Dr. Dara Entekhabi
DARA ENTEKHABI is the Bacardi and Stockholm Water Foundations Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research interests are in the basic understanding of coupled surface, subsurface, and atmospheric hydrologic systems that may form the bases for enhanced hydrologic predictability. Dr. Entekhabi has served on the Academies Committee on Hydrologic Science, the Water Science and Technology Board and the Committee to Assess the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service Initiative program. He also served on the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Community Assessment and Strategy for the Future. Dr. Entekhabi holds a B.A. and M.A. from Clark University. He received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the Massacushetts Institute of Technology.
HARRIET FESTING currently serves as President of Anthropocene Associates. She is an environmentalist and community engagement expert in urban livability, social justice, urban flooding and climate resilience and sustainable development. She has worked on the design of public spaces, water, housing, energy, agriculture, transportation, and regional resiliency planning. Under Ms. Festing’s leadership, more than $12.5m is being invested in disadvantaged communities as a result of the pioneering, multi-award winning RainReady service that she established. Ms. Festing has an M.S. in business management from the University of London.
KATHERINE GREIG is a Deputy Director focused on building resiliency, flood risk, flood insurance and climate change data at the NYC Mayor¹s Office of Recovery and Resiliency. She previously worked on the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, where she also worked on insurance policy. Prior to the Task Force, she worked at the Boston Consulting Group and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Ms. Greig has an MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, an MBA from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business and a B.A. from Stanford.
Jo Ann Howard
JO ANN HOWARD is president of Austin’s H2O Partners, Inc., a planning firm. NHMA President Ed Thomas presented the award to Howard at NHMA’s January annual board meeting in Austin, Texas. Jo Ann Howard was appointed as Federal Insurance Administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 1998. She was responsible for managing the more than $523 billion of flood insurance in force in the National Flood Insurance Program. In 2001, Jo Ann Howard established H2O Partners, Inc. in Austin. H2O Partners is a firm consulting in flood insurance, hazard mitigation planning, disaster protection and recovery, public assistance, HUD programs, homeland infrastructure security, and floodplain management issues. Prior to her tenure at FEMA, she served as head of the Texas Department of Insurance as chief insurance regulator for the State of Texas and as a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. She received a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, a master’s in public administration from East Texas State University, and a BS in education from Abilene Christian University in Abilene.
CONOR JENSEN is the Vice President of Strategic Execution for AmTrust’s Specialty Risk division. He has a specific focus on strategic analytics within AmTrust Specialty Risk companies; serving entire Specialty Risk family and working closely with greater AmTrust data science and data warehouse group. He has spent over a decade working in the analytics space, both in model development and as a model user. Previously he was with Zurich insurance, serving as the Analytics Program Director for Zurich North America’s Predictive Analytics unit, as part of an internal strategy consulting practice at Zurich, and worked in actuarial across multiple lines with Zurich’s units in North America. Before moving to insurance, Mr. Jensen was a Weather Forecaster in the US Air Force supporting operations in Southwest Asia. Mr. Jensen earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
ERIC TATE is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences at the University of Iowa. Dr. Tate’s research interests lie at the nexus of natural hazards and society, with particular focus on vulnerability and sustainability indicators, flood loss estimation, uncertainty analysis, and geospatial modeling. In the classroom, he teaches courses on water resources, hazards and disasters, environmental justice, and contemporary environmental issues. He earned his Ph.D. in geography from the University of South Carolina.
CLAIRE WELTY is the Director for the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research includes Urban hydrology; Contributing to fundamental understanding of transport processes in aquifers; Mathematical modeling of groundwater flow and transport in porous and fractured media; Application of stochastic methods to interpreting groundwater problems; Design and analysis of field-scale hydraulic and tracer tests. Dr. Welty holds a B.A. in environmental sciences from University of Virginia, a M.S. in environmental engineering from The George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
James L. Wescoat, Jr.
JAMES L. WESCOAT, is the Aga Khan Professor in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was previously the head of landscape architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a professor in the Department of Geography, University of Colorado. His research has concentrated on water systems in South Asia and the United States from the site to river basin scales. Dr. Wescoat has conducted water policy research in the Colorado, Indus, Ganges, and Great Lakes basins, including the history of multilateral water agreements. He has contributed to multidisciplinary studies of climate risks in the Indus River basin of Pakistan sponsored by USEPA and the World Bank; and to several major reviews of Indus basin policy and planning. He is currently conducting comparative international research on water hazards and conservation innovations in the United States, South Asia, and Central Asia. Dr. Wescoat has served on and chaired several NRC Committees, most recently the Committee on Himalayan Glaciers, Climate Change, and Implications for Downstream Populations; and Delta Waters: Research to Support Integrated Water and Environmental Management in the Lower Mississippi River (2013). He received his B.L.A. in landscape architecture from Louisiana State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in geography from the University of Chicago.