Biographies of Forum Speakers and Moderators
Corotis, Ross B. – Dr. Corotis is Denver Business Challenge Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research interests are in the application of probabilistic concepts to civil engineering problems. Dr. Corotis received both his undergraduate and graduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was on the faculty at Northwestern University for eleven years. In 1981, he established and chaired, until becoming Associate Dean in 1990, the Department of Civil Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. In 1994, Dr. Corotis was nominated Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado. His many awards include the ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (1984), the Outstanding Engineer Educator by the ASCE Maryland Section (1992), and the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus of the University of Colorado (2000). Dr. Corotis currently serves on the steering committee of the NRC’s Natural Disasters Roundtable and as an Affiliate Member of the Multihazard Mitigation Council.
Davison, Michel – Mr. Davison is the Chief of the International Desk at the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC)-Development and Training Branch, U.S. National Weather Service (NWS). At the HPC, he oversees one of the most successful training programs at the World Meteorological Organization. He trains visiting meteorologists from Mexico, Caribbean Basin nations, and Central/South America on objective weather forecasting techniques with emphasis on numerical weather prediction. Prior to his position as a coordinator, Mr. Davison was a meteorologist with the former National Meteorological Center (NMC) Monitoring and Aviation Branch. In 1986, he attended the Basic Meteorology Program in St. Louis University serving afterwards as a Staff Weather Officer in the U.S. Air Force for almost eight years. He completed the ROTC program in 1985, receiving a commission as an Officer in the U.S. Air Force. He also holds a B.Sc. in the Science of Chemistry from Florida State University. Mr. Davison’s holds several awards and decorations including the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement and Commendation Medals, Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Campaign and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.
Esnard, Ann-Margaret – Dr. Esnard is Assistant Professor and Director of GEDDeS GIS Computer Lab in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University (1997-present). Prior to her appointment at Cornell she was a Research Associate/Instructor at the Institute of Transportation Research and Education at North Carolina State University (1997). Her teaching and research interests lie in land use and environmental planning, natural and environmental hazard assessment and mitigation, environmental justice, spatial analysis, and Geographic Information Systems. Her many honors and awards include the 2001 American Institute of Certified Planners President’s Award and the Cornell Outstanding Educator Award. Dr. Esnard holds a Ph.D. in regional planning from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an M.S. in agronomy and soils from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, and a B.S. in agricultural engineering from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad. She is a member of the steering committee of the Natural Disasters Roundtable.
Gonzalez, Patrick – Dr. Gonzalez is Desertification and Climate Change Advisor for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Washington, D.C. He also serves as the technical advisor for the Famine Early Warning System Network, a U.S. Agency for International Development-funded program that uses remote sensing and field observations to track drought and flood risks in Africa. A forest ecologist with international experience in natural resource management and conservation biology, Dr. Gonzalez has served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and serves on the Roster of Experts for the United Nations (U.N.) Convention to Combat Desertification and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Dr. Gonzalez has also been honored as a Fulbright Scholar and as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow. Dr. Gonzalez earned a B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University, a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley.
Hooke, William H. – Dr. Hooke is a Senior Policy Fellow and the Director of the Atmospheric Policy Program at the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in Washington, D.C. Since August 2002 he has served as Chair of the Natural Disasters Board Roundtable. Prior to arriving at AMS in 2000, he worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and antecedent agencies for 33 years. After six years of research with NOAA he moved into a series of management positions of increasing scope and responsibility including Chief of the Wave Propagation Laboratory Atmospheric Studies Branch, Director of NOAA’s Environmental Sciences Group (now the Forecast Systems Lab), Deputy Chief Scientist, and Acting Chief Scientist of NOAA. Between 1993 and 2000, he held two national responsibilities: Director of the U.S. Weather Research Program Office, and Chair of the interagency Subcommittee for Natural Disaster Reduction of the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. Dr. Hooke was a faculty member at the University of Colorado from 1969 to 1987, and served as a fellow of two NOAA Joint Institutes (CIRES, 1971-1977; CIRA 1987-2000). The author of over fifty refereed publications, and co-author of one book, Dr. Hooke holds a B.S. (Physics Honors) from Swarthmore College, and S.M. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago.
