Speaker Bios

 

Charles Ambio, Senior Planner, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness
Charles Ambio serves as a Senior Planner with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, helping build preparedness and resiliency across New Jersey. He analyzes risk, determines preparedness gaps, provides recommendations and coordinates collaboration among public and private sector partners, including New Jersey’s Infrastructure Advisory Committee and Mass Gathering Working Group. Prior to joining the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness in August 2017, Charles was a member of the New York City Police Department, where he served for almost 21 years and retired as a Second Grade Detective. He spent eleven years with their Counterterrorism Division, serving as one of the original team members of the NYPD SHIELD Program, a public-private partnership dedicated to providing best practices, counterterrorism training, lessons learned and information sharing with government agencies, non-government organizations, private businesses, and the community. Charles holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Staten Island (The City University of New York), where he majored in Accounting.

Dan Ault, Assistant Town Manager and Chief Innovation Officer, Town of Cary, North Carolina
Dan Ault joined the Town of Cary as Assistant Town Manager and Chief Innovation Officer in December 2016. In this role, he serves as the key architect and strategist for Town Manager Stegall’s vision of creating a more adaptive and resilient organization. Ault’s focus on organizational development, communication, and technology are redefining the way Town employees engage and collaborate with the public and each other. Prior to working for the Town, Ault spearheaded the City of Elgin’s 311 initiative. While at Elgin, Ault developed the City’s mobile app in-house and implemented cloud applications across 21 departments and divisions. He also initiated Elgin’s smart city, cloud-first strategy, which brought innovative private-sector business applications to the public sector. Ault graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration. In 2010, he received his Master of Public Administration Degree from Northern Illinois University.

Brandy Bones, Senior Manager, ICF International
Brandy Bones (AICP, PMP) has 13 years of experience helping states and localities implement disaster recovery, neighborhood stabilization and affordable homeownership and rental programs. She is an expert in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded programs including Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR). Ms. Bones is experienced in program and project implementation, policy and procedures development, and data tracking, analysis, and reporting. She leads ICF’s disaster recovery work with HUD and recently led the development of HUD’s CDBG-DR Launch Toolkit and a Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Toolkit for HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling. She has worked on disaster recovery and resiliency programs in Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the US Virgin Islands. Ms. Bones holds an MBA from the University of Florida and a BA from Colgate University.

Tom Broom, Executive Account Manager, Danos
Tom Broom is responsible for overseeing and maintaining Danos’ long-term relationship with Shell. In 2015, Broom retired from Shell after a 35-year-career, most recently serving as director of coastal issues for Shell Exploration & Production Company. In that role he served as the inaugural director of a 25-person international team focused on collaborating with internal and external stakeholders on coastal management issues. Prior to that position he oversaw workforce development and construction risk mitigation and managed operations training for the United States, Canada and Brazil. He also supervised the daily operations of Shell’s Robert Training and Conference Center, the company’s primary operations training facility.

H. “Butch” Browning, Louisiana State Fire Marshal
H. “Butch” Browning, Jr. was appointed as the Louisiana State Fire Marshal on March 8, 2008. Fire Marshal Browning has a strong belief in value-driven leadership whereby he leads by example and empowers people for success. Over the past 29 years he has served in all levels of the fire service. He entered public service as a sheriff’s deputy in East Baton Rouge Parish and later taught firefighting techniques as an adjunct professor at LSU. Browning also served as Fire Chief for the District 6 Fire Department in Baton Rouge, and prior to his
appointment as State Fire Marshal, he proudly served as the City of Gonzales Fire Chief. Browning has developed a paramedic ALS transport system, “Effective Fire Drills,” which is a program for fire safety in schools and a fire/arson task force. Browning is a recipient of the 2000, 2006, 2008 and 2014 Roy Robichaux Legislative Award. He was also named the 1996 Louisiana Fireman of the Year by the American Legion and named District 6 Officer of the Year in 1988, 1989, 1991, and 1993.

Jessica Chu, GIS Programmer, First Street Foundation
Ziyan (Jessica) Chu is a GIS Programmer at First Street Foundation. Using her background in environmental economics and natural resource policy, she contributes to the improvement of the processes utilized in the creation of the data and map layers displayed on FloodiQ.com. Before joining First Street, Jessica was a Research Associate and GIS Coordinator at Resources for the Future for 7 years, where she gained extensive experience and expertise managing and analyzing GIS data for research projects related to the impact of shale gas booming on water quality, traffic accidents, ecosystem services evaluation, energy efficiency, tropical forest deforestation, natural disaster risks, and more. Jessica holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science from Yale University and a master’s degree in Ecology from Zhejiang University in China. She has co-authored several publications in top journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Environmental Science & Technology.

Ryan Clark, Research Scientist, The Water Institute of the Gulf
Ryan Clark is a Coastal Geologist in the Department of Human Dimensions with 11 years of experience in large, multidisciplinary coastal projects in both the private and public sectors. His recent work at the Institute includes conducting research on the efficiency of dredging for coastal restoration. He oversees student researchers, and has presented progress and findings at the 2014 Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration (CEER) and the 2014 United States Army Corps of Engineers – Mississippi Valley Division & Gulf Coast Regional Dredging Meeting.rior to joining The Water Institute of the Gulf, Clark was a Project Scientist at ARCADIS, an international consultancy based in The Netherlands. He served in the Integrated Water Resources Planning practice as the Co-project Manager for the United States Army Corps of Engineers/Federal Emergency management Agency Joint Coastal Surge Study.Clark earned a Bachelor of Science in geology from Louisiana State University, and a Master of Science in earth and ecosystems science from Tulane University. He is a Registered Professional Geologist. He was elected as the President-Elect of the Society for Ecological Restoration – Large-scale Ecosystem Restoration Section in 2014.

Joyce Coffee, President, Climate Resilience Consulting
Joyce Coffee, LEED AP, founder and president of the Certified B Corp Climate Resilience Consulting, works with leaders to create strategies that strengthen urban resilience, protecting and enhancing markets and livelihoods through adaptation to climate change.
She has over 20 years of domestic and international experience in the corporate, government and non-profit sectors implementing resilience and sustainability strategies, management systems, performance measurement, partnerships, benchmarking and reporting.
Prior experience includes USAID’s US-Asia Environmental Partnership (Asia and Washington), the World Bank (Vietnam), MWH (Chicago and Egypt), Farr Associates Architecture and Urban Design (Chicago) Chicago Climate Action Plan at the City of Chicago, Edelman, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative, ND-GAIN.
Joyce is a Senior Sustainability Fellow at the Global Institute of Sustainability and advises various high level resilience groups, including the Climate Bond Initiative’s Adaptation and Resilience Expert Group, Climate KIC’s City Finance Lab, Resilience Brokers Programme, the Global Adaptation and Resilience Investment work group, the Anthropocene Alliance, the US Green Building Council Illinois Chapter, The Climate Service, MIT CoLab, and the National Science Foundation’s Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network.

Ella Delio, Director of Environmental and Regional Initiatives, Greater New Orleans Foundation 
Elaine “Ella” Delio joined the staff of the Greater New Orleans Foundation as director of Environmental and Regional Initiatives in September 2014. Previously, she was executive vice president and managing partner at Savior Media, a Boston-based strategic communications firm. Prior to that role, Ella worked in Washington, D.C., at the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank, where she served as Global Director of the New Ventures program. In that role, she provided business development and investment facilitation services to innovative environmental enterprises in Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, and Mexico. She co-led the development of the program’s five year strategic plan, and she helped build the Green Investor Network in India, a group of investors interested in funding environmental entrepreneurs. In this capacity, she also worked with various funders from the philanthropic and public sectors. Ms. Delio received her MBA and MPA degrees from the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School and her Management Engineering and Economics degrees from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. She was awarded the Don K. Price Award by the Harvard Kennedy School for academic distinction and leadership in public service.

Ramiro Diaz, Architectural & Urban Designer, Waggonner & Ball Architecture/Environment
Ramiro is an architectural designer, planner, and photographer employed at Waggonner & Ball Architects since 2004. He is responsible for the production and manipulation of cartography graphics using GIS software. Ramiro played a key role in the Dutch Dialogues and the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, participating in design workshops and designing solutions at regional and district-level scales. For NDRC New Orleans, Ramiro coordinated with both consultants and the City of New Orleans to develop extensive mapping of the Gentilly area in order to quantify need and determine project focus areas. He is the President of the Board for Groundwork New Orleans, a non-profit that implements sustainable stormwater best management practices and trains high school students to be stewards of the environment in partnership with the EPA Brownfields Program and National Park Service. Ramiro is currently serving on the Board of Zoning Adjustments

Julia Kumari Drapkin, CEO and founder, iSeeChange
Julia Kumari Drapkin is the CEO and founder of ISeeChange. Dedicated to connecting communities to each other and their changing environment, Drapkin created ISeeChange after over a decade reporting natural disasters and climate change science across the globe and in her own backyard on the Gulf Coast. Drapkin currently serves on the board of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and is a consultant for the think tank Resources for the Future and NASA. Prior to journalism, Julia did research anthropology and archaeology for over 7 years in Latin America, where she geeked out on Mayan farmer’s almanacs.

Jeannette Dubinin, Director of Coastal Program, Center for Planning Excellence
Jeannette has been with CPEX since 2010, focusing on developing and providing planning and implementation tools with and for Louisiana’s coastal communities. She has co-authored several of CPEX’s publications and worked with numerous coastal communities to identify opportunities for reducing flood risk and increasing overall resilience. Jeannette has a natural science background and earned a M. Sc. in Energy and Environmental Science from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands, and B.Sc. in Biological Science from LSU in Baton Rouge.

Jeana Dunlap, Executive Policy Adviser, Office of Resilience & Community Services, Louisville Metro Government
Jeana Dunlap has been in public service with Louisville Metro Government for more than 14 years. During this time she has engaged with public and private interests to direct initiatives supporting equitable economic development, community revitalization, place-making, sustainability, and historic preservation. She appreciates the need for multidisciplinary approaches when tackling disruptive redevelopment efforts that strive to improve quality of life and place. While facilitating change through the built environment is critical, she also believes that changing mindsets is paramount to achieving vibrant and resilient communities. Most recently as the director of Redevelopment Strategies, she lead a year-long community dialogue emphasizing the historical and present day impacts of redlining policy and practice in Louisville, Kentucky. Jeana is also currently a 2019 Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Col. Terry Ebbert, Director of Public Safety and Homeland Security, City of New Orleans
Col. Terry Ebbert, USMC Ret., is New Orleans’ Director of Public Safety and Homeland Security. He served as Director of Homeland Security for the City of New Orleans from 2003 to 2008. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he served as the “Incident Commander” and coordinated all local, state and federal response for New Orleans. He has been a leader for multiple public safety agencies, including police, fire, Emergency Medical Services, emergency preparedness and criminal justice organizations. Colonel Ebbert has served as Director of the New Orleans Police Foundation, Director of Security for the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve and Director of Security and Emergency Management for the Department of Energy National Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Governor John Bel Edwards, Louisiana
Governor John Bel Edwards serves as Governor at State Of Louisiana. Mr. Edwards was sworn in as Louisiana’s 56th Governor on January 11, 2016. Governor Edwards’ political career started in 2008 when he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, representing District 72 in Louisiana’s North Shore region. Despite being a freshman legislator, he was selected to lead the House Democratic Caucus and also to chair the House Veterans Affairs committee. From the heart of Louisiana, Governor Edward, as his friends and family know him, excelled in high school athletics (football and baseball) and graduated as valedictorian of his Amite High School class. As one of eight children from a family long dedicated to public service, he carries on the family tradition. He is a 1988 Dean’s List graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at West Point, he was chosen by his classmates as the Vice Chairman of the Honor Committee in Charge of Investigations. After eight years of active duty with the U.S. Army as an Airborne Ranger, culminating with command of a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he went on to graduate Order of the Coif from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

Justin Ehrenwerth, President and CEO, The Water Institute of the Gulf
Justin R. Ehrenwerth serves as President and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf. Founded in 2011, the Institute is a not-for-profit, independent applied research and technical services institution with a mission to help coastal and deltaic communities thoughtfully prepare for an uncertain future. Through an integrated and inter-disciplinary approach, our work helps to create more resilient communities, thriving economies, and a healthy environment. Prior to joining the Institute, Ehrenwerth served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council). The Council was created in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and is comprised of the Governors of five Gulf Coast States and Secretaries from six Federal agencies. The Council is responsible for using billions of dollars in civil and administrative penalties to restore the ecosystem and revitalize the economy of the Gulf Coast. Ehrenwerth successfully established the Council as a new independent federal agency and oversaw all aspects of its programmatic, technical and operational activities. Ehrenwerth previously served as Chief of Staff to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce where he assisted the Secretary and Deputy Secretary in overseeing issues of management, policy and strategic planning for the Department. Earlier, Ehrenwerth served as Assistant Counsel to the President where he took the lead on Deepwater Horizon litigation for the White House working with the Department of Justice. He also served as a member of the Oversight and Litigation group representing the White House in Congressional investigations and advising Federal agencies on oversight matters. Ehrenwerth is a summa cum laude graduate of Colby College, holds an MA in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

Natalie Enclade, Director of Individual and Community Preparedness, FEMA
Natalie F. Enclade, Ph.D. is the Director of Individual and Community Preparedness (ICPD) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She was appointed as Director in March 2018. As Director, she oversees programs that partner at all levels of government, the private sector, and community organizations to increase citizen and community preparedness and encourage the development of disaster resilience across the Nation. Ms. Enclade has an established career in the field of public administration as a Chief Policy Advisor and Senior Program Analyst for the Federal government and a Policy Analyst for the State of Mississippi. In 2014 and 2017, she was selected as a DHS Office of Inspector General Fellow to serve as the subject matter expert in emergency management for the United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. In this role, Ms. Enclade was responsible for the day to day activities of the FEMA/Emergency Management and Communications portfolio, which included major pieces of legislation, such as the DHS Reauthorization Act, fire grants reauthorization, as well as various programmatic mandates. Ms. Enclade holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Millsaps College (Jackson, Mississippi), a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with an emergency management policy focus from Mississippi State University. Ms. Enclade was inducted into the Public Administration honor society, Pi Alpha Alpha, in 2006. In 2005, she was inducted into a National Honors Society, Gamma Beta Phi. She previously served on the Advisory Board for the Association of the Certified Fraud Examiners as well as on the Disaster Recovery and Continuity Executive Committee for the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board (TRB). In this position, she served as a disaster recovery subject matter expert on a team of researchers interested in the needs and problems related to disaster transportation. Ms. Enclade is also an adjunct instructor in the field of homeland security, emergency management, and public policy.

Dakota Fisher, Resilience Program Analyst, State of Louisiana’s Office of Community Development – Disaster Recovery Unit
As a member of the Office of Community Development’s resilience team, Dakota operates as a project manager for Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) and a lead planner for the Resettlement of Isle de Jean Charles. These projects exist by means of a $92.6 million grant awarded to the State of Louisiana as a result of OCD’s efforts during the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC). Dakota directly advises the Resilience Policy and Program Administrator, as well as OCD’s executive leadership, on Louisiana’s $17 billion disaster recovery portfolio, specifically as programs and policies may be tailored to account for future disaster risk and the incorporation of resilience-building adaptation strategies.
Dakota holds a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Geography from Louisiana State University. He is an active member of the American Planning Association, Urban and Regional Information Systems Association and the United States Green Building Council.

