Biosketches of Workshop Speakers
Farshid Alizadeh-Shabdiz, chief scientist for Skyhook, is responsible for the research and development of Skyhook’s positioning technology. Dr. Alizadeh-Shabdiz has almost 20 years of industrial experience in the design and implementation of satellite and wireless networks. Before joining Skyhook, he was the head of the communications section of Advanced Solutions Group (part of Cross Country Automotive Services). There, he was responsible for the management, design, and implementation of an application server and media gateway. Dr. Alizadeh-Shabdiz was a member of the design and implementation team of the first three satellite-based mobile networks at Hughes Network Systems: ICO, Thuraya, and Inmarsat high-speed data network. He proposed the first complete analytical model to carry out an analysis of single-hop and multihop ad hoc networks and 802.11 based on WLANs. Dr. Alizadeh-Shabdiz is on the faculty of Boston University and received his Ph.D. from George Washington University and his M.Sc. from Tehran University.
Marc P. Armstrong is a professor in the Department of Geography at University of Iowa. During the 2012-2013 academic year, he served as interim chair of the Department of Communication Studies and as interim chair of the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature. Dr. Armstrong also holds a courtesy appointment in the Graduate Program in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences. He was named a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) collegiate fellow in 2005 and he served as interim associate dean for research in CLAS in 2006, as interim direc-
tor of Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2007 and 2008, and as interim director of the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Culture in 2010-2011. Dr. Armstrong’s Ph.D. is from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. A primary focus of his research is on the use of cyberinfrastructure to improve the performance of spatial analysis methods. Other active areas of interest focus on the use of geospatial technologies by groups and geographic aspects of privacy. Dr. Armstrong has served as North American editor of the International Journal of Geographical Information Science, served on the editorial boards of six journals, and has published more than 100 academic papers, including articles in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals such as Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Photogrammetic Engineering and Remote Sensing, Geographical Analysis, Statistics and Medicine, Mathematical Geology, Computers and Geosciences, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Parallel Computing, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, and Journal of the American Society for Information Science.
Richard Barnes is a researcher with BBN Technologies. He leads BBN’s Internet standards efforts in the areas of geolocation, presence, and emergency services. He is chair of the IETF GEOPRIV working group, a former chair of the ECRIT working group, and was recently appointed to be the IETF area director for real-time applications and infrastructure.
Steven M. Becker is professor of community and environmental health in the College of Health Sciences at Old Dominion University. He is a leading international expert on community responses to unconventional disasters, public health preparedness and response, and risk communication and emergency messaging for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear issues. Dr. Becker served as a principal investigator (PI) in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–Association of Schools of Public Health Pre-Event Message Development Project, one of the most extensive peer-reviewed studies ever conducted of people’s concerns and communication needs in situations involving unconventional health threats. More recently, he has served as PI for a multiyear Department of Homeland Security (DHS) study of the communication and information challenges posed by radiological threats and incidents. In addition to his scholarly research, Dr. Becker has extensive field experience at the sites of major incidents around the world, including such cases as a major drinking-water contamination incident in Great Britain; the 1999 nuclear criticality accident in Tokaimura, Japan; and the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the United Kingdom. He has also done follow-up work in Ukraine and Belarus on the community impacts of the Chernobyl disaster. In 2011, Dr. Becker was a member of a three-person radiological
emergency assistance team invited to Japan in response to the earthquake-tsunami disaster and the accident at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. While on the ground, the team carried out a rapid site assessment in affected areas, exchanged information with Japanese disaster response organizations, and provided training to more than 1,100 Japanese physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers and emergency responders. In 2005, Dr. Becker was elected to serve on the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, and his work on emergency management and risk communication has been recognized by such scientific organizations as the Health Physics Society and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. He has also been a visiting fellow at the Japan Emergency Medicine Foundation and National Hospital Tokyo Disaster Medical Center. For more than a decade, Dr. Becker has been an invited faculty member for Harvard School of Public Health’s course on radiological emergency planning. Early in 2012, he was named to the Thought Leader Advisory Council of the National Public Health Information Coalition. In September 2012, Dr. Becker was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.
