through ASCE 7-05. The updated hurricane hazard model is used to define the ASCE 7-10 design wind speeds, as well as the design wind speeds to be used in the Caribbean.
Dr. Vickery was Co-PI on ARA's effort to develop the HAZUS Wind Loss Estimation methodology and was responsible for developing the wind load and damage portion of the loss models used in both HAZUS and ARA's HURLOSS tool.
Dr. Vickery was responsible for developing the hurricane hazard model and the damage functions employed in ARA's proprietary hurricane loss model.
Dr. Vickery serves on the ASCE-7 wind load task committee developing wind loading provisions for use in the United States. With Dr. Lawrence Twisdale of Applied Research Associates, Dr. Vickery developed the hurricane missile models that were subsequently used in defining the wind borne debris risk criteria as given in the SSTD-12 missile protection standard and the ASTM wind borne debris standard. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Meteorological Society and is a Licensed Engineer in the state of North Carolina.
Lincoln (Link) Walther, FAICP
(October 8, 2014) Mr. Walther serves as the Vice President of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association (NHMA) and has been on the Board of Directors since 2012. This past year, he was Co-chair of the 2014 Natural Hazard Mitigation International Practitioners Symposium.
Mr. Walther has over 45 years of experience in urban planning, with the last 14 years focused primarily assisting local governments on hazard mitigation and emergency management issues. Mr. Walther first became involved in hazard mitigation in the late 1990s when he participated in the development of Florida' s Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) program which was the forerunner of the FEMA' s Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. Mr. Walther also assisted the American Planning Association (APA) in updating and overhauling the 1998 PAS Report, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction under the new title, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation.
Professionally, Mr. Walther has served as Chairman of the Treasure Coast Section of the American Planning Association. He also was a state officer for the Florida Chapter American Planning Association. In 2008 he had the distinguished honor of being inducted in the Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP). Mr. Walther also has served as a representative of the Florida Chapter, American Planning Association (APA) on the State of Florida Hazard Mitigation Plan Advisory Team since its inception in 2004.
(May 2, 2011) Yumei Wang, PE, is the principal at Sustainable Living Solutions and also leads the Geohazards team at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (www.OregonGeology.com)), where her work focuses on lowering risks from earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides. She is an advisor for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and has taken part in post-earthquake damage assessments from Chile, China, and Sumatra earthquakes/tsunamis. Her current priorities include earthquake risk assessment of critical energy infrastructure, the design of North America's first tsunami shelter, and efforts to implement innovative policies to manage catastrophic Cascadia earthquake risks, including Oregon's unique seismic retrofit grant program.
Ms. Wang has appeared on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, as well as NOVA, National Geographic and Discovery documentaries. She served as Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate in Washington DC, and worked as a geotechnical consultant in California. She has an MS in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in Geological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Sustainable Living Solutions
(May 2, 2011) Nancy L. Ward was appointed Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Region IX office in October 2006. Prior to this, she served as the Director of FEMA's Response and Recovery Division in Region IX from 2000 forward and was responsible for coordinating FEMA disaster response and recovery activities in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Ms. Ward was appointed FEMA's senior transition official for the presidential transition and served as Acting Administrator for FEMA from January 21, 2009 to May 16, 2009. She returned to her position as the Regional Administrator of the FEMA Region IX office when Craig Fugate was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the Administrator of FEMA. Previously, she worked two details at FEMA headquarters as the Deputy Director of the Recovery Directorate during FEMA's response and recovery operations for the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. Ms. Ward has received awards for special accomplishments at FEMA, including the 2007 Award for Excellence for her leadership during the California wildfires.
Before joining FEMA, Ms. Ward was Chief of the Disaster Assistance Branch and Deputy State Coordinating Officer for the California Office of Emergency Services. She administered the state's Natural Disaster Assistance Act program assistance provisions, which provide disaster assistance funding to local governments for state-level emergencies and disasters. She provided guidance and technical support to other state and local agencies in the planning, development and implementation of program policies and procedures for disaster recovery activities.
, Regional Administrator
U. S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Region IX
(June 2, 2016) Stephen H. Weinstein serves as RenaissanceRe’s chief legal officer, with responsibility for legal, regulatory, government affairs and compliance matters on a global basis. Mr. Weinstein has served as RenaissanceRe’s Group General Counsel and Corporate Secretary since joining the Company in 2002, as Chief Compliance Officer since 2004, and as Senior Vice President since 2005. He has been a member of our Executive Committee since March 2006. Mr. Weinstein also serves as Chairman of RenaissanceRe’s Risk Sciences Foundation.
