Our report, Climate Change Resilience: Governance and Reforms, was published by the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes, a research unit of the Institute for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, on February 1, 2017.

This page supports engagement following the summit on governance issues and possible reforms related to climate change resilience the 5th and 6th of June, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The summit was sponsored by the Science and Technology Policy Fellowship program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

James Nachbaur, Elise Lipkowitz, Darshan Karwat, and Irina Feygina, Organizers

Views expressed here by the organizers do not necessarily represent the views of past or current employers.

Program of the 2014 summit, including biographies of speakers and moderators

 Play all videos

 Titles and positions as of June 6, 2014


James Nachbaur
, AAAS Fellow

 Perspectives on Resilience and Change

Introduction by Darshan Karwat, AAAS Fellow

Rear Admiral David Titley
, Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Penn State University

Terms & Arenas for Preparedness & Resilience Action

Introduction and moderation by Elise Lipkowitz, AAAS Fellow
  • Laura Petes, Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Adaptation and Ecosystems, Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Vivian Thomson, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences and Department of Politics, University of Virginia

Current Federal Efforts

Introduction and moderation by Elise Lipkowitz, AAAS Fellow
  • Susan Ruffo, Associate Director for Climate Preparedness, White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Laura Petes, Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Adaptation and Ecosystems, Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Alice Hill, Senior Advisor for Preparedness and Resilience, National Security Council

How Conflicts Inherent in Preparedness & Resilience Are Handled Today

Introduction and moderation by James Nachbaur, AAAS Fellow
  • Marcy Rockman, Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for Cultural Resources at National Park Service
  • Jalonne White-Newsome, Environmental Justice Federal Policy Analyst, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
  • Megan Susman, Office of Sustainable Communities, U.S. EPA
  • Alice Madden, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental & External Affairs, U.S. DOE
  • Jessica Grannis, Adaptation Program Manager, Georgetown Climate Center

Enabling & Regulating Corporate Actions in Preparedness & Resilience Efforts

Introduction and moderation by David Hunter, Senior Government Representative for Environment, Industry and International Affairs, Electric Power Research Institute
  • Lindene Patton, Chief Climate Product Officer, Zurich Financial Services
  • Jackie Roberts, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Carlyle Group
  • Jeff Hopkins, Vice President for Policy and Analysis, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
  • Michael Gerrard, Director, Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School

Making Water Systems More Resilient 

  • Pilar Thomas (moderator and speaker), Deputy Director, Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, U.S. DOE
  • Jonathan Reeves, Manager, Office of Emergency Management, DC Water
  • Susan Leal, Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President for Water in the Americas, AECOM
  • Lindene Patton, Chief Climate Product Officer, Zurich Financial Services

 Closing Comments & Discussion

Introduction by James Nachbaur, AAAS Fellow
  • David Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Senior Adviser to the President, Oberlin College
  • In conversation with Kate Sheppard, Senior Reporter and Environment and Energy Editor, Huffington Post

 Perspectives on Day 1

Introduction by Darshan Karwat, AAAS Fellow

Michael Dorsey, Interim Director, Program on Energy & Environment, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

 Perspectives on Resilience & Change

Introduction by Darshan Karwat, AAAS Fellow

Harriet Tregoning, Director, Office of Economic Resilience, Department of Housing and Urban Development

 Lessons from Disasters 

Introduction and moderation by Irina Feygina, AAAS Fellow
  • Barbara Allen, Professor and Co-Director, Department of Science and Technology in Society, Virginia Tech
  • Nate Kleinman, Steering Committee, Cumberland County Long-Term Recovery Group, New Jersey
  • Daniel Wallach, Executive Director and Founder, Greensburg GreenTown

Benefits & Perils of “Disaster Thinking” & Discussion with Disaster Speakers

Introduction and moderation by Irina Feygina, AAAS Fellow
  • Sabrina McCormick, Associate Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University
  • Rear Admiral David Titley, Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Penn State University
  • Jonathan Reeves, Manager, Office of Emergency Management, DC Water

Bringing back for discussion:
  • Barbara Allen, Professor and Co-Director, Department of Science and Technology in Society, Virginia Tech
  • Nate Kleinman, Steering Committee, Cumberland County Long-Term Recovery Group, New Jersey
  • Daniel Wallach, Executive Director and Founder, Greensburg GreenTown

 Should the Rules Be Changed?