Ron Boyer serves the cable telecommunications industry, having spent more than 35 years as an engineer, working in both the manufacturing and operations sides. He has experience in virtually all engineering aspects that the industry has to offer. Prior to starting his consulting firm Boyer Broadband in 2011, Mr. Boyer worked for Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable operator in the United States. He held various positions in their corporate management. At first as a senior staff engineer, then as senior network engineer, and finally more than 7 years as senior regulatory engineer in the legal department. This experience provided him a solid working understanding of both the technology utilized and regulatory environments involved in the day-to-day operations of a cable system. Before joining Time Warner Cable in 1997, Mr. Thomas also worked for ADC Broadband and Scientific Atlanta (now a division of Cisco) for more than 11 years. This experience proved invaluable when working for Time Warner Cable; it provided a firm understanding of how important the communications between the manufacturer and the user are when deploying advanced technologies. He has maintained an association with a diverse range of organizations, including the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, California Public Utilities Commission, IEEE National Electrical Safety Code and National Electrical Code committees, and Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). He has participated as a member or held various
lead positions in the different working groups. Recent activities included participating in two CSRIC III Working Groups (2 and 9).
Dan Cotter is the director of the Information Applications Division of the First Responder Group (FRG) in the Science and Technology Directorate, DHS. Mr. Cotter is also the DHS geospatial information officer and senior agency official for geospatial information. FRG identifies, validates, and facilitates the fulfillment of first responder capability gaps through the use of existing and emerging technologies, knowledge products, and the acceleration of standards. FRG engages first responder working groups, teams, and other stakeholders to better understand the needs and requirements of the first responder communities. Prior to joining the FRG, Mr. Cotter served as the DHS chief technology officer (CTO). As the DHS CTO, his responsibilities included overseeing programs for information sharing, enterprise architecture, enterprise data management, geospatial technologies, identity, credentialing and access management, as well as the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) and the DHS Common Operational Picture investments. Mr. Cotter served as the DHS geospatial management officer from 2005 to 2007. In fall 2005 he was deployed to the Katrina-Rita Joint Field Office, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to serve as the Geospatial Intelligence Unit manager. Mr. Cotter’s private sector experience includes acting as the geospatial information technologies manger for a large engineering firm, as the president of an airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) company, and as vice president of a flood zone determination firm. His prior public sector experience includes 12 years with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) applying geospatial and remote sensing technology to natural hazard mitigation programs, including the National Flood Insurance Program, and disaster response, including Hurricane Andrew, the Northridge Earthquake, and the 1993 Midwest Floods. Mr. Cotter was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2005. He has received numerous awards, including the FEMA Director’s Distinguished Service Award, the National States Geographic Information Council Outstanding Service Award, the Transamerica Pyramid Award for Business Reengineering, and the NASA National Resources Award for lidar commercialization. Mr. Cotter holds an M.B.A. from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in geographic and cartographic sciences from George Mason University, a B.S. in hydrology from the University of Arizona, an A.A.S. in computer information systems from Northern Virginia Community College, and a Federal Chief Information Officer Graduate Certificate from the University of Maryland, University College.
Thomas Cova is professor of geography and director of the Center for Natural and Technological Hazards at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. He has a B.S. in computer science from the University of Oregon and an M.A. and Ph.D. in geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching interests are environmental hazards, transportation, and geographic information science with a particular focus on wildfire evacuation modeling, analysis, and planning. He has published on a variety of topics in many leading hazards, transportation, and geographic information system (GIS) science journals and is most known for work on evacuation vulnerability and routing in fire-prone communities of the western United States. He has served as chair of the GIS Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and as program chair for the International Conference of Geographic Information Science (GIScience ‘08) and currently chairs the AAG Hazards, Risks, and Disasters Specialty Group. He teaches courses on hazards geography, emergency management, and GIS.
John Davis is the lead network design and development engineer at Sprint responsible for implementation of the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS) platform within the Carrier network. Sprint was an early adopter of CMAS, and Mr. Davis led the first large-scale test at the Carrier level with the County of San Diego. He has been with Sprint for 12 years helping to develop the wireless Internet since its genesis in addition to leading all CMAS initiatives. He is currently Sprint’s representative on the CSRIC III Working Group 2 committee.
Larry Dodds is currently the vice president of product line management and business development at TruePosition. In his current role, Mr. Dodds is responsible for all of TruePosition’s location solutions and forging new partner relationships. He has more than 20 year of experience in location, including star-based navigation for the U.S. Navy’s sea-launched ballistic missiles, the initial test program for the U.S. Air Force GPS receivers, and now various forms of location techniques for mobile devices. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University and a master’s degree in computer science from Northeastern University.
