Disasters Roundtable Members
APPOINTED MEMBERS - BIOGRAPHIES
Ellis M. Stanley, Sr., Chair
Ellis M. Stanley, Sr. is Executive Vice President at Hammerman & Gainer International, Inc. His experience spans the public, private, and research communities related to disaster and emergency management. With his previous appointments as Vice President at Dewberry LLC., the Brunswick County (North Carolina) Director of Emergency Management, the General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Department, and the Director of the Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Stanley brings more than 35 years of experience from the public sector to the Disasters Roundtable Chairmanship.
Mr. Stanley has been recognized nationally and internationally for his expertise and knowledge for disaster and emergency management. He has led delegations of emergency management professionals to China and Japan and conducted senior crisis management seminars for Argentina, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Paraguay, Jordan, Turkey, and Taiwan. He is past president of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners (ASPEP), the Atlanta Chapter of the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA), and the Atlanta Chapter of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. He has been appointed to numerous boards, including the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s (HSAC) Emergency Responder Senior Advisory Committee (ERSAC), FEMA’s Regional Advisory Council for Region IX, and the National Advisory Board for Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. Mr. Stanley also has served as Director of DNC planning for the City and County of Denver, Colorado. He has worked at four national political conventions, the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and the 1994 Papal visit and World Youth Conference in Denver.
Mr. Stanley currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Los Angeles Red Cross Chapter and chairs the Response Committee. He also is an adjunct professor at American University, where he teaches senior crisis management/command & control, and he serves as an instructor at Harvard University, where he teaches meta-leadership. Mr. Stanley was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree for Public Service from the University of Maryland. He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973.
Arrietta Chakos is a consultant in urban resilience policy. Her specialties include disaster risk assessment, disaster loss estimates, public policy development, multi-party negotiations, and municipal government operations. She recently served as Director of the Acting in Time Advance Disaster Recovery project at the Harvard Kennedy School which was involved with disaster policy research and application. A seismic safety advocate, she was assistant city manager in Berkeley, California until 2007 and managed the city’s intergovernmental coordination and hazard mitigation initiatives. She directed California’s first municipal hazard mitigation plan aimed at sustainable risk reduction. Berkeley’s mitigation efforts are nationally recognized and use innovative tax incentives and locally-funded programs to promote community resilience. Ms. Chakos worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its report to the Congress on all hazards risk mitigation, and with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalEMA) on natural hazards projects and seismic safety legislation. She served as a technical advisor to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on its international seismic safety program for schools; the World Bank on disaster risk reduction and sustainable development in the metropolitan Istanbul region; and with the National Research Council’s research on community disaster resilience. She has also advised on a recent Ford Foundation study on Stafford Act implementation in the Gulf Coast region; as well as with the Association of Bay Area Governments; the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute; GeoHazards International; the Center for Biosecurity; and the Natural Hazards Center on disaster policy issues. Publications include papers on disaster risk reduction for technical conferences; the American Society of Civil Engineers; Spectra , an engineering professional publication; the Natural Hazards’ Observer; the United Nations journal, Regional Development, and as a contributor to Keeping Schools Safe in Earthquake Country (OECD, 2004) and Global Warming, Natural Hazards, and Emergency Management (2009). She received a BA from California State University, Humboldt and a MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Reginald DesRoches is a Professor, and Karen and John Huff Chair of the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His primary research interests are structural design and analysis, design of bridges and buildings for extreme loads, and applications of smart materials in earthquake engineering. He has published over 150 articles in the general area of structural and earthquake engineering. He is Chair of the ASCE Seismic Effects Committee, Chair of the executive committee of the Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering (TCLEE) and is on the Board for the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). Dr. DesRoches has received numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2001 and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2002. Most recently, he was a recipient of the 2007 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, and the Georgia Tech ANAK Award. The ANAK award is considered the highest honor the undergraduate student body can bestow on a Georgia Tech faculty. Dr. DesRoches received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. in Civil Engineering, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, all from the University of California, Berkeley.
Gerald E. Galloway (NAE)
Gerald E. Galloway is a Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering and an affiliate professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. His 38-year career in the military included positions such as commander of the Army Corps of Engineers District in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and professor and founding head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering and dean of the Academic Board at the U.S. Military Academy. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1990 and retired from active duty in 1995. Dr. Galloway earned his MSE at Princeton and his Ph.D. in geography (specializing in water resources) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A civil engineer, public administrator, and geographer, Dr. Galloway’s current research focuses on the development of U.S. national water policy in general and national floodplain management policy in particular. Prior to joining Maryland, he was Vice President, Geospatial Strategies, for the ES3 Sector of the Titan Corporation. He is a member of the National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board and he served on the Committee to Review the JSOST U.S. Ocean Research Priorities Plan. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
John R. Harrald
John R. Harrald is a Research Professor and Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Center for Technology, Security, and Policy. He is a Senior Fellow at the University of Maryland James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and director emeritus of The George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management and Professor Emeritus of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering in the GWU School of Engineering and Applied Science. Dr. Harrald is a former member and chair of the National Research Council Disasters Roundtable Committee and a former member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Private-Public Sector Collaborations to Ensure Community Disaster Resilience. He is the Executive Editor of the electronic Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and a member of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Board of Scientific Counselors. Dr. Harrald is the Immediate Past President of The International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS) and is the former Associate Director of the National Ports and Waterways Institute. Dr. Harrald has been actively engaged in the fields of emergency and crisis management and maritime safety and security and as a researcher in his academic career and as a practitioner during his 22 year career as a U.S. Coast Guard officer, retiring in the grade of Captain. He has written and published in the fields of crisis management, emergency management, management science, risk and vulnerability analysis, and maritime safety. Currently, Dr. Harrald is working closely with the land-grant institutions of the Mid-Atlantic region (Virginia Tech, University of Maryland with the strong support of Dr. Dan Mote, and the University of Delaware through the Disaster Research Center) to develop an academic network for building resilience to disasters and risk. Dr. Harrald received his B.S. in Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a M.A.L.S. from Wesleyan University, a M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, and an MBA and Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Jose Holguin-Veras is the William H. Hart Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director of the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research emphasizes: the integration of state of the art economic principles into transportation modeling, so that a complete picture could be developed on the broader impacts of transportation activity on the economy and the environment; and the integration of social science and engineering principles in humanitarian logistics. His work includes: basic research on transportation modeling and economics, and basic and field research on humanitarian logistics. His leadership positions at key international organizations include: President of the Pan-American Society of Transportation Research, Elected Member of the Council for the Association for European Transport, and member of the Scientific Committee of the World Conference of Transport Research. He is member of a number of editorial boards, Transportation Editor at Networks and Spatial Economics, and Associate Editor of Transportation Research: Policy and Practice. He is a member of numerous technical committees at the key professional organizations. Dr. Holguín-Veras is the author of dozens of papers in leading journals. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996.
Linda Langston was elected to the Linn County (Iowa) Board of Supervisors in the fall of 2002 and began her term of office in January 2003. She was re-elected in 2006, 2008, and again in November 2012. Ms. Langston is active in the National Association of Counties, currently serving as NACo’s First Vice President. She will become President of NACo in July 2013. She is a member of NACo’s Health Steering Committee, the Arts and Culture Commission, Women Officials of NACo, and the Healthy Counties Initiative. Ms. Langston was an inaugural participant in the County Leadership Institute presented by NACo and New York University in 2004, and she is a 2007 graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for State and Local Officials. She also is active in the Iowa State Association of Counties. Locally, Ms. Langston chairs the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) and is past chair of the Workforce Development Board, along with serving on a variety of other boards and commissions in Linn County and Cedar Rapids. She is also an active member of Downtown Rotary. Ms. Langston received her B.A. from Knox College. Supervisor Langston is widely recognized for her roles in the successful recovery from the devastating Iowa floods of 2008 and translating the lessons learned from that experience into county-wide efforts to fortify and make resilient those Iowa communities for future events. From her perch as the incoming President of the National Association of Counties (NACo), Supervisor Langston is poised to—and has already demonstrated an ability to—help the Disasters Roundtable and the National Research Council communicate key messages to the local and regional set of decisionmakers. That stakeholder group is critical to the successful efforts of reducing risk and building resilience to hazards and disasters, and Supervisor Langston is a key partner to bring into the Disasters Roundtable fold a new level of access to help the NRC reach them.
Monica Schoch-Spana, a medical anthropologist, is Senior Associate with the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases. Since 1998, Dr. Schoch-Spana has led research, education, and advocacy efforts to encourage greater consideration by authorities of the general public’s capacity to confront bioattacks and large-scale epidemics constructively. National advisory roles include serving with the NRC Committees on “Educational Paradigms for Homeland Security” and “Standards and Policies for Decontaminating Public Facilities Affected by Exposure to Harmful Biological Agents: How Clean is Safe?” Schoch-Spana recently chaired the Working Group on Citizen Engagement in Health Emergency Planning, and was the principal organizer for the 2006 U.S.-Canada summit on Disease, Disaster & Democracy – The Public’s Stake in Health Emergency Planning. In 2003, she chaired the Working Group on “Governance Dilemmas” in Bioterrorism Response that issued consensus recommendations to mayors, governors, and top health officials nationwide in 2004. Schoch-Spana helped established the Biosecurity Center of UPMC in 2003 after serving with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civilian Biodefense as a founding member. She received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College and her PhD in cultural anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.
J. Phillip Thompson
J. Phillip Thompson is Associate Professor of Urban Politics and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Thompson has served as Deputy General Manager of the New York Housing Authority, and as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Coordination. He is a frequent advisor to trade unions in their efforts to work with immigrant and community groups across the United States. His most recent book, Double Trouble: Black Mayors, Black Communities and the Struggle for Deep Democracy, was published in 2006 by Oxford University Press. After Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, Dr. Thompson coordinated MIT sponsored projects in New Orleans including work on economic development, planning, and the design of an urban information system to help guide recovery efforts. He is currently working with labor unions, community groups, and local officials on strategies for building “sustainable” cities. He also is currently engaged in rebuilding projects in Haiti. Dr. Thompson received his B.A. in Sociology from Harvard University in 1977, a M.U.P. from Hunter College in 1986, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1990.
Darlene S. Washington
Darlene Sparks Washington, D.P.M., is an Independent Consultant in the fields of disaster emergency preparedness and public health preparedness offering clients assistance in educating and training individuals, families, communities and businesses. Dr. Washington has extensive subject matter expertise in behavior change strategies as an approach for enhancing preparedness. After almost 20 years of service at one of the largest non-profit, humanitarian organizations, Washington recently left the American Red Cross national headquarters where she had advanced within the organization assuming positions of increasing authorities and responsibilities directing national and community-level preparedness and public health related efforts, managing mult-imillion dollar budgets, and supporting a customer base of up to 1000 local affiliates over her Red Cross career. Having served her most recent role as the director for Preparedness and Team Lead for Influenza Pandemic Planning, she led the strategic planning, execution and financial management of the organization’s responsibilities for developing, testing and implementing disaster preparedness education for the general publics, supporting chapters in reaching 5 million people annually in this area. Prior to this appointment, Washington served as the director for Public Health and Emergency Preparedness Education at Red Cross national headquarters where she managed a multi-million dollar cooperative agreement with the Center’s for Disease and Control and Prevention that included the development, implementation, evaluation and technical support of four national HIV prevention programs that reached over 20 million people. Washington is a member of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) and has served on the Guest Editorial Board for the SOPHE Health Promotion Practice Journal, Special Emphasis Issue. She is also a member of the Fairfax County (VA) Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) team. Dr. Washington received her undergraduate degree in biology, pre-med from Hampton Institute (University) and received her doctorate in Podiatric Medicine from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. She is a 1997 American Red Cross President’s Fund Ambassador Award recipient for outstanding accomplishment in Cultural Diversity.
Mary Lou Zoback (NAS)
Mary Lou Zoback is a seismologist and consulting professor in the School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University. From 2006 to 2011 she served as Vice President of Earthquake Risk Applications with Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a private catastrophe modeling firm. At RMS, Zoback utilized the company’s commercial risk models to explore the societal role of earthquake insurance and to quantify the costs and benefits of disaster management and risk reduction activities worldwide. Dr. Zoback was previously a senior research scientist at the USGS and served as Chief Scientist of the Western Earthquake Hazards team in Menlo Park, CA, and as Regional Coordinator for the Northern California Earthquake Hazards Program. Her research explored the relationship between the state of stress in the earth’s crust and the occurrence of both intraplate and plate boundary earthquakes. She joined the USGS in 1978 after receiving her BS, MS, and PhD in geophysics from Stanford University. She has served on numerous national committees and panels on topics ranging from defining the next generation of Earth observations from space, storage of high-level radioactive waste, facilitating interdisciplinary research, and science education. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, past President of the Geological Society of America, and a member of the Carnegie Foundation Board of Trustees, the NRC Disaster Roundtable, and a recent past member of the Board of Directors of the Seismological Society of America. She recently cochaired the Advisory Committee for San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection’s CAPSS (Citizens Action Plan for Seismic Safety) Program.
DISASTERS ROUNDTABLE – EX OFFICIO MEMBERS - BIOGRAPHIES
Frank Best is President of F.H. Best Associates. Previously, Mr. Best served as a Senior Vice President of PB Americas. His career is a record of successful program design, implementation and management across a broad spectrum of industries including education, real estate, construction, and insurance. During the past decade his work has focused on both pre and post disaster valuation and condition of property within the US. Recently tasked with strategic pursuits in alternative energy, he is becoming recognized as a national and international consultant in both the planning and funding of such projects. Mr. Best came to PB in 1995 as a member of the project design team responsible for PB’s successful bid for the FEMA Housing contract. As a senior member of the management team for the PB/FEMA Housing Project he was integral in the planning of policy and operational strategies. As Project Facilitator he was responsible for the management of client relations at active Disaster Recovery Centers. In 1997 Mr. Best was directed to expand PB inspection services to the Insurance Industry in response to a growing need for a nation wide revaluation of personal property. In achievement of this directive, he lead a project team of 20 staff members and over 400 Independent Contractors providing service to major insurance carriers across 50 states. Over a six year period his team achieved over one million inspections totaling over 250 billion dollars of housing inventory. During this period he identified the need for and led the development of a WEB based resource management tool that streamlined identification, activation, training, QA measurement and payment of Independent Contractors. In 2003 Mr. Best was tasked with expanding PB’s strategic plan through development of Small Business 8(A) partners. In pursuit of this task, he established working relationships for the pursuit of Federal Contracts with Chenega COS, an Alaskan 8(A), The Black Feet Nation, and other multiple small, disadvantaged businesses resulting in multiple ongoing pursuits. Since 2004 Mr. Best has been managing strategic pursuits in alternative and “green energy” working with the State of Montana to develop 64,000 MW of potential wind power. He leads a strategic planning team focused on business development with the country of Trinidad/Tobago emphasizing Waste to Energy and Desalinization projects. Mr. Best received his B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College and M.A. from the University of Connecticut.
David J. Kaufman
David Kaufman is FEMA’s Associate Administrator for Policy, Program Analysis, and International Affairs. In this position he is responsible for providing leadership, analysis, coordination, and decision-making support to the FEMA Administrator on a wide range of Agency policies, plans, programs, and key initiatives. Mr. Kaufman has extensive experience with homeland security and disaster preparedness issues. He has been a member of the faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security, where he has taught in the Center’s graduate and executive level education programs, and has previously served in several senior positions in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and in FEMA. His previous service included establishing the Office of Preparedness Policy, Planning and Analysis in FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate, where as the Director he led policy and planning efforts for national preparedness; and Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Preparedness Programs Division in the Office for Domestic Preparedness, where he oversaw the day-to-day activities of DHS’ $3 billion portfolio of state, local, and infrastructure preparedness assistance programs. In 2008, Mr. Kaufman left government service to become Safety and Security Director for CNA, a non-profit think-tank that provides analysis and solutions to challenging problems for all levels of government, where he worked on a range of homeland security issues including community engagement, risk management, and catastrophic planning, and supported the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review. Mr. Kaufman holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan and he is a graduate of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Executive Leaders Program.
Elizabeth Lemersal is an Associate Program Coordinator for the Earthquake Hazards Program of the U.S. Geological Survey. Ms. Lemersal’s primary mission with the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) is to manage all aspects of the Earthquake Hazards Program annual competitive grants, which comprise 25% of the Program’s annual budget, serve as the Project Officer for the Advanced National Seismic System’s cooperative agreements with regional seismic networks and the USGS’s support of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC). The Earthquake Hazards Program is USGS’s component of the four agency National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP).
Francis E. Lindsay
As the Disasters Program Manager, Dr. Lindsay leads the Program’s efforts to promote the integration of Earth science data and information for disaster forecasting, mitigation, and response. He oversees the Disaster portfolio of competitively selected and directed projects focusing on improving our national and international planning for and response to disasters across the globe. He is also the NASA representative for disasters work on several national and international bodies including the OSTP Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction and the Committee of Earth Observing Satellites comprised of the world’s space faring nations. Dr. Lindsay has worked in the NASA Data System Program for nearly ten years as a Program Manager before joining the Applied Science Program. He has extensive experience with geospatial data spanning both remote sensing and GIS-based applications. Before joining NASA, Dr. Lindsay managed one of the largest civilian remote satellite data distribution centers based at the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies in Maryland and was an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of New Hampshire, Keene. He received a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Maryland and a Masters degree in Geography from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Michael Uhart is a senior research manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He has been a NOAA employee since 1976, where he was a weather forecaster, managed various national weather observing and forecasting programs, a NOAA advisor to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Director of the multiagency National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP), Executive Director of the NOAA Science Advisory Board, and the Executive Director of the Office of Laboratories and Cooperative Institutes in NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. He is currently the Acting Director of NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory (ARL). As the ARL director, he leads research, development, and applications of leading edge science in areas of air quality, atmospheric dispersion, climate, and the planetary boundary layer and maintains strong relationships with governmental, commercial, and other non-governmental stakeholders. He received his B.A. Degree in Applied Physics and Information Science from UC San Diego in 1970, an M.S. in Meteorology from Florida State University in 1976, and his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 1985.
Dennis E. Wenger
Dennis Wenger is the Program Director for Infrastructure Management and Hazard Response at the National Science Foundation. He was a Professor of Urban and Regional Science at Texas A&M University from 1989 until 2007, where he also was the Founding Director and Senior Scholar of the Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center. He is interested in the areas of sociology, natural and technological disaster research, hazards mitigation, urban ecology, collective behavior and mass communication, and disaster and emergency planning. Dennis has written or co-authored several books and articles including Hurricane Bret Post-storm Assessment: A Review of the Utilization of Hurricane Evacuation Studies and Information Dissemination, Texas: Texas A&M University Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center, 2000; Respuestas Individuales e Institucionales Ante ed Sismo de 1985 en la Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico: Cenapred, 1994; “A Test of the Emergent Norm Theory of Collective Behavior,” Sociological Forum, 1998; “The Social Organization of Search and Rescue: Evidence from the Guadalajara Gasoline Explosion,” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 1995. Dr. Wenger received his BS, MA and PhD from The Ohio State University.
Theodore Van Kirk
Theodore (Ted) Van Kirk manages Dewberry’s Emergency Management, Disaster and Mitigation Services Group which is part of the firm’s Federal Programs Operating Group. Mr. Van Kirk has 28 years of national experience encompassing full range of FEMA mitigation, hazard identification, flood mapping, and disaster assistance programs, and he has served FEMA as a trusted advisor for more than 24 years. On an annual basis, he is responsible for $60+ M of disaster and mitigation contract/task order work across the nation. Over the past decade, Mr. Van Kirk has managed or performed work on 60+ disaster declarations in 35 states including Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Florida Hurricanes, and the WTC terrorist attack. Following Hurricane Ivan in 2004, he served as a Subject Matter Expert for a USAID team in Grenada to incorporate mitigation principles into rebuilding of schools and medical clinics. He also adapted FEMA’s Cost Estimating methodology to address fire mitigation grant estimates following the Cerro Grande fires. Mr. Van Kirk is recognized as a leader in the planning, evaluation, and design of floodproofing, flood fighting, and flood retrofitting measures for private and public facilities nationwide. He is the primary author of several FEMA Mitigation publications, including FEMA 259 (Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood Prone Structures), 348 (Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage) and the one of the AIA Buildings at Risk Series (Flood Design Basics for Practicing Architects) and he has contributed to dozens of FEMA building science and mitigation related publications including the IVAN Mitigation Assessment Team, FEMA 312 (Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting), technical bulletins, recovery bulletins, and the Hurricane Mitigation Handbook. He is a FEMA Certified Train-the-Trainer and serves as an instructor for multiple FEMA training courses for the Mitigation and Disaster Assistance Directorates. He served on ASCE Standards Committee that developed ASCE 24-98 (Flood Resistant Design and Construction).