Introduction and moderation by Darshan Karwat, AAAS Fellow
  • Jessica Grannis, Adaptation Program Manager, Georgetown Climate Center
  • Victor Flatt, Director, Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources, University of North Carolina School of Law 
  • Michael Dorsey, Interim Director, Program on Energy & Environment, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

 Synthesis & Key Insights

Discussion led by Elise Lipkowitz, Irina Feygina, Darshan Karwat, and James Nachbaur, AAAS Fellows

 Closing Comments & Discussion

Introduction by Darshan Karwat, AAAS Fellow

Gar Alperovitz, Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy, University of Marylan
Governance determines who can do what to whom, and on whose authority.

Governance is “the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It comprises mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences.” (Governance for Sustainable Human Development, United Nations Development Programme, 1997).

“Governance is all the processes through which collective decisions are made, implemented, interpreted, and reformed… processes that are shaped not only by formal government officials but also by private individuals, corporations, and a diverse array of professional associations, community-based organizations, and voluntary/non-profit/non-governmental organizations…” (Adapted from the Updated Guide to IAD [Institutional Analysis and Development] and the Language of the Ostrom Workshop, Michael McGinnis, 2013).

Biographies of speakers and moderators (titles and positions as of June 6, 2014):

Dr. Barbara Allen
Professor and Co-Director
Dept. of Science and Tech. in Society
Virginia Tech - National Capital Region

Barbara Allen teaches courses on science, technology and social justice, the sociology of knowledge, and public participation in science and technology. She is author of Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor Disputes and co-editor of several books including, Dynamics of Disaster: Lessons on Risk, Response and Recovery. She has written on the public understanding of science, environmental health movements, environmental knowledge controversies, and environmental justice in post-Katrina New Orleans. She is currently writing a book comparing citizen participation in shaping policy-relevant science within environmental health movements in Europe and the U.S. She taught architectural technology and historic preservation and is a big fan of south Louisiana’s many music festivals.

Dr. Gar Alperovitz
Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy
University of Maryland

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as an historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. He is the author of critically acclaimed books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy and his articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The Nation, and The Atlantic. He has been a guest on numerous network TV and cable news programs. Alperovitz is the architect of the first modern steel industry attempt at worker ownership in Youngstown, Ohio. He is also the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a founding principal of the University of Maryland-based Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.

Dr. Michael Dorsey
Interim Director, Program on Energy & Environment
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Michael Dorsey is the Interim Director of the energy and environment program at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. He provides strategic guidance to governments, foundations, firms and a multitude of others on the interplay of multilateral environment policy, finance and economic development matters. His scholarly work focuses, in part, on how multilateral finance instruments impact climate and biodiversity policy. In 1992, he was a member of the U.S. State Department Delegation to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, “The Earth Summit.” From 1994-96 he was a task force member of President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development. He served seven years as a Director on the Sierra Club’s national board. He has worked worldwide, including at the African Centre for Technology Studies, the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), The Royal University of Groningen, and the Department of Regional Planning at the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. In July 2010 Lisa Jackson, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, appointed him to the EPA’s National Advisory Committee.

Dr. Irina Feygina
AAAS Fellow

Irina Feygina is a social psychologist who tackles environmental challenges. At NYU, she researched how people’s powerful connection to established socioeconomic systems hinders effective responses to climate change, and developed interventions that foster sustainable behavior. As a postdoctoral fellow at Rutgers University she investigated the impact of energy efficient building design and retrofits on occupants and developed psychologically informed policies and planning guidelines. She organizes interdisciplinary meetings on sustainability and social justice, and teaches courses at the intersection of psychology and environmental studies. Her perspective is influenced by her diverse experiences of growing up in the Former Soviet Union and immigration to the U.S., her international work, most formatively among Tibetan refugees on the Indian subcontinent, and as a journalist and interpreter in multicultural organizations. Currently, she is a Congressional Fellow sponsored by the American Psychological Association, working on legislative issues of natural resource management and conservation; renewables, biofuels, and shale energy development and regulation; energy efficiency; agricultural policy; and severe weather resilience and adaptation. She enjoys working at the intersection of science and policy, and applying a multidisciplinary approach that integrates the natural and social sciences toward fostering sustainable development.