Jones, Lucile M. – Dr. Jones is Scientist-in-charge for United States Geological Survey earthquake activities in southern California, including leading the Pasadena Office of the USGS, chairing the California Integrated Seismic Network and coordinating earthquake research funded by the USGS in southern California. She is also a commissioner of the Seismic Safety Commission of the State of California, appointed by Governor Davis in 2002, advising the governor and legislature on seismic safety. Since 1983, she has been a seismologist with the USGS and a Visiting Research Associate at the Seismology Laboratory of Caltech, authoring over 50 publications in earthquake statistics and hazard assessments including the handbook Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country. She has received numerous awards, including the Alquist Award from the California Earthquake Safety Foundation (2001), and the Meritorious Service Award from the Department of Interior (2002). During her graduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), Dr. Jones worked in China for one year as a scientist at the State Seismological Bureau in Beijing. She holds a B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature from Brown University in Providence, Long Island, and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from M.I.T.
Kelly, John J. (Jack)– Brigadier General (ret.) John J. Kelly, Jr. is Assistant Administrator for Weather Services and Director of the National Weather Service (NWS) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Prior to joining NOAA in February 1998, General Kelly
was a senior advisor on weather services for The Department of Commerce, where he conducted a bottom-up review of the entire National Weather Service operation, including NOAA and NWS management, planning, and budget policies and processes. From 1994 to 1996, he was Director of Weather Systems for GTE Information Systems where he was responsible for the GTE’s weather and aviation services business line, strategic planning, client satisfaction and interface, business development and sales, profit and loss, and program management. Starting in 1963, General Kelly served in the Air Force for 31 years with duties covering from operational forecaster to chief scientist and staff officer. In 1994, he retired from the military as Director, Weather and Commander, Air Weather Service. General Kelly holds a B.S. in chemistry from Seton Hall University and a master’s degree in public administration from Auburn University. He has also done graduate studies in meteorology at Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, he has completed leadership programs at the Air Force Command and Staff College and the Industrial College of Armed Forces. General Kelly is an American Meteorological Society Fellow and has been listed in Who’s Who in America.
Maestri, Walter S. – Dr. Maestri is the Director of Emergency Management for Jefferson Parish, the bedroom community of the City of New Orleans, Louisiana. Prior to his appointment as director of emergency management in 1996, he held several positions in the local government since 1985. From 1970 to 1985, Dr. Maestri served in various academic positions including Professor of Sociology at the Holly Cross College, LA; Dean of Loyola University, New Orleans; and President of Holly Cross College, LA. He holds a Ph.D. awarded by the College of Education and Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Mileti, Dennis S. – Dr. Mileti is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Director of the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center (HHRAIC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His major research interest is the communication of long- and short-term earthquake risk information to the public, firms, and government agencies to enhance pre-disaster actions to reduce damage and loss. He has served on various advisory boards: as Chairman of the Committee on Natural Disasters in the National Research Council, as a member on the Advisory Board on Research of the Geological Survey, and as Chair of the Board of Visitors to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Institute. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board at the Southern California Earthquake Center, the Mid-America Earthquake Engineering Center, the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and the multi-hazard Mitigation Council. Additionally, Dr. Mileti is the co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of the Natural Hazards Review. Among his recent publications is the book Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States. Dr. Mileti holds a B.A. degree in sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles, an M.A. in sociology from California State University at Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado.
Moore, Martha – Ms. Moore has been a reporter for USA TODAY since 1989. She has covered political advertising and media in the last two presidential elections, including the 2002 vote recount. Additionally, Ms. Moore has covered natural disasters (e.g. hurricanes, droughts) as well as plane crashes. Since 1997 she has been a news reporter in USA TODAY’s New York bureau. She covered the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and since then has reported on the subject full time. With USA TODAY reporter Dennis Cauchon, she wrote a four-part series on the twin towers, “102 Minutes: Critical Moments, Critical Choices,” that appeared in the newspaper shortly before the first anniversary of the attack. Before joining USA TODAY she was a reporter for
two newspapers in New Jersey. In 1995 she was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia University. She graduated from Yale University and lives in New York with her family.
Noji, Eric – Dr. Noji is the Principal Deputy to the U.S. Surgeon General for National Security and Emergency Preparedness in the U.S. Public Health Service. He has previously served as a medical officer responsible for disaster preparedness and response at the Centers for disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. Dr. Noji has published widely about the medical and health impact on natural and technological disasters, biological and chemical terrorism and forced migration due to war and civil conflict (e.g., refugees and internally displaced populations).
Phillips, Brenda – Dr. Phillips is Director of the Jacksonville State University (JSU) Emergency Preparedness Applied Research Center (EPARC). She is Professor of Emergency Management at JSU’s Institute for Emergency Preparedness where she serves as academic advisor to the nation’s only online graduate program in emergency management. Dr. Phillips has more than 20 years of research and teaching expertise in the area of working with underserved populations in mass emergencies and disasters. She is currently co-editing a book on women and disasters and guiding development of the Gender and Disaster Clearinghouse at EPARC. She serves as Principal Investigator on a grant from the National Science Foundation concerning long-term recovery of marginalized populations. Her applied work includes disaster preparedness for chemical hazards and persons with special needs. Dr. Phillips serves as secretary-treasurer of the International Research Committee on Disasters (IRCD) and leads a Technical Secretariat for the Organization of American States’ Hemispheric Eduplan. She recently co-authored a FEMA Higher Education web page on Service Learning for emergency management educational programs.