Darrell Ernst is an advisor to the office in the Pentagon responsible for the development of the instrumentation systems used on U.S. test ranges for the testing of weapon systems. He advises the deputy director of the office on technical and regulatory issues on radio spectrum used at the test ranges. He advises on the implementation of C-band for telemetry and range spectrum encroachment. He led planning for investment in research and development of technologies for more efficient use of the
radio spectrum. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the 2007 and 2012 World Radiocommunication Conferences. He began his career in 1961 as a telemetry technician in tracking aircraft operating on the Air Force Eastern Test Range. Mr. Ernst was involved in the test programs for Atlas, Titan, Polaris, Poseidon, Projects Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, the space shuttle, the Global Positioning System (GPS) user segment, and many other space programs. In 1998 his employer, the MITRE Corporation, asked him to work with the emergency management community to explore the possibility of using the technology he and others had invented for public warning. Working with various leaders in the emergency management community, he came up with the idea of convening a workshop to identify the requirements for a modern emergency warning system. He was at the 2001 annual meeting of the National Emergency Management Association meeting in Montana on September 11 to announce the workshop, which was scheduled for that November. As a consequence of the events of that day, the workshop became a national referendum that resulted in the creation of the Partnership for Public Warning (PPW). MITRE assigned him to manage the PPW. One of the achievements of PPW was its sponsorship of Art Botterell’s Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) standard project that included an important national workshop on CAP at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Mr. Ernst graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a master’s degree in operations research and statistics. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1982. Mr. Ernst is a co-inventor of a concept for message distribution using spatial coordinates for addressing, thereby obviating the need to know the address or location of message recipients. The concept has been embodied in various prototypes such as the Tactical Automated Situation Receiver for the U.S. Army and a cell-phone-based alerting system for a major telecommunications company. He is listed as an inventor on three patents issued to MITRE.
Mike Gerber is the emerging dissemination technologies lead for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service (NWS) in Silver Spring, Maryland. He joined the NWS in 1992. Mr. Gerber is leading efforts to bring about the integration of NWS alert information across the widest possible range of warning systems and consumer electronic devices to better save lives, protect property, and enhance the national economy. Mr. Gerber brings a visionary perspective as the NWS representative on several cross-organizational teams working to improve the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. He also leads efforts within the NWS to improve mobile alerting through enhancements to NWS alert generation tools and CAP. Mr. Gerber is a senior
fellow of the Council for Excellence in Government. He made significant contributions to the land and fire management community as a former fire weather and incident meteorologist at the NWS Forecast Office in Boise, Idaho. Mr. Gerber spearheaded development of weather forecast guidance for hundreds of weather observation stations that improved prescribed fire planning and wildfire prediction throughout the western United States. While working as a meteorologist at the NWS Forecast Office in Sterling, Virginia, Mr. Gerber co-anchored the PBS television show, AM Weather. Mr. Gerber earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of Arizona.
Denis Gusty serves as the program manager for the FRG’s Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS) Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) Program. CMAS RDT&E is responsible for improving CMAS’s capabilities, including geotargeting and how the public responds to wireless emergency alerts. In addition, Mr. Gusty leads FRG’s Emergency Data Exchange Language Program, which focuses on improving messaging standards that help emergency responders manage incidents and exchange information in real time. Mr. Gusty came to DHS Science and Technology Directorate from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), where he served as director of GSA’s Office of Intergovernmental Solutions. Prior to joining GSA, Mr. Gusty served as a program manager at the U.S. Department of Labor. In this role, he was responsible for helping to implement the President’s Management Agenda by managing the e-government initiative, GovBenefits.gov. Mr. Gusty has 15 years of experience in developing intergovernmental partnerships and information technology policy and practices.
J.T. Johnson co-founded Weather Decision Technologies, a global weather information company helping businesses and individuals make decisions related to weather, in 2000 where he currently serves as the chief technology officer. Before joining Weather Decision Technologies, Mr. Johnson was a team leader at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory and a science and operations officer at the Olympic Weather Support Office. He completed his B.S. and M.S. degrees in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.
Hisham Kassab is the founder and president of MobiLaps, LLC, a high-tech company developing innovative technologies to power/enable/ enhance next-generation alert dissemination channels, with a current emphasis on broadband alerts (including streaming media), CMAS/ WEA/Personal Localized Alerting Network, and social media alerting.
Dr. Kassab has 20 years of experience in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, with the last 5 focused on next-generation alerting. He has been an active member of an advisory group to the Federal Communications Commission on next-generation alerting (CSRIC III-Working Group 2). Prior to MobiLaps, Dr. Kassab worked as a strategy and technology consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton (now Booz and Co.) focusing exclusively on ICT clients. He earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also holds an M.S. in operations research from MIT. His doctoral dissertation was in the area of wireless data networks.
John Kean, a senior technologist for NPR Labs, develops and supervises the technical projects of NPR Labs, the only not-for-profit broadcast engineering laboratory in the United States, which is involved in the development and evaluation of new technologies, procedures, and standards on behalf of public radio. Mr. Kean was a senior engineer at NPR from 1980 to 1986, where he supported new broadcast technologies and pioneered expansion of FM subcarrier services. He left NPR to join Jules Cohen and Associates and get his start in consulting engineering. From 1987 to 2000 he was a director of engineering for Moffet Larson and Johnson, Inc., consulting in the fields of broadband wireless networks, TV and radio facilities, FCC regulations, and microwave and satellite systems. Before returning to NPR in 2004, Mr. Kean was director of wireless architecture for XO Communications, a broadband telecommunications company having extensive broadband wireless holdings. He is a member of IEEE and past president of the IEEE Broadcast Symposium, contributing author to The NAB Engineering Handbook, Editions 7, 8, and 9, and presenter of numerous papers in the field of radio systems engineering to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Engineering Conference, International Engineering Consortium, Wireless Communications Association, and has served as a delegate to the International Telecommunication Union plenary meetings in Geneva on behalf of the North American Broadcasters Association. He is past president of the Audio Engineering Society (Washington DC Section), co-chair of the National Radio Systems Committee’s AM Study Task Group, a recent member of the Consumer Electronics Association’s Audio Division Board, and has a patent pending for the prediction of coverage for U.S. in-band on-channel digital audio broadcasting. His recent work has focused on digital audio broadcasting, including digital audio codec performance, HD Radio® multicast developments, overall broadcast system performance, and the prediction of broadcast signal transmission and reception.
Peter LaPorte currently serves as the director of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). WMATA established its OEM within the Metro Transit Police Department in 2009 to institute an emergency management mindset and culture, and the OEM team has seen emergency management awareness and practices become more common at WMATA in the past 3 years from the development of an emergency operations plan (EOP), continuity of operations plans, a terrorism incident annex to the EOP, rail station emergency response plans, and more.
Brooke Liu is an associate of communication at the University of Maryland and a research affiliate with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). Dr. Liu’s research primarily examines how governments manage communication during crisis and noncrisis situations. Her research has been published in outlets such the Handbook of Crisis Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Communication Management, Journal of Public Relations Research, and Natural Hazards Review. She received her Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2006), and M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia (2003). In recent years, Dr. Liu has served as a public affairs volunteer for the American Red Cross for the Arlington, Virginia, and Chicago, Illinois, chapters as well as a research consultant for national headquarters. As part of her work at START, she currently leads four DHS-funded projects focusing on effective risk communication and messaging. She also continues to provide research support as an independent consultant primarily to government agencies, most recently focusing on evaluating social media campaigns.
Leslie Luke is the group program manager for the County of San Diego’s Office of Emergency Services, where he oversees the Planning Branch, Info/Intel Branch, Recovery Branch, and Support Services. Mr. Luke is the recovery coordinator for the County of San Diego and has been the recovery operational area lead for five federally declared disasters and numerous state-declared disasters. He coordinates the Continuity of Community Programs and is a liaison with schools, including child care resource centers, the business sector (leads the ReadySanDiego Business Alliance), and faith-based initiatives. He oversees the office’s public awareness/ public education initiatives, special projects, and the student worker/ internship/volunteer program. Mr. Luke has worked for the County of San Diego for 22 years, in the Office of Emergency Services since 2004. Prior to that, he worked in the Public Safety Group, a division of the
County’s Chief Administrative Office, and was an investigator for the County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Patrick McDaniel is a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the Pennsylvania State University and co-director of the Systems and Internet Infrastructure Security Laboratory. Dr. McDaniel’s research efforts centrally focus on network, telecommunications, and systems security, language-based security, and technical public policy. He is the editor-in-chief of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) journal Transactions on Internet Technology and serves as associate editor of Transactions on Information and System Security and IEEE Transactions on Computers, and he stepped down as associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering in 2012. Dr. McDaniel was awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award and has chaired several top conferences in security including, among others, the 2007 and 2008 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Symposium on Security and Privacy and the 2005 USENIX Security Symposium. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D. in 1996 at the University of Michigan, he was a software architect and project manager in the telecommunications industry.