Prior to joining RenaissanceRe, Mr. Weinstein specialized in corporate law as an attorney at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, a leading international law firm.
Mr. Weinstein, a frequent speaker on legal and regulatory matters, serves on the boards of several industry groups and is a Member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar Association. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Harvard Law School.
Robin Smith Westcott, Esq.
(May 16, 2013) Robin Smith Westcott is currently serving as the Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate, having been appointed to the post in July 2011 by Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater.
Ms. Westcott began her legal career in 1993 with the Florida Department of Insurance, Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation as an attorney handling legal matters relating to the receivership estates of insolvent companies. Robin served with the Receiver until 2001 when she left to enter private practice. Robin returned to the public sector in 2002 with the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation where she served as Assistant General Counsel and Counsel to the Florida Partnership for School Readiness.
In 2004, Ms. Westcott returned to the Office of Insurance Regulation as an Assistant General Counsel. Robin was appointed as the Director of Property and Casualty Financial Oversight in 2007 and served as the Acting Deputy Commissioner for Property and Casualty prior to being selected by CFO Atwater to serve as Executive Director for the Medicaid and Public Assistance Strike Force in March 2011.
As Florida's Consumer Advocate, she has sought to engage with consumers to identify broad public policy insurance issues that deserve redress and to bring facts, data and analysis to assist policymakers in developing good public policy to respond to these issues.
Ms. Westcott earned a Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1993. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University in 1991.
Robin Wescott, Esq.
, Insurance Consumer Advocate
Florida Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate
(June 23, 2009) Michelle Whetten directs Enterprise Community Partners' Gulf Coast office, based in New Orleans. Her responsibilities include working with state and local officials to create effective systems for affordable housing production, implementing innovative training and technical assistance programs with local nonprofit organizations, and supporting Enterprise's investment of more than $200 million to develop more than 10,000 homes for low- and moderate-income families in the Gulf Coast region over the next five years.
Prior to her assignment in the Gulf Coast, Ms. Whetten was deputy director for Enterprise's New York City office, where she led Enterprise New York's neighborhood initiatives and public policy efforts. In that role, she managed organizational development, resident services technical assistance and grant making programs, and directed advocacy and outreach to local, state and federal officials on housing and community development issues. She was also charged with guiding and implementing strategic planning for Enterprise New York.
Before joining Enterprise, Ms. Whetten managed the Prince George's County, Md., office of the Neighborhood Design Center, a Baltimore-based nonprofit organization, where she recruited and coordinated pro bono services of architects, engineers and planners to assist with community-sponsored projects.
Ms. Whetten graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental policy analysis and planning and from the University of Illinois with a master's degree in urban and regional planning. She serves on the board of the Louisiana Association of Affordable Housing Providers.
, Vice President and Impact Market Leader
Gulf Coast Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
(October 30, 2012) Jeff Williams is Director, Climate Consulting for Entergy Corporation. In that capacity he plays an important role helping Entergy manage carbon risk, help business units develop strategy to build resilient communities, prosper in a carbon constrained economy and execute future sustainable growth opportunities. Jeff has been a strong advocate for taking proactive, responsible action to manage climate risks and build cost effective resilience to a changing climate.
Climate Consulting for Entergy Corporation
Dr. Eric Williford
(February 21, 2008) Dr. Williford was one of the founding members of WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. in 2000, which was fully purchased by RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. in 2006. He has been associated with RenaissanceRe since 1996 (through research grants between RenaissanceRe and Florida State University).
Dr. Williford is responsible for the production of tropical cyclone and short-term weather forecasting products with a staff that serves both internal and external clients. He has worked closely with the National Hurricane Center for the past several years, providing a hurricane Super Ensemble(TM) forecast for their usage. He also helps direct and guide targeted research and the implementation of these efforts within WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. Dr. Williford previously worked with IBM Corp. as a network architecture engineer, prior to returning to university to study meteorology and computational science.
Dr. Williford holds a B.S. in Engineering from Duke University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Meteorology from Florida State University.
Northeast Hurricane Mitigation Leadership Forum, July 10, 2008
William W Windle
(October 30, 2012) Bill Windle is a Managing Director for RenRe Energy Advisors Ltd., a subsidiary of RenaissanceRe which offers a range of energy and weather-related risk management products around the world. He is responsible for leading all origination activities in the development and execution of risk management products for corporate clients.