Potter, Deborah – Ms. Potter is Executive Director of the non-profit television news laboratory NewsLab, which works with local stations to develop new ways of telling complex or non-visual stories. Ms. Potter spent 16 years as a network correspondent for CNN and CBS News, covering the White House, the State Department, Congress, national politics and the environment. From 1995-1998, Ms. Potter taught journalism at The Poynter Institute and anchored the CBS program In the Prime.
Ropeik, David – Mr. Ropeik is the Director of Risk Communication at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA). He also teaches classes on risk communication at the Harvard School of Public Health. Additionally, he has also been a visiting lecturer in journalism at Boston University and Tufts University. Since June 2000, he has been a contributing commentator on issues related to risk for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition program. Mr. Ropeik is a longtime science journalist who served for nine years on the Board of Directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Prior to joining Harvard, Mr. Ropeik was a television reporter and news anchorman at the WCVB-TV in Boston for 22 years. He was twice the recipient of the DuPont-Columbia Award, often cited as The Pulitzer Prize of television journalism as well as the beneficiary of several regional EMMY awards. Mr. Ropeik wrote a nationally syndicated science column for the Boston Globe and New York Times syndication service from 1998-2000, and for MSNBC.com from 2000-2002. He holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Journalism from Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. He was a 1994-1995 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, and a 1999 National Tropical Botanical Garden Fellow. The book Risk: A Practical Guide for Deciding What’s Really Safe and What’s Really Dangerous in the World Around You which he co-authored will be published this Fall by Houghton Mifflin.
Tierney, Kathleen – Dr. Tierney is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Ohio State University and did postdoctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has held research and adjunct appointments at both UCLA and the University of Southern California, and she came to the University of Delaware from the University of California at Irvine in 1989. With over two decades of experience in the disaster field, she has been involved in research on many different disaster events, including earthquakes in California and Japan, floods in the Midwest, and Hurricanes Hugo and Andrew. Since September 11, she has been actively involved in studying the organizational and community response in New York following the attack on the World Trade Center. Her other current and recent research projects include studies on public perceptions of the earthquake threat in the Northern California Bay Area, the implementation of FEMA’s Project Impact in communities around the US, real-time warning systems for earthquakes, and the business impacts of disasters. Tierney is the author of dozens of articles, book chapters, and technical reports on the social aspects of hazards, disasters, and risk, including articles in The International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, The Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Sociological Spectrum, Sociological Forum, Natural Hazards Review, and Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. Her publications also include Disasters, Collective Behavior, and Social Organization (1994), co-edited with Russell Dynes, and Facing the Unexpected: Disaster Preparedness and Response in the United States (2001), co-authored with Michael K. Lindell and Ronald W. Perry. She is a member of the editorial boards of Natural Hazards Review and Sociological Inquiry. Her other recent professional activities include service on a FEMA-sponsored National Institute of Building Sciences panel charged with developing a methodology for assessing the cost-effectiveness of hazard mitigation activities across the U. S., work with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute to develop its long-term research plan, and coauthorship of the U.S. Geological Survey’s newly-formulated plan for coordinating post-earthquake investigations.
Ward, Peter Langdon – Dr. Ward is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Partnership for Public Warning (PPW), a non-profit advocacy organization formed to bring top warning experts to a single table and agree on standards, procedures, and systems for warning people at risk so that they can take actions to save lives, reduce losses and speed recovery. Dr. Ward is former chairman of the White House Working Group on Natural Disaster Information Systems under the National Science and Technology Council (1997-1998), which produced the widely acclaimed report “Effective Disasters Warnings”. Dr Ward served on the Disaster Information Task Force requested by Vice President Gore to determine the feasibility of a Global Disaster Information Network. He retired in 1998 after 27 years at the U.S. Geological Survey as a leader in the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program. He spent much of his career educating the public about natural hazards. In 1990, he received two national awards for writing and producing a magazine about living with earthquakes that was distributed as Sunday supplement in 41 newspapers in northern California. This magazine reached 3.3 million households. Dr. Ward received a B.A. from Dartmouth College in Geology, an M.A. from Colombia University, and a Ph.D. from Colombia University in seismology. His scientific experience includes research in disaster public policy, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, geothermal and magma energy, and regional geology and tectonics.