Speakers - Seismic Risk Mitigation

Click on a speaker name to read biography.


Thalia Anagnos

(May 2, 2011) Thalia Anagnos first became interested in earthquakes when her mother dragged her out of bed as the house shook wildly during the San Fernando earthquake on the morning of February 9, 1971. At first she was intrigued by the three glorious days when middle school was canceled, but later became interested in how earthquakes affect the whole community. She is now a professor in the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San José State University with research in the areas of earthquake risk and loss estimation.

Professor Anagnos is a past-president of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and currently serves as the Co-Leader for Education, Outreach, and Training for the George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES).

Thalia Anagnos, Professor
San José State University
Mark Benthien, Director of Communication, Education and Outreach
Southern California Earthquake Center
Jay Berger, Executive Director
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Amy Brown

(May 2, 2011) Amy Brown was appointed by Mayor Edwin M. Lee on January 11, 2011, to serve as Acting City Administrator. The City Administrator is assigned by the Charter to oversee administrative services within the executive branch of City government; and has overall responsibility for the management and implementation of policies, rules and regulations promulgated by the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors and the voters. The City Administrator also is the head of the City's General Services Agency, which consists of 22 departments, divisions, offices and programs, with a budget of $239 million and 656 full time employees.

As Acting City Administrator, Ms. Brown also serves as the County Clerk, the Chair of the City's Committee on Information Technology, and the Chair of the Capital Planning Committee. She co-chairs the Lifelines Council, an innovative forum where the City government meets with the utility service providers-power, water, telecommunications, transportation-to coordinate disaster response and recovery planning, and is charged by Mayoral Executive Directive with overseeing the City's Earthquake Safety Implementation Program.

Ms. Brown previously served as a Deputy City Administrator since 2008 and as Director of Real Estate since 2006, reporting to City Administrator Lee. She also has been very involved in disaster planning efforts, working closely with the Department of Emergency Management and overseeing the City's disaster recovery planning efforts, including significant community engagement efforts like the Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN). As Director of Real Estate, Brown led the City's Real Estate Division and facilities management efforts.

Brown also served as Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney's Office from 1999 to 2006. Prior to that, she was in private legal practice for several years. Ms. Brown holds Bachelors degrees in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kansas and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Amy Brown, City Administrator
City & County of San Francisco
Patrick Buscovich

(May 2, 2011) Mr. Buscovich is a licensed structural engineer in the State of California with 20 years experience in structural engineering projects. He established Patrick Buscovich & Associates Structural Engineers, Inc. (PBSE) in San Francisco in 1990. Since graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a Master of Engineering in 1979, he has specialized in seismic analysis and design for Bay Area projects. Projects include the Marin Civic Center, Orpheum Theater and Plaza Renovations at 1, 50 and 555 California Street. Mr. Buscovich also specializes in code consultation on the San Francisco Building Code to clients and other engineers.

Mr. Buscovich is the author or co-author of numerous portions of the San Francisco Building Code including sections dealing with the earthquake damage trigger, UMB retrofit standards, seismic upgrade requirement and the UMB Board of Appeals.

Patrick Buscovich, Structural Engineer
Patrick Buscovich & Associates Structural Engineers, Inc. (PBSE)
Alan Carr

(May 2, 2011) Alan Carr is a Senior Staff Engineer for International Code Council (ICC), Codes and Standards Department where he is responsible for developing and reviewing technical documents related to the structural provisions of International Building Code. Since 2000 he has served as Secretariat to the International Code Council's Structural Committee. Mr. Carr holds a Master of Science degree in civil engineering and is a registered civil and structural engineer in the State of Washington. He is a member of the Structural Engineers Association of Washington (SEAW) and has served on the board of directors of the Seattle Chapter. Mr. Carr has also been a member of the main committee for ASCE 7 Standard, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.

Alan Carr, Codes and Standards
International Code Council
Arrietta Chakos

(May 2, 2011) Arrietta Chakos is a public policy advisor on urban disaster resilience and works on crisis management and community/multi-sectoral engagement in California cities. Ms. Chakos's work with San Francisco, Palo Alto and regional institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area focuses on strategies to improve disaster readiness and emergency response. She is a member of the Disasters Roundtable at the National Academies of Science and chairs the public policy committee at the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. Ms. Chakos served as the project director of the Harvard Kennedy School's Acting in Time Disaster Recovery Research Project. She previously served as assistant city manager in Berkeley, California, directing innovative hazard mitigation initiatives, intergovernmental coordination and multi-institutional negotiations.

Arrietta Chakos, Chair of Public Policy Committee
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Leslie Chapman-Henderson

(May 16, 2013) Leslie Chapman-Henderson is President and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster-resistant nation including: BASF, FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, International Code Council, Kohler Power Systems, NOAA/National Weather Service, North Carolina State University, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm, Texas Tech Wind Science & Engineering, The Home Depot, University of Florida, USAA and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc.