Prior to joining RenRe Energy Advisors Ltd., Bill was a founding partner of Takara Capital Management LP, an alternative investment fund focused on weather-centric arbitrage strategies. He has previously held senior positions at Swiss Re Financial Products Corp., Enron Global Markets and Koch Energy Trading, Inc.
Bill attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, receiving his B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.B.A. from the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College. Mr. Windle also is a holder of the CFA designation and holds the rank of Captain in the United States Navy Reserve. He is the former President of the Weather Risk Management Association.
(October 30, 2012) Maura Wood is the Partnership Manager for National Wildlife Federation's Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign. She works to characterize stakeholder perspectives and engage with stakeholders, agencies, and officials to advance coastal restoration goals and projects.
She holds a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and an MS in Oceanography and Coastal Science from Louisiana State University. In 2011, she was honored as a "Woman of the Gulf" by the National Audubon Society for her work on the BP Oil Spill.
, Partnership Manager
National Wildlife Federation's Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign
, State Hazard Mitigation Officer
California Department of Transportation
Washington State Emergency Management Division
(May 2, 2011) Harry Yeh is the Miles Lowell and Margaret Watt Edwards Distinguished Chair in Engineering at Oregon State University. He also holds the position of Adjunct Professor in College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. Professor Yeh received an AB in Economics from Keio Gijuku University (Japan), BS and MS degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Washington State University, and a PhD in Civil Engineering from University of California. He worked for Bechtel Inc. in the late 1970s and early 1980s, primarily analyzing hydrodynamics problems involved in electric power plants. He began his academic career in 1983 at the University of Washington, and joined the faculty of School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University in 2003.
Professor Yeh's primary research interest is in the field of hydrodynamics of tsunamis, focusing on controlled laboratory experiments and theoretical development of nonlinear long-wave theory in close collaboration with applied mathematicians. He also works on the development of tensor-filed visualization, as well as the development of IT tools for tsunami hazards mitigation, in collaboration with computer scientists. In addition to water-wave research, he has worked on the topics of gravity currents, lake hydrodynamics, wind turbulence, vorticity dynamics at the fluid-fluid interface, structural control, and tsunami evacuation simulations.
He participated in several reconnaissance field surveys for tsunamis - from the 1992 Nicaraguan event to most recent Japanese Tsunami. He had had extensive collaboration with Japanese scientists and engineers, including research in structural control performance with Shimiz Corporation, laboratory experiments with the Public Works Research Institute and University of Tokyo, collaborative engineering education with Tohoku University, and mitigation measures with Kyoto University.
, Miles Lowell and Margaret Watt Edwards Distinguished Chair in Engineering
Oregon State University
, Senior Director of Mitigation
Risk Management Solutions
(October 30, 2012) Jerome Zeringue currently serves as the Executive Director of the Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). The CPRA's mandate is to develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive coastal protection and restoration master plan. The CPRA is also directed to implement the integration of hurricane protection, storm damage reduction, flood control, infrastructure, and coastal protection and restoration efforts in accordance with the master plan and annual plans. In partnership with federal, state, and local government, including levee districts, the CPRA is working to establish a safe and sustainable coast to protect Louisiana's communities, the nation's critical energy infrastructure, and our bountiful natural resources for generations to come.
After serving as the Executive Director of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District for over a decade, Zeringue joined the Governor's Office of Coastal Activities in May 2008 to serve as Director of Policy and Programs. Soon thereafter, Zeringue assumed the role of Deputy Executive Director of the CPRA and as such, was responsible for organizing, motivating and leading the integration of more than 150 staff that transferred from the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation and Development, and the Governor's Office of Coastal Activities to form the implementation office for the
CPRA. This was a crowning achievement as it marked the first time in Louisiana's history that a single state entity was responsible for integrating and implementing coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects. In addition, Zeringue serves as Louisiana's Incident Commander for coastal flood fighting during hurricane and high water events.
Zeringue's work with the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District included the effort to build comprehensive storm surge protection and wetland restoration projects for Terrebonne Parish and lower Lafourche Parish has served him well in fulfilling his current responsibilities. He also worked as a fisheries biologist at LSU Sea Grant, and assisted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on seafood regulations, then as the coastal resources director for the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, helping establish the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge before taking on the role as the director of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District.
Zeringue was recently named the new management Chair of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance; taking an active lead on behalf of Governor Bobby Jindal. A native of Thibodaux, Zeringue holds a bachelor's degree in Zoology and a master's degree in Fisheries Biology both from Louisiana State University.
, Executive Director
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority