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Keynote Speakers

Richard SpinradRichard W. Spinrad, Ph.D.

Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere & NOAA Administrator

Richard (Rick) W. Spinrad, Ph.D., was sworn in on June 22, 2021 as the under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and the 11th NOAA administrator. Dr. Spinrad is responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of the agency and its over 12,000 employees, including developing NOAA’s portfolio of products and services to address the climate crisis, enhancing environmental sustainability and fostering economic development, and creating a more just, equitable, diverse and inclusive NOAA workforce.

Most recently, Dr. Spinrad served as a professor of oceanography and senior adviser to the vice president of research at Oregon State University (OSU). He was also vice president for research at OSU from 2010-2014.

Dr. Spinrad served as NOAA’s chief scientist under President Barack Obama from 2014 until 2016. He also led NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and National Ocean Service from 2003-2010. While at NOAA, Dr. Spinrad co-led the White House Committee that developed the nation’s first set of ocean research priorities and oversaw the revamping of NOAA’s research enterprise, including the development of the agency’s Scientific Integrity Policy.

Prior to initially joining NOAA, Dr. Spinrad held leadership positions at the U.S. Office of Naval Research and Oceanographer of the Navy, where he was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Award — the highest award given by the U.S. Navy to a civilian. He has held faculty appointments at OSU, the U.S. Naval Academy, and George Mason University; served as Executive Director at the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education; was President of Sea Tech, Inc.; and worked as a research scientist at OSU and the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. He also developed the National Ocean Sciences Bowl for high school students. In the international arena, Dr. Spinrad served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission from 2005-2009.

Pamela WilliamsPamela Williams, FEMA

FEMA Assistant Administrator, Grant Programs Directorate

Pamela Williams was appointed by President Biden in 2022 to serve as the Assistant Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate (GPD). GPD’s mission is to deliver and support grant programs that help the Nation before, during, and after disasters in order to make the country more resilient. In this role she is responsible for agency-wide grants management policy and the $500 million Grants Management Modernization initiative to modernize grants-related business processes to improve the administration and oversight of the billions of grant dollars awarded annually by the Department. Ms. Williams brings to this position more than 20 years of federal agency, congressional and legislative, and stakeholder engagement experience focusing on emergency management, disaster mitigation, and resilience law and policy.

National Climate Resilience Assessment 5 (NCA) Panel Discussion

  • Allison Crimmins, Director, National Climate Assessment, U.S. Global Change Research Program, Office of Science and Technology Policy –
    NCA5 Overview
  • Kris May, Ph.D., PE, CEO/Founder/Principal, Climate Adaptation at Pathways Climate Institute –
    Why NCA5 is Important for Civil Engineers
  • Samantha Basile, Ph.D., Lead Carbon Cycle Specialist - NCA5 Data Portal/Atlas
  • Cris Liban, P.E, Chief Sustainability Officer,  Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (LA Metro)– CL Adaptation
  • Meredith Fry, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – CL Built Environment (with EPA, and focuses on air quality, but she also has a PhD in engineering)

Michel BruneauMichel Bruneau, Ph.D., P.Eng., Dist.M.ASCE, F.SEI, F.CAE

SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo

Michel Bruneau is a SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo, a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and Emeritus Director of an NSF-funded Earthquake Engineering Center that focused on enhancing the disaster resilience of communities.

Dr. Bruneau has spent more than three decades developing engineering strategies to enhance the resilience of infrastructure. His extensive body of research has been instrumental in the inclusion, in national and international standards, of specifications for multiple innovative structural systems, leading to implementation in countless structures worldwide.

Bilal AyyubBilal M. Ayyub, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE

Bilal M. Ayyub is a University of Maryland Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Professor of Reliability Engineering, and Professor of Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems. Presently he is the chair of the Infrastructure Resilience Division (IRD) and the Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate (CACC) of ASCE. He is also a chair professor at Tongji University, Shanghai, China. Dr. Ayyub's main research interests are risk, uncertainty, decisions, and systems applied to civil, mechanical, infrastructure, energy, defense and maritime fields.

Dr. Ayyub is a fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis, ASCE, ASME, and SNAME. Dr. Ayyub completed projects for governmental and private entities, such as NSF, ONR, AFOSR, USACE, DHS, NRC, ASME, Hartford, Chevron, Bechtel, etc. Dr. Ayyub is the recipient of several awards from ASCE, ASNE, ASME, NAFIPS, the Department of the Army, and the Governor of the State of Maryland. He has authored and co-authored more than 600 publications including 8 textbooks and 14 edited books

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