Victor Flatt
Director, Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources (CLEAR)
University of North Carolina School of Law

Victor Flatt comes from the “Flatts” of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, where the name is as common as Smith or Jones. Lester Flatt (of Flatt and Scruggs and Beverly Hillbillies fame) is a cousin. Coming from this background, he has always been concerned for the poorer in our society, and these are exactly the people who will be hurt most by climate change. He has written many articles and opinion pieces on environmental law and climate change, and the most important point that he would like to be remembered for is invigorating the idea of a “right” to a clean environment.

Michael Gerrard
Director, Center for Climate Change Law
Columbia Law School

Michael Gerrard is Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, where he teaches courses on environmental and energy law and directs the Center for Climate Change Law. He is also Associate Chair of the Faculty of Columbia’s Earth Institute. Previously, he was a partner in the 110-lawyer New York office of Arnold & Porter LLP; he is now Senior Counsel to the firm. He practiced environmental law in New York City full time from 1979 to 2008 and tried numerous cases and argued many appeals in federal and state courts and administrative tribunals. He has served as a member of the executive committees of the boards of the Environmental Law Institute and the American College of Environmental Lawyers. He is author or editor of eleven books, including The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change: U.S. and International Aspects (with Katrina F. Kuh); Global Climate Change and U.S. Law; and the Environmental Law Practice Guide.

Jessica Grannis
Adaptation Program Manager
Georgetown Climate Center

Jessica Grannis oversees staff and student research and analysis of federal, state and local adaptation efforts. Her recent publications include an Adaptation Tool Kit for Sea Level Rise and a book chapter on Coastal Retreat in the Law of Climate Change: U.S. and International Aspects (with Peter Byrne). She was previously staff counsel for the California State Coastal Conservancy and the Ocean Protection Council.

The Honorable Alice Hill
Senior Advisor for Preparedness and Resilience
National Security Council

Retired Judge Alice Hill joined the White House National Security Council staff in September 2013. She serves as the principal advisor on preparedness and resilience issues arising from 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. Previously, she served as Senior Counselor to Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. In that capacity, she chaired the Department’s Executive Steering Committee on Climate Change Adaptation that developed the Department’s first-ever plans for adapting to extreme weather and climate change. Prior to her work in D.C., she served as a judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court as well as the Los Angeles Municipal Court. She received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and her BA from Stanford University.

Dr. Jeff Hopkins
Vice President for Policy and Analysis
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Jeff Hopkins manages programs related to the energy, power, and transportation sectors. He has more than fifteen years of private and public sector experience in economic and environmental policy analysis focused on the global energy sector and trends in best regulatory practice, especially in mining and agriculture. Prior to joining the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, he worked for seven years at Rio Tinto on energy and climate policies, leading their climate policy engagement in the United States and Canada and working with their globally-distributed community of practice. He previously was acting chief economist for the House Budget Committee, where he oversaw the agriculture and natural resource budget functions during 2005 and 2006. He worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service on a number of issues, including the impacts of farm policy on global competitiveness and environmental outcomes. He has a PhD from Ohio State University in Agriculture, Environment and Development Economics and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala from 1987-1989.

Dr. David Hunter
Senior Government Representative, Environment, Industry and International Affairs
Electric Power Research Institute

David Hunter has more than twenty years of experience in energy and environmental science and policy. Prior to joining the Electric Power Research Institute, He was the founding U.S. Director of the International Emissions Trading Association and ran their state, regional, and federal programs at a time when emissions trading was one of the top two domestic issues in the U.S. He was a frequent national and international speaker on carbon policy. He previously spent nine years on Capitol Hill, where he was the principal energy, environment, and climate change adviser to Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Staff Scientist for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and a AAAS Congressional Science Fellow for Air, Energy, and Climate in the office of Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont. He has also served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Environment and Development, was a Department of Energy Global Change Fellow at the White House Office on Environmental Policy/ Council on Environmental Quality, and spent a year studying atmospheric aerosols at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He has a PhD in Earth Science from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University.

Dr. Darshan Karwat
AAAS Fellow

Darshan Karwat is a first-year AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow on the Innovation Team at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. He received his BSE in Aerospace Engineering (2007) and PhD in Aerospace Engineering and Sustainability Ethics (2012), both from the University of Michigan. His current research focuses on the combustion chemistry of biofuel blends, and on creating a paradigm for activist engineering that incorporates social justice and ecological sustainability concerns into engineering practice and design. He is the co-founder of the Student Sustainability Initiative at the University of Michigan, and maintains an active blog, Minimizing Entropy, which focuses broadly on issues of philosophy, culture, ethics, morality, environmentalism, limits, language, choice, climate, and justice (to name a few), and more specifically on individual activism in the face of the seemingly overwhelming socioecological challenges we face. He loves soccer, space, and cooking.

Nate Kleinman
Steering Committee, Cumberland County Long-Term Recovery Group

Nate Kleinman is an activist, organizer, organic farmer, and recovering politician. A native of Philadelphia, he became active in the Occupy movement soon after its Philly incarnation began. He quickly quit his job as a Legislative Assistant to a State Representative and dove full-time into radical organizing. As an Occupier, Nate helped start the InterOccupy collective, helped initiate and organize the first Occupy National Gathering, ran for Congress, and, since Sandy hit, has been an organizer with Occupy Sandy, mainly in New Jersey. As part of his Sandy work, he serves on the Steering Committee of the Cumberland County Long Term Recovery Group; participated in a delegation to Cuba (also hit by Sandy); organized the “Occupy Christie” encampment in Trenton to coincide with Chris Christie’s re-inauguration; and started Occupy Sandy New Jersey’s weekly homelessness organizing calls, focused on homeless encampments near the Jersey Shore. Still active with Occupy Sandy, his newest project is the Experimental Farm Network, a collectively-run non-profit enterprise aimed at developing climate-change-mitigating crops and sustainable agricultural systems using a network-based model. As a first step, he and a friend are living on a farm in rural Salem County, New Jersey, trialing over 1,000 different plant varieties with a particular focus on breeding perennial vegetables, grains, and oilseeds. He has been playing and experimenting in fields, forests, and gardens since he was a toddler.

The Honorable Susan Leal
Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President for Water in the Americas

Susan Leal is Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President for Water in the Americas at AECOM. She is a water utility expert and author specializing in identifying realistic and creative solutions to the water-related challenges facing our world. She was a Senior Fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University in 2009-11. As part of her fellowship, she co-authored Running Out of Water, a book focused on solutions to our looming water crisis. She continues to serve as an Associate of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard. She is a member of the advisory board of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, where she also received her undergraduate and law degrees. As General Manager of San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission, she led the charge for a dramatic upgrade of the Bay Area’s seismically unsafe water system and San Francisco’s outdated wastewater system. She previously served two terms as the elected Treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco and as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Dr. Elise Lipkowitz
AAAS Fellow

Elise Lipkowitz is a first-year AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation where she serves as a policy analyst for the National Science Board. Previously, she was at the University of Michigan where she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the university’s interdisciplinary Society of Fellows and an Assistant Professor in the Department of History. Her interests–shaped by her current fellowship, history of science training, and prior career in public relations in the Silicon Valley-include the history and development of federal science policy, science communications, and the ways that civilizations understand and respond to climate change. She is currently completing a book exploring the effects of nationalism and the intensification of science-state relations during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars on the European scientific community. She holds a PhD in History from Northwestern and a BA in History from Stanford.

The Honorable Alice Madden
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental & External Affairs
U.S. Department of Energy

Alice Madden started her career in the high tech industry and then practiced employment law for nine years before running for office. First elected in 2000, she served four terms in the Colorado House of Representative. Recognized as the architect of the stunning victories for progressives in 2004 and in 2006, her tenure included four years (2004-2008) as House Majority Leader. Her focus on sustainability and climate change sprang from her desire to preserve what makes the American West so special and she played an integral role in building the policy foundation for what is now referred to nationally as the New Energy Economy. She continued to apply her experience and passion for economic and environmental sustainability as Governor Ritter’s Climate Change Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff. She also served as a Senior Fellow on Climate Change at the Center for American Progress. She was appointed to her position at the U.S. Department of Energy in 2013.

Dr. Sabrina McCormick
Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
George Washington University

Sabrina McCormick is a sociologist and filmmaker. She takes an in-depth, mechanistic approach to understanding how climate change gets under the skin. She works on extreme impacts of climate-related phenomena like heat waves, emergent vector-borne disease, and climate-related disasters. She recently served as a Lead Author on the Special Assessment of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change entitled “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation.” Her award-winning documentary film work aims to transform science into stories that compel social action. She is currently Associate Producer on “The Years of Living Dangerously,” an eight-part Showtime series to air in 2014. She is currently Associate Professor in the Environmental and Occupational Health Department in the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University, and Senior Fellow at the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. James Nachbaur
AAAS Fellow

James Nachbaur was initially most engaged by math and computer programming but over the years has come to appreciate messier community, social, and policy issues. At Bowdoin College, his first economics class led him to abandon his applications to computational neuroscience PhD programs and instead apply to a new, interdisciplinary PhD program augmenting economics with natural science courses. At UC Santa Barbara and Indiana University, he worked on the economics of if, under what circumstances, how, and how sustainably, communities deal with threats to their livelihoods and with competition for common-pool resources. After a stint in consulting, he spent nearly three years applying economic theory, subject matter expertise, and quantitative skills to public policy issues in the non-partisan Legislative Analysts’ Office in the California Legislature. He is in his second year as a AAAS Fellow.

Dr. David Orr
Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Senior Adviser to the President
Oberlin College

David Orr is the executive director of the Oberlin project and a founding editor of the journal Solutions. He is the author of seven books, including Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse and co-editor of three others. He has authored nearly two hundred articles, reviews, book chapters, and professional publications. In the past twenty-five years he has served as a board member or adviser to eight foundations and on the Boards of many organizations including the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Currently he is a Trustee of the Bioneers, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, and the Worldwatch Institute. He has been awarded seven honorary degrees and a dozen other awards including a Lyndhurst Prize, a National Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation, and recently a “Visionary Leadership Award” from Second Nature. He has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Lindene Patton
Chief Climate Product Officer
Zurich Financial Services

Lindene Patton assumed her role at Zurich as Climate Product Officer on March 1, 2008. She is responsible for coordinating the product development and proposition management efforts related to the Group’s response to climate change. She formerly was Senior Vice President and Counsel at Zurich Commercial Markets, part of Zurich North America. She joined Zurich in 1996 as Director of Risk Management at Zurich’s Environmental Business Unit. Before that, she worked at Advanced Risk Management Services at Willis, and prior to that she was Associate General Counsel at EMCON, a company specialized in environmental engineering and landfill design. She holds a BA in Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis, an MA in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley and a JD from Santa Clara University School of Law. An attorney licensed in the State of California and the District of Columbia, she serves as a member of several advisory boards, including the federal Environmental Financial Advisory Board.

Dr. Laura Petes
Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Adaptation and Ecosystems
Office of Science and Technology Policy

Laura Petes is the Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Adaptation and Ecosystems at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP). In this role, she is leading OSTP’s engagement in activities to better prepare the U.S. and its citizens for climate change under the President’s Climate Action Plan. Prior to coming to OSTP, she was serving as the Ecosystem Science Advisor in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Program Office. She earned her BA at Cornell University and her PhD in Zoology (Marine Ecology) at Oregon State University. She has conducted research on marine animals around the U.S. and the world - studying coral reefs in the Florida Keys and Mexico, mussels in Oregon and New Zealand, and oysters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jonathan Reeves
Manager, Office of Emergency Management
District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water)

Jonathan Reeves administers the Authority’s emergency management program. The program is designed to follow four tenets: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. He directs emergency response and planning activities as well as the Authority’s involvement in the National Capital Region Critical Infrastructure Protection Program. He developed and oversees a comprehensive National Incident Management System for the Authority that includes the Emergency Management Accreditation Program. He maintains relationships with industry, government and public service organizations to enhance the Authority’s image and help meet its objects. Previously, he was a project manager and senior analyst and trainer at PCCI, an Alexandria-based firm. There he was responsible for crisis emergency management contingency plan review and training. He has a BA degree in environmental management from UC Canberra in Australia and is a member of the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Jackie Roberts
Chief Sustainability Officer
The Carlyle Group

Jackie Roberts leads Carlyle’s global Environment, Social and Governance efforts and works closely with teams and companies to drive understanding and adoption of those principles and practices. Prior to joining Carlyle, she spent seventeen years at the Environmental Defense Fund where she launched and led the first-ever NGO-Business Corporate Partners, served as Director of Sustainable Technologies and Senior Director of the Climate and Energy Idea Bank. Previous jobs included a one-year faculty appointment at Harvard Business School and work as an engineer at EPA. She holds a BS in chemical engineering from Yale University, an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and an MA in environmental studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In her free time, she likes to play ice hockey.

Dr. Marcy Rockman
Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for Cultural Resources
National Park Service

Marcy Rockman is the NPS Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for Cultural Resources, based in Washington, DC. She is an archaeologist by training and her research focus is how humans gather, share, remember, and transmit environmental information. She’s done fieldwork across the American West, Europe, and the Middle East, worked in environmental compliance in many places, and came to DC as an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in which capacity she tackled social science in homeland security risk communication. Her current role addresses impacts of climate change on cultural resources and use of cultural resource information in federal- to global-level adaptation and resilience planning. She has many publications, including “Archaeology in Society: Its Relevance in the Modern World.” She has a BSc in Geology from the College of William and Mary, and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Arizona, and is just now learning how to figure skate.

Susan Ruffo
Associate Director for Climate Preparedness
White House Council on Environmental Quality

Susan Ruffo is the Associate Director for Climate Preparedness at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. At CEQ, she leads implementation of the climate preparedness pillar of the President’s Climate Action Plan. She also manages the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and the interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, focusing on strengthening Federal programs to better prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change. Previously, she was the Director of Coastal and Marine Adaptation at The Nature Conservancy, where she led their strategy on coastal ecosystem-based adaptation, focusing on how ecosystems such as coral reefs and wetlands can help reduce human vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. She was also a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, where she served in the U.S. Embassies in China, Argentina and Nigeria and Washington D.C. She has degrees in Economics and Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kate Sheppard
Senior Reporter and Environment and Energy Editor
Huffington Post

Kate Sheppard is a senior reporter and the environment and energy editor at the Huffington Post. She previously reported for Mother Jones, Grist, and the American Prospect. Her writing has also been featured in the New York Times’ Room for Debate blog, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, High Country News, and The Center for Public Integrity, In These Times, and Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture. Her reporting has been recognized with awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Online News Association, and Planned Parenthood.

Megan Susman
Office of Sustainable Communities
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Megan Susman is a senior policy analyst in EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities. She works on smart growth research, communications, technical assistance to communities, and other projects, on topics including climate change mitigation and adaptation and military base issues. She co-chaired the Urban/Communities Workgroup of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force from 2010-2011 and contributed to a technical input document for a chapter of the 2014 National Climate Assessment. She earned her MA at Duke University and her undergraduate degree at Bryn Mar College. Fun fact: she went bungee-jumping at the place where modern bungee-jumping was born.

Pilar Thomas
Deputy Director, Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs
U.S. Department of Energy

Pilar Thomas assists the Department of Energy in developing national energy policy and programs related to Indian energy development. She is also responsible for developing and implementing policy efforts within the Department and federal government to achieve the Office’s Indian Energy policy objectives. Prior to joining the Department, she served as the Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Prior to her federal appointments, she was Of Counsel at Lewis and Roca LLP, in the firm’s Tribal Affairs and Tribal Gaming practice groups. She formerly served as Chief of Staff to Chairwoman Frias of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. She also served as the Tribe’s interim attorney general and was responsible for providing legal advice and representation to the Chairwoman, the Tribal Council, and the Tribe’s divisions, departments and enterprises. In 2002, she was appointed to the position of Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Indian Resources Section. Her practice included Indian treaty rights, water rights and regulatory litigation. She received her BA in Economics from Stanford University, and her JD (magna cum laude) from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

Dr. Vivian Thomson
Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences and Department of Politics
University of Virginia

Vivian Thomson is an environmental policy expert with thirty years of practical and academic experience at the local, state, national, and international levels. She directs the interdisciplinary BA program Environmental Thought and Practice and the Panama Initiative. Her most recent book is Sophisticated Interdependence in Climate Policy: Federalism in the United States, Brazil, and Germany. Her first book was Garbage In, Garbage Out: Solving the Problems with Long-Distance Trash Transport. From 2002 to 2010 she was vice chair and member of the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board, the state’s air pollution regulatory body, as an appointee of Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. She has been senior policy analyst and manager at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She was Distinguished Fulbright Chair at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense in 2001-02. In her environmental policy presentations she likes to lead sing-alongs, sometimes in Brazilian Portuguese or Spanish.

Dr. David Titley

 Rear Admiral USN (ret.); Professor of Practice in Meteorology; Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk Penn State Department of Meteorology

David Titley is a nationally known expert in the field of climate, the Arctic, and National Security. He is currently Professor of Practice in the Department of Meteorology at the Pennsylvania State University, and founding Director of Penn State’s Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk. He served as a naval officer for thirty-two years and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. His career included duties as Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy, and Deputy Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance. While serving in the Pentagon, he initiated and led the U.S. Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change. After retiring from the Navy, he served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Operations, the Chief Operating Officer position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He is a member of the National Academies of Science committee on Geoengineering and the Center for Naval Analysis’ Military Advisory Board and co-chairs the National Research Council’s “A Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences” committee.

Harriet Tregoning

Director, Office of Economic Resilience Department of Housing and Urban Development

Harriet Tregoning is the director of HUD’s Office of Economic Resilience and has extensive experience on the local, state and national levels helping communities and regions build diverse, prosperous, and resilient economies. As the recent director of the District of Columbia’s Office of Planning, Tregoning worked to make DC a walkable, bikeable, livable, globally competitive and sustainable city–re-writing the city’s zoning code for the first time in 50 years, planning the revitalization of the poorest parts of the District, and collaborating with her transportation colleagues to bring the nation’s largest bike-sharing program to the nation’s capital. Prior to this she was co-founder of the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. She also served as both Maryland’s Secretary of Planning and then as the nation's first state-level Cabinet Secretary for Smart Growth. Prior to her tenure in Maryland state government, Tregoning was the director of Development, Community and Environment at the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Tregoning’s academic training is in engineering and public policy. She was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design for 2003-2004.

Daniel Wallach
Executive Director and Founder
Greensburg GreenTown

Daniel Wallach is Executive Director and Founder of Greensburg GreenTown, a not for profit organization that conceptualized and helped lead the sustainable rebuilding of Greensburg, Kansas following the tornado that wiped out the town in 2007. Today, the tiny two-square-mile community in the middle of rural Kansas is an internationally recognized model of a sustainably built community. In September of 2011 Daniel and others opened the first affiliate GreenTown organization in Joplin, Missouri to help integrate sustainability into the rebuild there after a major storm wiped out a third of the town of 50,000. Wallach is a social entrepreneur and innovator whose personal mission is to make capitalism, environmental health and vitality interdependent. He is a pioneer in sustainable disaster recovery and has been a vocal proponent of using disasters to catalyze positive, cutting edge, and lasting changes for communities. Wallach’s education is varied but his most impactful experience has been “Adversity University” when he was ill for over a decade and studied religion and spirituality, environmental sciences and the healing arts. Wallach was the co-founder of the Colorado Association for Nonprofit Organizations (1987) and the National Council for Nonprofit Associations (1988) and in his late twenties was a leader in the organizing of the nonprofit sector in the U.S.

Dr. Jalonne White-Newsome
Environmental Justice Federal Policy Analyst
WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Jalonne White-Newsome was the inaugural Kendall Science Fellow with the Union of Concerned Scientists, engaging in independent research on climate change adaptation and public health before joining WE ACT. While matriculating through the Environmental Health Sciences Department at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, her dissertation research focused on understanding the public health impacts of extreme heat events, specifically related to indoor heat exposure and how the urban-dwelling elderly adapt to hot weather. She spent a lot of her time translating her research into action through community outreach and engaging local policy makers and leaders on related issues. Before academia, she spent over ten years working in various manufacturing facilities, predominantly as an environmental manager, which also entailed assuming the role of emergency coordinator and voluntarily, liaising with the surrounding communities. She has held leadership positions in many organizations, including the National Society of Black Engineers, Air & Waste Management Association, Minerva Education and Development Foundation. She is also an adjunct professor at Kettering University and a Professorial Lecturer at The George Washington University. A native Detroiter, she holds a BA in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and an MA in Environmental Engineering from Southern Methodist University