Ms. Chapman-Henderson and FLASH have championed the cause of disaster-resilient construction methods through the creation of groundbreaking consumer awareness programs like StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort; and Blueprint for Safety®, an integrated educational program on disaster-resistant construction techniques for homebuilders, homeowners and design professionals.

Ms. Chapman-Henderson's civic, community and professional recognition include the 2010 designation by Cable News Network as a member of the CNN New Guard of the South - an elite group of leaders from academic, business, entertainment, government, nonprofit, philanthropy and sports fields. She and FLASH have received a myriad of awards including: the 2011 National VOAD Partner of the Year Award, 2011 Governor's Hurricane Conference Governor's Award, 2009 Governor's Hurricane Conference Corporate Award for StormStruck®, 2008 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement in Mitigation Award, 2008 Governor's Hurricane Conference Corporate Award, 2006 Texas Silver Spur Award for Public Education Excellence, 2006 Governor's Hurricane Conference Public Information/Education Award, 2005 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement in Public Awareness Award, 2005 National Weather Association Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award, 2005 NOAA Environmental Hero Award and many more.

Ms. Chapman-Henderson has served as co-chair of the legislatively-created My Safe Florida Home Advisory Council, as a board trustee for Florida International University - International Hurricane Research Center, an advisory council member for the Florida State University Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center, consumer representative and chair for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council, guest lecturer at Florida State University and the University of Florida - School of Construction and as a Florida representative to the Federal Communications Commission WARN Committee.

Other past service includes trustee for the Florida Fire and Emergency Services Foundation; consumer representative to the Louisiana Uniform Building Code Task Force; consumer representative and vice chair of the 2005 Florida Legislative Task Force on Long Term Solutions for Florida's Hurricane Insurance Market; and insurance consumer representative to the 2006 Property and Casualty Insurance Reform Committee chaired by former Lt. Governor Toni Jennings.

FLASH program successes include television appearances on CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC and nationally-syndicated programs This New House, Bob Vila and Home Again with Bob Vila; production of a one-hour, nationally televised multi-hazard PBS Special entitled, Blueprint for Safety - Disaster-Resistant Homes; and "A Tale of Two Houses" a multi-media awareness campaign showcasing code and code-plus construction success stories in wildfire and high-wind zones.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President & CEO
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. - FLASH®
Larry Collins

(May 2, 2011) Larry Collins is a battalion chief and task force leader of the L.A. County Fire Department's urban search and rescue task force for domestic and international disaster response. His most recent international disaster responses included the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami catastrophe. A member of the fire service for 31 years, he was a Rescue/USAR Company fire captain for 20 years, assigned to one of the most active fire department Rescue/USAR units in the nation. Battalion Chief Collins is an operations chief on the FEMA USAR Incident Support Teams coordinating federal rescue operations, which have included the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9-11 Pentagon collapse, Hurricanes Frances, Ivan, Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Gustav, Ike, Dolly, Earl, and several national security events like the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Chief Collins has helped establish swiftwater rescue systems, water rescue teams, urban search and rescue systems and teams, specialized rescue programs including helo/high rise teams, helo/swiftwater rescue teams, rapid intervention protocols, earthquake preparedness programs, multi-agency water rescue plans, tsunami response plans, and years of next-generation research and development on science, technology, and their use in emergency planning and response. He sits on the So Cal Shakeout advisory group, the Earthquake Country Alliance advisory group, the Los Angeles County Tsunami Committee, the Multi-Agency Earthquake Task Force for Los Angeles County, and other advisory positions. Over the past two decades, he has authored many articles and cases studies, as well as the textbook series Technical Rescue Operations, the Rescue chapter of The Fire Chiefs Handbook, and the Support of Rescue Operations chapter of Fire Engineering's Handbook for Firefighter I and II.

Larry Collins, Battalion Chief
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Mary Comerio

(May 2, 2011) Mary Comerio is an internationally recognized expert on disaster recovery. She joined the faculty in the Department of Architecture at U. C. Berkeley in 1978 and served as Chair of the Department from 2006-2009. As an architect, she has designed numerous public and private facilities including market rate and affordable housing. Her research focuses on the costs and benefits of seismic rehabilitation (particularly housing), post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, and loss modeling.

Professor Comerio led the FEMA sponsored Disaster Resistant University Program. Her research together with the UC Berkeley campus seismic rehabilitation program was recognized by Engineering News Record as one of the ten best seismic rehabilitation projects in the United States in 2006. She also led the Building Systems Research in the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, during the ten years when PEER was one of three NSF funded national earthquake centers. Professor Comerio is currently working on a NSF Grand Challenge project focused on the mitigation of collapse risk in nonductile concrete buildings. She spent a sabbatical year (2009-10) as a Visiting Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and consultant to the United Nations Environment Program on post-disaster recovery efforts in China and Haiti. She recently led the PEER/EERI reconnaissance teams to both earthquakes in New Zealand and has participated in several other teams.

Mary Comerio is the author of Disaster Hits Home: New Policy for Urban Housing Recovery, (U. C. Press, 1998), and ?Can Buildings be Made Earthquake Safe? (Science Vol. 312, No. 5771, April 14, 2006).

Mary Comerio, Professor, Department of Architecture
University of California, Berkeley
Andre Filiatrault

(May 2, 2011) André Filiatrault received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1988. After a two-year stay as an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, he joined the Department of Civil Engineering at Ecole Polytechnique of the University of Montreal, where he became a Full Professor in 1997. Professor Filiatrault joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego in 1998 where he was a Professor of Structural Engineering until 2003. Currently, he is a Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB), State University of New York.

From 2003 to 2007, Professor Filiatrault served as the Deputy Director of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER). He is now serving as the Director of MCEER. His research over the last twenty two years has been centered on the seismic testing, analysis and design of Civil Engineering structures. Professor Filiatrault led the first team of French-speaking engineers who conducted emergency building inspections for the United Nations (UNOPS) following the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Since then, he has been leading through MCEER the development of a professional earthquake engineering educational program in Haiti.

Andre Filiatrault, Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
University at Buffalo (UB), State University of New York
Joanne Hayes-White

(May 2, 2011) Joanne Hayes-White was sworn in by Mayor Newsom as the 25th Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department on January 16, 2004. San Francisco is now the largest urban fire department in the world with a female chief. Chief Hayes-White oversees a department of approximately 1,800 members and an operating budget of $250 million.

A San Francisco native, Chief Hayes-White came to the department after graduating from the University of Santa Clara with a degree in business. She was hired as a firefighter in April 1990, promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1993 and to the rank of Captain in January 1996. In May 1996 she was made acting Battalion Chief with oversight of the department's dispatch and communications systems. She oversaw the installation of the computer-aided system (CAD) and automated information systems and by doing so, streamlined and improved the department's dispatch and records management capabilities.

Also accomplished during her tenure as the Battalion Chief for Dispatch and Communications, Hayes-White spearheaded the unification of City dispatch operations into the single Emergency Communications Department, a process that combined Fire, EMS, and police dispatch communications under one roof, improving response times and service to the community, as well as strengthening interagency cooperation and collaboration. Promoted to Assistant Deputy Chief in 1998, she was responsible for the Division of Support Services, the Bureau of Communications, the Bureau of Equipment, the Bureau of Engineering and Water Supply, Management Information Systems, and all facility repairs, maintenance and renovations.

Chief Hayes-White is very proud of the fact that she has, either as a Firefighter or Officer, worked at every one of San Francisco's forty-two fire stations. She serves on the Boards of the American Red Cross - Bay Area Chapter, the Hibernian Newman Club and Mercy High School, San Francisco.

Joanne Hayes-White, Chief of Department
San Francisco Fire Department
William Holmes

(May 2, 2011) Mr. Holmes is currently Chair of the Project Steering Committee on the FEMA-funded project, Development of Next Generation Performance Based Design, ATC 58, and serves on the Project Management Committee on several other ATC and BSSC research-to-practice projects. A structural engineer, he has been responsible for the structural design or seismic retrofit of many buildings as well as being active in significant research and development in structural and seismic engineering. He has been active in the development of seismic codes and guidelines since he served on the SEAOC Seismology Committee in the mid-seventies and had a key role in the conceptual development of the NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings (FEMA 273/356-ASCE 41). He also served as Chair of the Provision Update Committee, responsible for updating the NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings, 1997 and 2000 editions and is currently Chair of the Building Seismic Safety Council's Board.

Mr. Holmes serves on the Board of the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE) and on the NEES Governance Board. He received his BS and MS from Stanford University.

William Holmes, Principal
Rutherford and Chekene
Jeff Huebner

(May 2, 2011) Jeff Huebner is the Vice President of Cash, Investments and Risk Management for AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Insurance Exchange, a leading provider of personal lines insurance in twenty-three states across the country. Mr. Huebner leads functions relating to treasury operations, investment of approximately $5 billion, operations of three captive insurance companies, corporate insurance, safety and workers' compensation, and ceded and assumed reinsurance, including property catastrophe risk management. He has worked at AAA for ten years.

Mr. Huebner's previous experience includes commercial casualty insurance brokerage, risk management for a real estate investment trust, and personal lines sales. He has an MBA from Notre Dame de Namur University in California and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

Jeff Huebner, Vice President, Cash, Investments and Risk Management
AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Insurance Exchange
Sarah Karlinsky

(May 2, 2011) Sarah Karlinsky the Deputy Director of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), a public policy think tank promoting good planning and good government. Ms. Karlinsky is responsible for managing SPUR's housing, community planning and disaster planning work, and for coordinating SPUR's policy efforts. Prior to joining SPUR, Ms. Karlinsky developed affordable housing throughout the Bay Area with Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition (MPHC), one of the largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing in the Bay Area. Ms. Karlinsky is a board member of TransForm and the Community Housing Partnership and has taught land use planning at San Francisco State University. She is the author of several essays on planning, including "The Long Road Home: What Has the Market and Octavia Plan Taught Us About Community Planning in San Francisco?" and "Toronto's Good Bones." Ms. Karlinsky began her career teaching urban planning to middle school students as a Teach for America Corps Member in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her Master's degree in public policy and urban planning from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Ms. Karlinsky also holds a BA in History from Columbia University.

Sarah Karlinsky, Deputy Director
San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association
Laurence Kornfield, Deputy Director
City of San Francisco
Edwin Lee

(May 2, 2011) Edwin M. Lee is the 43rd Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco. The former City Administrator, Lee was appointed unanimously as successor mayor by the Board of Supervisors on January 11, 2011 to fill the remaining year of former Mayor Gavin Newsom's term, who was sworn in as California's Lieutenant Governor on January 10, 2011. Lee is the first Asian-American mayor in San Francisco history.

In 2010, Mayor Lee was appointed to a second term as City Administrator by Mayor Newsom and his appointment was confirmed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors. As City Administrator, Mayor Lee spearheaded government efficiency measures and reforms that reduced the size and cost of government, from reducing the vehicle fleet to consolidating departments and back office functions to save tax dollars. He implemented the City's move to cleaner vehicles and an infrastructure to support electric vehicles and green City government. Mayor Lee also developed and oversaw implementation of the City's first ever Ten Year Capital Plan to guide our capital priorities and infrastructure investment.

Working with the Department of Emergency Management, Mayor Lee has overseen the City's disaster recovery and response planning efforts, bringing every department together to coordinate response and recovery for the next major earthquake or emergency. With the Fire Chief, Mayor Lee led efforts to work with PG&E to assess the City's gas and electric infrastructure and ensure its safety and reliability. For the 2010 U.S. Census, Mayor Lee organized the outreach efforts to ensure our City continues to make progress on inclusion and cultural competency.

Mayor Lee first began working for the City and County of San Francisco in 1989 as the Investigator for the City's first Whistle Blower Ordinance and has since served as the Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission, Director of City Purchasing, and Director of the Department of Public Works before he was first appointed as City Administrator in 2005.

Prior to his employment with the City and County of San Francisco, Mayor Lee was the Managing Attorney for the San Francisco Asian Law Caucus, for which he worked from 1979 to 1989. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bowdoin College and from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley.

Edwin Lee, Mayor
City and County of San Francisco
Stephen Mahin

(May 2, 2011) Stephen Mahin is the Byron and Elvira Nishkian Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and is Director of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center. After working as a consultant for the seismic design of buildings, offshore platforms and nuclear power plant facilities, he joined the faculty at UC Berkeley. He has carried out research on a wide variety of topics related to the seismic behavior and design of building, bridge and infrastructure systems, and is internationally recognized for the integration of experimental, theoretical and computational research in developing guidelines for improving seismic safety and performance.

Dr. Mahin has more than 300 technical papers, and has supervised the research of more than 80 students. He has received several major awards, including the Huber Research Prize and Norman Medal from ASCE, and James Cooper Award from FHWA, and has served in leadership positions in several academic and professional organizations. He received his BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.

Stephen Mahin, Byron and Elvira Nishkian Professor of Structural Engineering
University of California, Berkeley
David Mar

(May 2, 2011) David Mar has practiced structural engineering for more than twenty years, having received his undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined

Steve Tipping and Associates in 1990. His work and research demonstrate his desire to provide a complete design product that is thoughtfully integrated with the project's environment: accommodating long-term sustainability, seismic conditions, cost, and interdisciplinary design parameters.

Since having been named Principal and lead designer of Tipping Mar in 2000, Mr. Mar has continued in the company's longstanding tradition of well-crafted engineering solutions, while introducing a new philosophical emphasis on creativity and exploration supported by practical, project-specific research. His focus on high-performance seismic and sustainable design has positioned Tipping Mar at the forefront of the green building movement. His enthusiasm for innovation has expanded his design palette from traditional steel, concrete, and wood construction to rammed earth, bamboo, straw bale, timber frame, and structural insulated panels.

Mr. Mar frequently lectures at the engineering departments of UC Berkeley, Stanford, and the Lean Construction Institute. He has authored numerous publications and received many local and national awards in the areas of new construction, seismic renovation, and sustainable design.

David Mar, Structural Engineer and Principal
Tipping Mar
Ben May

(May 2, 2011) With over 25 years in senior leadership positions in global marketing management in the wine industry, Ben May was recruited in 2000 by one of his largest clients, the Walt Disney World® Resort, to become a member of a new team responsible for business development at Epcot®. Mr. May is a member of the team responsible for developing alliances, sponsorships and business relationships with companies and organizations, as well as with governments and countries for Disney Parks. He also speaks for the Disney Institute on the subjects of brand development and strategic thinking; as well as career and individual development.

In addition to his responsibilities with Disney Parks, Mr. May is a former fire fighter and fire commissioner who writes, speaks and educates fire and emergency service organizations on the contribution marketing management can make to their critical public mission. A contributing editor to Firehouse Magazine and Firehouse.Com, he frequently speaks to senior fire officers at the US Fire Academy and other public forums on the subject of leadership in emergency services public service marketing such as the National Weather Service.

Mr. May received a B.A. with Honors in Public Affairs from the University of Oklahoma and a Master's Degree in International Communications from the American University's School of International Service in Washington, D.C. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Mr. May is conversant in German, Russian and Hebrew. He is a member of the Society of Executive Fire Officers, the Institution of Fire Engineers, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and the Florida Fire Chiefs Association. Mr. May is also a Member of the Board of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.

Ben May, Business Development Director, Disney Corporate Alliances
The Walt Disney Company
Richard McCarthy

(May 2, 2011) Richard McCarthy has served as the Executive Director for the California Seismic Safety Commission since 1995. The California Seismic Safety Commission was established by legislation in January 1975 to set goals and priorities for earthquake safety and advises the Governor and the State Legislature on earthquake risk reduction issues. In addition, the Commission is responsible for developing and maintaining the California Earthquake Loss Reduction Plan. This document is a comprehensive strategic plan that sets forth statewide policy and direction in pursuit of the vision for a safer California.

Prior to joining the Seismic Safety Commission, Mr. McCarthy worked as the senior engineering geologist for the California Coastal Commission from 1979 to 1990. This Commission regulates development within the California Coastal Zone. From 1975 to 1979, Mr. McCarthy was a production geologist with Getty Oil Company in Ventura, California. Between 1973 and 1975 he was a staff geologist with Fugro Inc. in Long Beach, California and participated in site identification for nuclear power plants in California, Arizona, and Puerto Rico.

Mr. McCarthy is dedicated to the reduction of earthquake risk to the people and property in the State of California. He has published numerous articles and reports and has served on many scientific committees and federal/state task forces.

Richard McCarthy, Executive Director
California Seismic Safety Commission
Rachel Minnery, Disaster Assistance Task Force Chair
American Institute of Architects
Peter Mitchell

(May 2, 2011) A former journalist and legislative staffer, Peter Mitchell got into social marketing a decade ago when he was asked to direct the marketing campaign for a new anti-tobacco initiative in Florida. The campaign became ?truth? ? an effort that transformed tobacco control and got replicated on a national scale after Florida showed the first statewide drop in teen smoking in 19 years. Since then, Mr. Mitchell has developed and directed dozens of social marketing campaigns across the globe, first as a senior marketing specialist for the Academy for Educational Development, a large international non-profit, and later as a founder of Marketing for Change, which is now part of Salter>Mitchell.

A graduate of Colgate University, Mr. Mitchell spent a decade as a reporter, including covering Florida for The Wall Street Journal, and served as the policy coordinator for Florida's Senate President. Over the years, he has designed behavior-change campaigns domestically and in Bangladesh, India, Jordan and Tanzania, for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Chesapeake Bay Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the United Nations and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Peter Mitchell, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer
Salter Mitchell
James Mullen

(May 2, 2011) Jim Mullen became the Washington State Director of the Emergency Management Division effective July 21, 2004. He has been an outspoken advocate of local and county emergency managers. Innovation has characterized his tenure at Washington EMD: he has dramatically increased the public education outreach effort, which includes the highly praised Map Your Neighborhood Program initiative. A second innovation has been to increase the direct, two-way interaction between the public and private sector, with the promise of more in the future.

In October 2010 Mr. Mullen was elected Vice President of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), and assumed the office of President of NEMA January 14, 2011. Prior to becoming President of NEMA he served as NEMA's Region 10 Vice President and as Mitigation Committee chairman. He is a member of the National Homeland Security Consortium and was a driving force behind the formation of the National Collaborative Mitigation Alliance. Throughout his career in emergency management, Mr. Mullen has contributed constructive commentary on the impact of the Homeland Security Department upon FEMA, and the collateral impact upon the safety of the nation from all hazards.

James Mullen, Director
Emergency Management Division, Washington State
Christopher Nance

(May 2, 2011) Christopher Nance joined the California Earthquake Authority in 2008. He previously served as Deputy Secretary for the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, was Senior Consultant for the California Legislature, and Press Advance Representative for The White House. Mr. Nance has worked for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in Sacramento, Fleishman-Hillard in Kansas City, and Hill & Knowton in Chicago. He has earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in communications from Michigan State University.

Christopher Nance, Chief Communications Officer
California Earthquake Authority
Chris Poland

(May 2, 2011) Chris Poland's structural engineering career spans over 35 years and includes a wide variety of new design work, seismic analysis and strengthening of existing buildings, structural failure analysis, and historic preservation. As an internationally recognized authority on earthquake engineering, Mr. Poland routinely participates in policy-changing research projects sponsored by the NSF, USGS, NIST and FEMA. A passionate advocate and voice for seismic safety, he actively participates in the academic, ethical and social advancement of his field and lectures often.

Mr. Poland currently presides as Chair of the congressionally mandated Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. His latest interests involving advocacy for Resilient Cities led to his involvement in the SPUR Resilient City Initiative as the chair of the Seismic Hazard Mitigation Taskforce. That work led to his Co-Chair appointment to the San Francisco Lifelines Council. He chairs the ASCE Standards Committee on Seismic Rehabilitation, and led the effort needed to produce the ASCE 31 and ASCE 41 Standards. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association. Mr. Poland served on the Board of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) for 10 years in two separate roles, first as the Secretary and then as the President from 2001 to 2002.

Mr. Poland is the 2006 recipient of the Alfred E. Alquist Award from the California Earthquake Safety Foundation, and was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his career long work in support of Performance Based Earthquake Engineering.

Chris Poland, Structural Engineer and Senior Principal
Chairman Degenkolb Engineers
Steven Pryor

(May 2, 2011) Steven E. Pryor, S.E., has been with Simpson Strong-Tie for 14 years and currently serves as their International Director of Building Systems. Prior to joining Simpson, Mr. Pryor was a practicing structural engineer in California. While at Simpson, Mr. Pryor developed Simpson's Tyrell T. Gilb Research Laboratory, one of the world's premier large-scale structural systems test facilities, which has the capability to simulate both wind and seismic effects on light-frame structures via both quasi static/cyclic and dynamic test machines that can apply vertical and lateral loading simultaneously. An expert in the structural response, analysis and testing of light-frame buildings, Mr. Pryor participates on several state and national building code committees. Most recently Mr. Pryor was the primary industry technical consultant for the highly successful NEESWood Capstone testing in Miki, Japan of a full-scale seven-story mixed-use steel/wood structure, the largest building ever tested on a shake table.

Steven Pryor, International Director
Simpson Strong-Tie
Jean Quan

(May 2, 2011) Mayor Jean Quan got her start in Oakland politics in 1989 as a parent trying to save the schools' music and arts programs. She served on the Oakland Board of Education for 3 terms and the Oakland City Council for 2 terms before being elected Oakland's first woman and first Asian American mayor in 2010.

As the first Asian American woman mayor of a major US City, she has been a leader at the local,

regional, state and national level, serving on the boards of the California and National League of Cities and a number of other policy-level organizations focused on smart growth, green economies and urban issues.

A resident of Oakland for more than 30 years, she has dedicated her life to making government work for people. Jean's family roots in Oakland date back to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, when her great-grandfather, grandfather and his two brothers took the ferry across the Bay and became part of a new Oakland Chinatown. She received a scholarship to attend the University of California, Berkeley, where she helped found Asian American Studies and worked to recruit poor and minority students.

Jean Quan, Mayor
City of Oakland
David Richardson Jr., Acting Chief Deputy of Business Operations
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Laura Samant

(May 2, 2011) Laura Samant helps communities to understand and reduce their risk from earthquakes and other natural disasters. She has worked with communities worldwide, first as an employee of the California-based non-profit GeoHazards International and now as an independent consultant. Her key interest is translating state-of-the-art technical knowledge about disaster risk reduction into feasible and effective policies and programs that make cities safer.

Ms. Samant's background is in structural engineering and she has extensive experience communicating technical concepts to non-technical policymakers. She recently finished work as a co-project manager for the City of San Francisco's influential Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety program (www.sfcapss.org). This program analyzed the City's earthquake risk and developed consensus among key City officials, tenants, property owners, historic preservationists, business leaders, technical specialists, and many others on policy recommendations to reduce the risk.

Laura Samant, Natural Disaster Risk Mitigation Consultant, Laura Samant Consulting
Independent Consultant
Charles Scawthorn

(May 2, 2011) Charles Scawthorn is internationally recognized as an authority for the analysis and mitigation of natural and technological hazards. He retired in 2008 as Professor and Head of the Earthquake Disaster Prevention Systems Laboratory, Kyoto University (Japan), is President of SPA Risk and a Visiting Professor, Waseda University (Japan) and Visiting Scholar, at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Scawthorn teaches a course on Disaster Risk Assessment, Mitigation and Financing at the World Bank and is a Senior Academic in the Willis Research Network. As President of SPA Risk LLC, he consults to the global insurance industry, the World Bank, FEMA and Global 1000 corporations.

From 1998 to 2003 Dr. Scawthorn led technical development of the US national Flood Loss Estimation Model (HAZUS) for FEMA, and is widely recognized for the development of methods for rapid risk analysis of buildings (FEMA 154), seismic vulnerability assessment of US national infrastructure (FEMA 224), stochastic models of fires following earthquakes, models for optimizing urban land use with respect to natural hazards risk, general loss estimation models for earthquake, wind and flood, and seismically reinforcing low-strength masonry buildings. He is the author or co-editor of a number of books and technical papers on fire following earthquake, earthquake engineering, catastrophe risk and human casualties. Dr. Scawthorn is a graduate of the Cooper Union, holds an M.S.C.E. degree from Lehigh University and received his D.Eng. from Kyoto University.

Charles Scawthorn, President, SPA Risk
Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University
Ryan Sherriff

(May 2, 2011) Ryan Sherriff is a research associate at the Center for Housing Policy in Washington, DC. In addition to managing several other Center projects, he researches best practices nationwide in the development and renovation of disaster-resistant homes for lower income households. Prior to working at the Center, Mr. Sherriff worked in affordable housing development with The Integral Group in Atlanta, GA, and for the real estate and economic development planning firm BBPA in Annapolis, MD.

Mr. Sherriff currently serves as Vice Chair of the Housing and Community Development Division of the American Planning Association, and as Secretary of the Family Selection Committee of the Washington, DC chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning.

Ryan Sherriff, Research Associate
Center for Housing Policy
Ross Stein

(May 2, 2011) Ross Stein is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Geological Society of America, was Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research during 1986-1989, and chaired AGU's Board of Journal Editors in 2004-2006. In 2003, the Science Citation Index reported that Dr. Stein was the second most-cited author in earthquake science during the preceding decade.

Dr. Stein has received the Eugene M. Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award of the USGS, the Excellence in Outreach Award of the Southern California Earthquake Center, and the Outstanding Contributions and Cooperation in Geoscience Award from NOAA. He was keynote speaker at the Smithsonian Institution for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and has given AGU's Francis Birch Lecture and the Frontiers of Geophysics Lecture. He is a cofounder of the Global Earthquake Model, a public-private partnership building a seismic risk model for world, and chairs GEM's Scientific Board.

Dr. Stein has appeared many documentary films, including the Emmy-nominated documentary, 'Killer Quake' (NOVA, 1995), the four-part 'Great Quakes' series (Discovery, 1997-2001), and the award-winning 2004 National Geographic IMAX movie 'Forces of Nature', which he helped to write and animate.

Ross Stein, Geophysicist
U.S. Geological Survey
Craig Tillman

(October 8, 2014) Mr. Tillman serves as President of WeatherPredict Consulting Inc., a U.S.-based RenaissanceRe affiliate that provides intelligence on natural perils to a range of entities. In his current role at WeatherPredict, he directs a team of advanced scientists with specialties in oceanography, meteorology, wind engineering, structural engineering, seismic risk and computer simulation. Mr. Tillman also serves as President and Director of RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation Inc., a non-profit foundation that supports advanced scientific research in natural catastrophes, the development of risk mitigation techniques to safeguard communities, efforts that reduce the economic turmoil following disasters, and organizations that preserve coastal habitats.

Mr. Tillman currently serves as an Executive Director for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Mr. Tillman is also a Director for the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Mathematics, as well as the Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) and Risk Management (ARM) designations. He is a longstanding member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

Craig Tillman, President
WeatherPredict Consulting Inc.
L. Thomas Tobin

(May 2, 2011) L. Thomas Tobin has worked on natural hazards, risk management and public policy issues for 45 years. As a consultant, Mr. Tobin works primarily for government agencies and non-profit organizations. He has consulted on earthquakes and public policy since 1995. He helped the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) create both Project Impact and the Disaster Resistant University initiatives. Previously he served ten years as Executive Director of the California Seismic Safety Commission. He has lobbied for legislation, having testified to Congressional committees on six occasions and state legislative committees on over 100 occasions. He served on the NEHRP advisory committee from 1991 to 1993 and the California State Historical Building Safety Board from 1991 to 1995.

Mr. Tobin is president of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). Previously he served as a director and vice president of the institute and was the 1996 Distinguished Lecturer. He was the founding secretary-treasurer of EERI's Northern California Chapter and currently is the past president. He was presented the San José State University, College of Engineering's 1996 Award of Distinction, and was the 2004 recipient of the Alfred E. Alquist Medal for Achievement in Earthquake Safety. He is a Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a director of the Coastal Zone Foundation and a Senior Advisor to GeoHazards International.

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in civil engineering, Mr. Tobin has a Master of Science degree in geotechnical engineering from San José State University. He is a registered professional engineer.

L. Thomas Tobin, Consultant
Tobin & Associates
John van de Lindt , Professor & Drummond Chair
Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering
Yumei Wang

(May 2, 2011) Yumei Wang, PE, is the principal at Sustainable Living Solutions and also leads the Geohazards team at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (www.OregonGeology.com)), where her work focuses on lowering risks from earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides. She is an advisor for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and has taken part in post-earthquake damage assessments from Chile, China, and Sumatra earthquakes/tsunamis. Her current priorities include earthquake risk assessment of critical energy infrastructure, the design of North America's first tsunami shelter, and efforts to implement innovative policies to manage catastrophic Cascadia earthquake risks, including Oregon's unique seismic retrofit grant program.

Ms. Wang has appeared on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, as well as NOVA, National Geographic and Discovery documentaries. She served as Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate in Washington DC, and worked as a geotechnical consultant in California. She has an MS in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in Geological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Yumei Wang, Principal
Sustainable Living Solutions
Nancy Ward

(May 2, 2011) Nancy L. Ward was appointed Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Region IX office in October 2006. Prior to this, she served as the Director of FEMA's Response and Recovery Division in Region IX from 2000 forward and was responsible for coordinating FEMA disaster response and recovery activities in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Ms. Ward was appointed FEMA's senior transition official for the presidential transition and served as Acting Administrator for FEMA from January 21, 2009 to May 16, 2009. She returned to her position as the Regional Administrator of the FEMA Region IX office when Craig Fugate was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the Administrator of FEMA. Previously, she worked two details at FEMA headquarters as the Deputy Director of the Recovery Directorate during FEMA's response and recovery operations for the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. Ms. Ward has received awards for special accomplishments at FEMA, including the 2007 Award for Excellence for her leadership during the California wildfires.

Before joining FEMA, Ms. Ward was Chief of the Disaster Assistance Branch and Deputy State Coordinating Officer for the California Office of Emergency Services. She administered the state's Natural Disaster Assistance Act program assistance provisions, which provide disaster assistance funding to local governments for state-level emergencies and disasters. She provided guidance and technical support to other state and local agencies in the planning, development and implementation of program policies and procedures for disaster recovery activities.

Nancy Ward, Regional Administrator
U. S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Region IX
Ken Worman, State Hazard Mitigation Officer
California Department of Transportation
Mark Yashinsky, Director
Washington State Emergency Management Division
Harry Yeh

(May 2, 2011) Harry Yeh is the Miles Lowell and Margaret Watt Edwards Distinguished Chair in Engineering at Oregon State University. He also holds the position of Adjunct Professor in College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. Professor Yeh received an AB in Economics from Keio Gijuku University (Japan), BS and MS degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Washington State University, and a PhD in Civil Engineering from University of California. He worked for Bechtel Inc. in the late 1970s and early 1980s, primarily analyzing hydrodynamics problems involved in electric power plants. He began his academic career in 1983 at the University of Washington, and joined the faculty of School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University in 2003.

Professor Yeh's primary research interest is in the field of hydrodynamics of tsunamis, focusing on controlled laboratory experiments and theoretical development of nonlinear long-wave theory in close collaboration with applied mathematicians. He also works on the development of tensor-filed visualization, as well as the development of IT tools for tsunami hazards mitigation, in collaboration with computer scientists. In addition to water-wave research, he has worked on the topics of gravity currents, lake hydrodynamics, wind turbulence, vorticity dynamics at the fluid-fluid interface, structural control, and tsunami evacuation simulations.

He participated in several reconnaissance field surveys for tsunamis - from the 1992 Nicaraguan event to most recent Japanese Tsunami. He had had extensive collaboration with Japanese scientists and engineers, including research in structural control performance with Shimiz Corporation, laboratory experiments with the Public Works Research Institute and University of Tokyo, collaborative engineering education with Tohoku University, and mitigation measures with Kyoto University.

Harry Yeh, Miles Lowell and Margaret Watt Edwards Distinguished Chair in Engineering
Oregon State University

"We are grateful to our eminent speakers who volunteered their time to help Forum participants learn more about disaster safety and help advance the disaster safety movement's mission of making coastal communities safer."

Stephen Weinstein, Chairman of the RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation

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