Colin Foard, Senior Associate, Pew Charitable Trusts
Colin Foard is an associate manager with the Fiscal Federalism Initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts. The project examines fiscal and policy relationships between the federal government and the states. Colin helps lead the team’s work on natural disaster spending through stakeholder outreach and research design and implementation.
Before joining Pew, Colin spent five years as a staff member for a senior member of the U.S. House Appropriations and Budget Committees, handling committee work as well as a broad policy portfolio including homeland security, transportation, housing, and immigration issues. He also served as a congressional constituent caseworker and field representative in Oakland, California. Before his work for the House, he worked as a legal assistant in a criminal defense law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Colin has a master’s degree in Latin American Studies with a focus on immigration issues from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies, History, and Spanish from Union College in Schenectady, New York.

Pat Forbes, P. E., Executive Director, Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD)
Office of Community Development Executive Director Pat Forbes oversees the state’s Community Development Block Grant programs funded by HUD. Forbes’ oversight includes housing, economic development, infrastructure and planning programs for recovery from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac, and the 2016 floods. Previously, Forbes managed the Louisiana Recovery Authority’s infrastructure section and before Hurricane Katrina, he served as an engineer in the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities. Prior to his state service, Forbes worked as a consulting environmental engineer, owned and operated his own company, and worked at Georgia Pacific’s Port Hudson paper mill. Forbes earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Craig Fugate, Chief Emergency Management Officer, One Concern
Craig Fugate serves as the Chief Emergency Management Officer at One Concern, an artificial intelligence company. One Concern’s disaster management and resilience platform provides unprecedented situational awareness and actionable insights on preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation for decision-makers. Prior to joining One Concern, Craig was appointed as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator by President Barack Obama, and served in that role from May 2009 to January 2017. Previously, he served as Florida’s Emergency Management Director from 2001-2009. Craig led FEMA through multiple record-breaking disaster years, and oversaw the federal government’s response to more than 500 Presidentially-declared major disasters and emergencies, including major events such as the Joplin and Moore tornadoes, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Matthew, and the 2016 Louisiana flooding. Craig also guided U.S. assistance in international disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti and the Fukushima radiological incident in Japan. Prior to his tenure at FEMA, he was widely praised for his management, under Governor Jeb Bush, of the devastating effects of the 2004 and 2005 Florida hurricane seasons (Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis, Katrina, and Wilma). Craig created what has become known as the Waffle House Index—an informal metric used to help predict the effects of an incoming storm and the potential level of assistance required for disaster recovery.

Jane Gilbert, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Miami
Jane Gilbert is the City of Miami’s first Chief Resilience Officer. Gilbert leads the City’s resilience strategy development and works in partnership with the City of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County to develop the region’s first comprehensive Resilience Strategy Plan for Greater Miami and the Beaches. Additionally, as Director of the City’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability, Ms. Gilbert is charged with leading the City’s response to the impacts of climate hazards. For over 20 years, Gilbert has created and led public-private partnerships focused
on strengthening the community within Miami. As a consultant, Gilbert managed The Miami Foundation’s civic leadership agenda on sea level rise, which included coordinating the unified application to 100 Resilient Cities and a study on how best to communicate policy and action priorities related to sea level rise to greater Miami’s diverse audiences. Previously, Gilbert led Wells Fargo’s philanthropy and community affairs in South Florida and was the founding Executive Director for 2 nonprofits, Dream in Green and Arts for Learning/Miami. Gilbert also served on the City of Miami’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee, Beacon Council’s One Community One Goal Steering Committee, Miami-Dade County Climate Change Advisory TaskForce, and City of Miami NSP Task Force.

Jim Gray, Green Streams
Jim is President and CEO. Jim is an electrical engineer and systems engineer with long experience as an engineering consultant in Washington DC and at Virginia Tech. Jim is originally from Portsmouth, Virginia and now lives in Norfolk.

Bob Greenberg, CEO, G&H International
Bob Greenberg is CEO and Founder of G&H International Services. He has been working with the federal government to develop and implement programs to support first responders for nearly two decades.

Tanya Gulliver-Garcia, Assistant Director of Major Initiatives, Center for Disaster Philanthropy
Prior to CDP, Tanya worked as the Associate Director of Programs and Planning at Foundation for Louisiana (FFL). Her duties included helping FFL strengthen its capacity to manage various programmatic initiatives while also building an effective evaluation practice. She led FFL’s Equitable Disaster Resilience Framework and associated Strategic Response Fund, as well as the foundation’s LGBTQ Fund. Tanya has lived and worked for most of her life in and around Toronto, Canada. Her most recent work includes serving as the Research Coordinator for the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness/Homeless Hub (COH) based at York University. The COH works to mobilize research results so that they have a greater impact on the elimination of homelessness in Canada. After graduating university in 1991, Tanya made a commitment to only work in social justice-related work and has focused on poverty, homelessness, LGBTQ rights, community development and marginalization of vulnerable communities. She taught three different undergrad courses in Toronto including “Homelessness in Canadian Society”, “Environmental Disasters” and a field course in community development that brought Toronto-area students to New Orleans to assist in rebuilding post-Katrina. She teaches a self-created course “Disasters and Social Justice” at Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy.

Ramsey Green, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Infrastructure, City of New Orleans
Ramsey Green was named to Mayor Cantrell’s cabinet in May 2018. Prior to that he was a partner of GCE Green Development, a real estate development company focused on building a portfolio of historic, energy efficient residential real estate in Louisiana. Green received a B.A. with honors in politics from New York University and a Master in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Samuel Fels Fellow. He earned a certificate in local and state government for senior executives from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was a Fisher Fellow. Green currently serves as the chairman of the board of the New Beginnings Schools Foundation charter school network and the chairman of the board of the New Orleans School Facilities Foundation, the construction tax credit authority for New Orleans schools. Green resides in Uptown New Orleans, where he is heavily involved in the Wisner Park community.

Patrick Howell, Community Resilience Program Manager, Institute for Building Technology and Safety, Lead Community Resilience Assessment Framework and Tools (CRAFT)
Patrick has over ten years domestic experience spanning the public, private, non-profit and civilian-military sectors, and seven years of experience in international development in Latin America and the Caribbean. He works closely with IBTS’s Board of Directors to strengthen institutional partnerships and develop areas of mutual cooperation, and leads efforts to develop and implement state and local strategies for resilience to natural and man-made disasters. He is co-founder and president of Hispañola Health Partners, Inc., an international, non-profit, health services organization designed to improve health care services to low resource communities on the island of Hispañola in partnership with local community groups and existing healthcare structures. Patrick holds a BA in international affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an MA in international relations from American University.

Daniel Kaniewski, Deputy Administrator for Resilience, FEMA
Daniel Kaniewski, PhD was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as a Deputy Administrator on September 14, 2017. He is currently FEMA’s third ranking official and leads the newly organized FEMA Resilience. Previously, Dr. Kaniewski was Vice President for Global Resilience at AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe risk modeling and consulting services firm. He was also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security and served as Mission Area Director for Resilience and Emergency Preparedness/Response at a research center supporting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In the George W. Bush Administration, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.
Dr. Kaniewski holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Medical Services from George Washington University, a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from George Washington University.

Andy Kopplin, President & CEO, Greater New Orleans Foundation
Andrew “Andy” Kopplin currently serves as president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. He previously served as First Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer for the City of New Orleans under Mayor Mitch Landrieu from 2010-2016. In this capacity, he oversaw the day-to-day operational functions of City Hall. Kopplin previously worked at Teach For America, where he served as senior advisor to the Founder & CEO Wendy Kopp. From October 2006-January 2008, Mr. Kopplin served as founding executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), the agency charged with leading Louisiana’s recovery efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, where he developed the strategy and built the bipartisan coalitions that more than doubled congressional appropriations for Louisiana’s rebuilding, from $13 billion to $28 billion. Before heading the LRA, Kopplin was chief of staff to two consecutive Louisiana governors, Democrat Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and Republican M.J. “Mike” Foster, Jr. He joined Foster’s staff in 1996 as policy director, and in that role led the pioneering effort to create the state’s community college system by building a coalition of Republicans, Democrats, business, labor, educators, and students. Mr. Kopplin holds a bachelor’s degree from Rice University; a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and is a 1986 Harry S. Truman Scholarship winner.

Barbara Kessner Landau, Counsel at Noble, Wickersham & Heart
Barbara Landau specializes in environmental, land use, and construction law. Barbara joined Noble, Wickersham & Heart LLP in 2008, bringing an urban planning background to her law practice. She has more than twenty years of experience in the public and private sectors and as in-house counsel to a brownfields real estate developer.

Sharai Lewis-Gruss, GIS Specialist, First Street Foundation
Sharai Lewis-Gruss is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist at First Street Foundation. In this role Sharai applies her background in environmental policy and GIS to analyze data on flooding and vulnerability that is utilized in online services offered by First Street like FloodiQ.com, a browser-based advisory on hurricane and tidal-based flooding as it relates to individual parcels of land and properties. Before First Street, Sharai was a GIS Specialist and Project Coordinator at COWI North America, where she mapped shorelines in an effort to help reduce vulnerability to sea level rise, major storms and other events. She coordinated teams in multiple countries to deliver an interactive mapping platform connected to a database for the City of New York. Prior to that she was GIS Manager for the Regional Plan Association of Greater New York. In that post she created the “Access to Jobs” interactive map, using it to present the findings of an associated study to private organizations and federal agencies such as the Department of Transportation, and U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, Sharai has applied her GIS skills to the benefit of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection and its Department of Parks and Recreation. She holds a Masters in Geography-GIS from Hunter College of the City University of New York and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy from Middlebury College. In addition, Sharai holds certificates in GIS from Hunter and in Spanish from the University of Buenos Aires.

Simone Maloz, Executive Director, Restore or Retreat
As Executive Director of Restore or Retreat, a non-profit coastal advocacy group working to identify and expedite the implementation of aggressive, large-scale restoration projects, Terrebonne Parish native Simone Theriot Maloz works with Restore the Mississippi River Delta on the local, state and federal levels to advocate for the needs of the disappearing Louisiana coast, specifically the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins. Since the devastating hurricanes of 2005 and the 2010 oil spill, she has also been tracking the process of the different planning efforts underway, including the Natural Resources Damage Assessment Act (NRDA), Clean Water Act Penalties, the 2012 and 2017 State Master Plan Update and the Louisiana Coastal Area Study projects, all to ensure the needs of the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins are being adequately met with the necessary sense of urgency in the face of what is at stake. She was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation in the summer of 2014, and is a member and co-chair of the Commission’s Diversion Subcommittee. Simone plans on having the Louisiana coast continue to serve as her home and the home of her children and grandchildren.

Matthew Marchetti, Founder, Crowdsource Rescue
On the first night of Hurricane Harvey, Matthew Marchetti helped create CrowdSource Rescue as a way to help organize rescues in his flooded Houston neighborhood. The next-gen management app has since helped rescue nearly 40,000 people by connecting them to almost 12,000 spontaneous, vetted volunteers via integrated communications, instantaneous background checks, and GPS technology.

Colleen McHugh, Senior Adaptation Planner, The Water Institute of the Gulf
Colleen McHugh, Senior Adaptation Planner for the Resilience Lab, has more than nine years of experience in urban planning and resilience work before joining the Institute in 2018. McHugh joined the Institute from the City of New Orleans where she was instrumental in the development of the city’s award-winning Resilience Strategy, the city’s first-ever Climate Action Plan, and the implementation of green infrastructure and nature-based solutions. She was a core member of the team that developed the city’s $141 million award-winning proposal to HUD’s National Disaster Resilience Competition and guided the early implementation of a network of projects in the Gentilly Resilience District that will reduce flood risk while providing other community and climate benefits. In addition, she was responsible for the customization of decision support tools for the City of New Orleans including the Deltares Adaptation Support Tool (AST) and the Trust for Public Land Climate Smart Cities Tool. Prior to working for the City, Colleen was a Resilience Planning Fellow for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), where she supported the planning, design, and implementation of projects and programs that reuse vacant land for community and environmental benefits. Colleen began her career working on urban planning and policy issues in the San Francisco Bay Area. Colleen has a B.A. in Global Studies with a minor in Geography from UCLA and a Master in City Planning and Certificate in Urban Design from MIT. While at MIT, Colleen worked on client-based projects in Houston, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Singapore, and Japan. Her master’s thesis analyzed vacant land in New Orleans through extensive imagery and GIS mapping and provided recommendations for how the city should target its limited resources in the future to maximize both social justice and environmental justice imperatives, as well as mitigate the negative impacts of future disasters.

Jacqlene Moran, Neighborhood Resiliency Specialist, Center for Health Equity, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Jackie Moran is the Neighborhood Resiliency Specialist in the Center for Health Equity at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). She focuses on neighborhood-based approaches to response, expanding the definition of emergencies through a health equity lens, and furthering community resilience and emergency preparedness in neighborhoods that have been deprived of sufficient resources and attention.
She has previously served as a community-based planner for DOHMH’s emergency field operations. In her role, she created language access plans for emergency field operations, integrated community organizations into the agency’s emergency response structure, and wrote emergency plans and trainings inclusive to the needs of the disability community. Prior to this role, Jackie worked at the NYC Mayor’s Office. Her portfolio included emergency management, community health, and environmental education. She was introduced to NYC local government through participation in the development of OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City. Jackie has worked with local communities around climate justice, public health, and urban planning in Washington, D.C., Costa Rica, Ecuador, Belgium, Russia, Kenya, Haiti, and her hometown of NYC. She is an AmeriCorps alumna and graduate of American University’s School of International Service.

Stephen Murphy, Assistant Professor, Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine
Stephen Murphy, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine where he serves as a core faculty member in the Disaster Management track. His research focuses on developing actionable personal and systems-level disaster resilience strategies to address the wide range of 21st century population threats, including biological, chemical, naturally occurring, and climate change-induced threats, as well as the cumulative impact of chemical and non-chemical stressors on communities facing recurring environmental health threats, disasters, and health disparities. Prior to his academic appointment, Dr. Murphy worked in both the public and private sectors, garnering extensive practitioner-based experience in public health emergency preparedness, homeland security, operational continuity, and emergency management. He is passionate about education and currently teaches two graduate level courses at Tulane – Environmental Aspects of Disasters and Population Issues in Disaster Management. Dr. Murphy holds a PhD in environmental health sciences and an MPH from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, an MBA in healthcare management from Mercer University, and a BA in economics from the University of Georgia.

Jessi Nalepa, Director of External Affairs, FEMA
Jessica “Jessi” Nalepa currently serves as the Director of the Office of External Affairs for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Prior to this position, she served as the Director of Congressional Affairs for FEMA. In this role she served as the Agency’s principal liaison with the U.S. Congress and was responsible for coordinating and overseeing the Agency’s legislative strategy. Moreover, she worked closely with authorization and oversight committees of jurisdiction in the House and Senate to ensure that the Agency’s and Department’s priorities were reflected throughout the legislative and oversight process. Prior to joining FEMA, Jessi spent nearly seven years on Capitol Hill. She culminated her Capitol Hill career by serving as the Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Michael T. McCaul (TX-10), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Jessi grew up in Chesapeake, VA and is a graduate of George Mason University with a Bachelor of Arts in Government & International Politics and a minor in Political Communication. A loyal George Mason Patriot, she also holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University’s Schar School of Policy and Government with a focus in national security and economic policy.

Charlotte Porter, Director, Hub for Philanthropic Engagement – Puerto Rico, FEMA
Charlotte Hyams Porter currently serves as the Director of FEMA’s Hub for Philanthropic Engagement – Puerto Rico. In this role, Ms. Porter is building a first-of-its kind functional organization and program, including the development of processes and procedures in accordance with Agency regulations, identifying and engaging with new FEMA partners and stakeholders, and establishing a team of experienced project specialists to research funding resources and opportunities. Previously, Ms. Porter served as the Deputy Director of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD) where Ms. Porter led a team that developed research-based tools and programs to build and maintain individual and community preparedness capabilities resulting in a more prepared and resilient Nation. Under Ms. Porter’s direction, ICPD implemented numerous strategies to help foster local, state, regional and national preparedness by cultivating partnerships and networks and supporting local initiatives related to disaster preparedness. Prior to this position, Ms. Porter was the Director of the Office of the National Advisory Council (NAC) at FEMA headquarters where she provided strategic direction and guidance to the NAC on emergency management policies and programs. Ms. Porter has also served as the Senior Advisor to the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs where she coordinated Agency engagement with state, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders and the nonprofit organizations that represent them. In this role, Ms. Porter established relationships with elected and appointed officials and constituency groups, facilitating dialogue on emerging issues, providing technical assistance and communicating critical information.

K.C. Rondello, Clinical Associate Professor, Public Health and Emergency Management, Adelphi University
K.C. Rondello, M.D., is clinical associate professor and Academic Director of the Department of Emergency Management. Dr. Rondello co-developed New York’s first graduate program in Emergency Management. Prior to coming to Adelphi, he served as the Associate Director of Saint Barnabas Health Care System’s Center for Healthcare Preparedness, a HRSA-funded institute established to further education and research in the field of medical disaster readiness. Since December 2002, Dr. Rondello has served as a Disaster Epidemiologist with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System. Now assigned to the Multi-Specialty Enhancement Team (MSET), he is a member of the federal response organization tasked with providing critical emergency medical support to regions of the country overwhelmed by disaster. Through his affiliation with the NGO ProWorld, Dr. Rondello traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal in January 2013 to advise Nobel Medical College, Helping Hands Hospital, and key Ministry of Health officials in preparedness measures to address morbidity and mortality associated with tectonic natural disasters.

Liz Williams Russell, Coastal Community Resilience Director, Foundation for Louisiana
Liz Williams Russell manages the development and implementation of strategies to support communities and economies influenced by land loss and relative sea-level rise across coastal Louisiana. With a background and training in architectural design, landscape systems, and urban planning, Liz incorporates the complexities of the developed urban ecosystem to promote equitable opportunities in areas altered and affected by land change. Liz directs the activities of the Foundation for Louisiana’s Coastal Resilience Leverage Fund, managing coastal grant-making areas with community based advisors, allies and relevant partners while improving and increasing opportunities for regional collaboration. Liz continues to accomplish this work by encouraging communication and coordination among networks across parishes, coastal basins and statewide. Liz previously has worked as a Research Fellow and Affiliate with the Coastal Sustainability Studio at Louisiana State University. In this role she led and collaborated with cohorts of civil engineers, urban planners, coastal scientists, and landscape architects alongside economic, legal, and cultural advisors. Each project engaged a set of unique conditions within the coastal landscape and proposed developments through which residents and communities might advance and thrive in a future with evolving challenges. In addition to early years of experience within traditional architecture practice, Liz has held a range of academic positions. She has taught within the School of Architecture at LSU, the Department of Architecture and Landscape within the University of Greenwich in London, London College of Contemporary Art, and Birmingham City University in the UK.

Mike Steele, Communications Director, Gov.’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
Mike Steele is the Communications Director for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness or GOHSEP. Steele supplies public information regarding agency actions and emergency events. When the state emergency operations center is activated, Mike manages the Joint Information Center or JIC. The JIC is manned by key communications personnel from all the state agencies involved in the emergency management process. He is also responsible for GOHSEP’s social media imprint and handles community education on emergency preparedness. In 2017, Mike helped GOHSEP launch The GOHSEP Get A Game Plan Podcast as an additional tool in reaching and educating the public. In 2018, Mike deployed to North Carolina as Hurricane Florence made landfall in support of the state’s Joint Information Center operations and later traveled to Virginia as part of a delegation to review that state’s hurricane preparation plans. Before joining GOHSEP in 2013, Steele was an award-winning television news journalist while working in several markets throughout Louisiana including Alexandria (KLAX), Lafayette (KLFY) and Baton Rouge (WBRZ).

Sean Stegall, Town Manager, Town of Cary, North Carolina
With over two decades of local government experience, Sean R. Stegall left Elgin, Illinois to become Cary’s Town Manager in 2016, where he is focusing on keeping Cary great by spearheading organizational development, promoting technological advancements, expanding economic opportunities, and strengthening the Town’s role as a regional partner to support Cary’s shift from a fast-growing to maturing community. Prior to Cary, Stegall’s professional journey included posts in three states addressing a wide variety of topics including finance and budgeting, parks and recreation, legislative affairs, communications and engagement, planning, technology, and battling blizzards. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Western Illinois University as well as a master’s in public administration from Northern Illinois University. He also holds certificates from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia and the Rocky Mountain Program at Colorado University.

Alison Tarnopol, Chief of Preparedness Bureau, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness
Alison Tarnopol, Chief, Preparedness Bureau Alison Tarnopol is the Preparedness Bureau Chief for the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP). In this role, she is responsible for leading assessments of critical infrastructure and analysis of homeland security trends in order to develop and implement strategies that enhance the preparedness and resiliency of New Jersey and its institutions. Tarnopol came to NJOHSP from New York City, with experience in catastrophic planning, urban planning, and business improvement. Prior to her work in New York, Tarnopol spent several years in the architecture field. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado and a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute.

Evelyn Tickle, GROW Oyster Reefs
Evelyn Tickle has had her hands in concrete and form makings since 1994. Evelyn was the co-founder of Prettyhard Fine Concrete (2001-2008) and founder of Pretty Fine Concrete (2008-present). She is an entrepreneur experienced in complex concrete design, project development and production, and intellectual property procedures. Evelyn is now using this expertise, along with her architectural and business experience, to grow a new company, Grow Oyster Reefs, llc that specializes in making concrete products and infrastructure to promote and enhance marine ecology, such as oysters and their reefs and Living Breakwaters. She has designed and invented her first series of products – CaC03 Concrete Mix, Reef Tile (CORRT), Reef Disk (CORRD) and has product in the water with The Nature Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife and a collaborative project in the Baltimore Harbor with University of Maryland and has a permanent exhibit in the Underwater Museum of Art by the Cultural Arts Alliance on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico off of Grayton Beach, Florida.

Casey Tingle, Deputy Director, Chief of Staff, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP)
Casey Tingle serves as the Deputy Director, Chief of Staff of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and was appointed by the Director on December 4, 2017. He is responsible for supporting the Director in all aspects of the agency’s homeland security and emergency and disaster preparedness and response for the State of Louisiana. Casey previously served as the Assistant Deputy Director for Hazard Mitigation Assistance for GOHSEP. In this role, Casey managed three mitigation grant programs, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA), and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM). These programs represent over $2.5 billion in funding for critical projects to protect life and property from the risks of natural hazards. In addition, the Mitigation division is responsible for providing technical assistance for mitigation programs and developing and maintaining the State’s Hazard Mitigation plan. Since starting at GOHSEP in 2009, Casey also served as Assistant Deputy Director for Management and Finance and Section Chief for Finance, Budget, and Purchasing. Before coming to GOHSEP, Casey was Senior Associate with Quadel Consulting working in various roles on the Road Home – Homeowners Assistance Program funded with Community Development Block Grant funding. Casey also worked in budgeting and grants management for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Public Safety Services. Casey is a graduate of Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Louisiana State University, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Ian Voparil, Business Impact and Continuity Manager, Shell
Ian Voparil is Venture Support Integration Manager–Deepwater for Shell, currently based in New Orleans. His focus is on strategic non-technical issues management that improves business opportunity to grow along with environmental and social performance. He chairs the IPIECA Deepwater Taskforce and leads communications for the OGP/IAGC Sound and Marine Life Joint Industry Program. In the U.S., he was an appointee to the Industry sub-panel of the Oceans Research and Resources Advisory Panel and the Deepwater sub-committee of the (former) Minerals Management Service’s Scientific Advisory Committee, providing scientific and technical information for offshore energy policy development. In Shell, Ian has worked in regulatory affairs, been a subject matter expert on environmental issues, and was Ocean Issues Lead based in the Netherlands managing a global, cross-functional team. Ian has a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Maine and worked as a lecturer and researcher at the University of California-Santa Cruz.

Katie Wholey, Resilience Consultant, ARUP
Katie Wholey is a resilience consultant and urban planner in Arup’s Boston office, specializing in climate risk and resilience, sustainability, and post-disaster recovery. Katie works with clients in the public and private sector to evaluate complex design and policy challenges and provide forward-thinking solutions to long-term planning for climate resilience and sustainability. Prior to working for Arup, Katie was a Program Manager for the NY Rising Housing Recovery Program with the NY State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. Her work with NY Rising focused on developing innovative policy solutions and strategies for housing recovery in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Katie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Architectural Studies from Tufts University and a Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.

Kimberly Young-McLear, Lieutenant Commander, Electrical and Cyber Systems Section, U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Lt. Kimberly Young-McLear, PhD, currently serves as Permanent Commissioned Teaching Staff (PCTS) faculty at the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) in New London, Conn. and is an active member of her local New London NAACP Chapter. As an instructor at USCGA, she has continuously demonstrated leadership and is a role model in the classroom and on the campus. Her zeal and enthusiasm for education is obvious. Spending countless hours with cadets, as well as officer candidates from Officer Candidate School, she provided mentorship on career and future academic opportunities, and inspired her advisees to make significant GPA and health & well-being improvements. As Chairperson of the Leadership Diversity Advisory Council she developed an innovative intervention-based approach to systematically review and identify comprehensive action plan items to address results of Defense Equal Opportunity Climate Surveys (DEOCS).