Ayman Naguib received a B.Sc. degree (with honors) and a M.S.EE degree in electrical engineering from Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, in 1987 and 1990, respectively, and an M.S. degree in statistics and Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1993 and 1996, respectively. From 1996 to 2000, Dr. Naguib was a principal member of technical staff at AT&T Shannon Labs, where he, along with his colleagues at AT&T Labs, pioneered the field space-time coding. From September 2000 to August 2002, he was with Morphics Technology, Inc. In October 2002, Dr. Naguib joined Qualcomm, Inc., where he is now a director of engineering with Qualcomm Research, Silicon Valley, where he is currently leading indoor positioning and navigation research activities. His 1998 IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications paper on space-time coding was selected by the IEEE Communication Society as one of the 50 fundamental papers ever published by the society. His 2003 IEEE JSAC paper won the best paper award. He has 40 U.S. patents, more than 90 pending patent applications, and more than 50 book chapter, conference, and journal publications. Dr. Naguib served as an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Communications from 2002 to 2007 and as a guest editor to a number of IEEE transactions journals. In 2006, Dr. Naguib was named an IEEE fellow for his contributions to space-time coding and signal processing and wireless communications. His current research interests are statistical learning, location determination, and indoor positioning.
George Percivall is an accomplished leader in geospatial information systems and standards. As chief engineer of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), he is responsible for the OGC Interoperability Program and the OGC Compliance Program. His roles include articulating OGC standards as a coherent architecture, as well as addressing implications of technology and market trends on the OGC baseline. Prior to joining OGC, Mr. Percivall was chief engineer with Hughes Aircraft for NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System—Landsat/Terra release; principal engineer for NASA’s Digital Earth Office; and he represented NASA in OGC, International Organization for Standardization, and Committee on Earth Observation Satellites. He was director of the Global Science and Technology’s Geospatial Interoperability Group. Previously, he led developments in intelligent transportation systems with the U.S. Automated Highway Consortium and General Motors Systems Engineering, including the EV1 program. He began his career with Hughes as a control system engineer on GOES/GMS satellites. He holds a B.S. in engineering physics and an M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Kevin Pomfret is the executive director of the Centre for Spatial Law and Policy and the founder of GeoLaw, P.C. He is well known within the spatial technology community for his efforts to increase the dialogue on the legal and policy issues associated with spatial data. Mr. Pomfret has worked with and around spatial technology for more than 20 years. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Pomfret served as a satellite imagery analyst with the U.S. government. In that capacity, he developed an imagery collection strategy to monitor critical arms control agreements and worked on requirements for future collection systems. In addition, he served as the special assistant to the U.S. government official responsible for developing the intelligence community’s satellite imagery collection and exploitation requirements. Upon entering private practice, Mr. Pomfret recognized that there were a number of unique legal issues associated with spatial data, including intellectual property rights, licensing, liability, privacy, and national security. He regularly advises a variety of spatial technology companies on such matters as licensing and distribution agreements, privacy policies, and spatial data audits. He also works as a consultant on developing a legal and policy framework for national spatial data infrastructures.
Ken Rudnicki has more than 35 years of experience in emergency management. Mr. Rudnicki began his career in emergency management in 1977 while a member of the U.S. Air Force. After completing the Air Force Disaster Preparedness School, he was stationed in Fort Walton Beach,
Florida, at Hurlburt Field where his office was awarded Best Disaster Preparedness Program in Tactical Air Command. Throughout his Air Force career he was stationed across the globe and has responded to a wide variety of disasters, including earthquakes in California, typhoons in the far east, and volcanoes in the Philippines. He was awarded two Humanitarian Service Medals, five Air Force Commendation Medals, and a Meritorious Service Medal during his 24-year career in disaster preparedness. Following his retirement from the Air Force, Mr. Rudnicki joined the Florida Division of Emergency Management where he worked as a planner for 4 years and the area coordinator for the Tampa Bay region for 6 years. During this time, he was involved in more than 20 federal disaster declarations. While working for Florida, he was awarded three Distinguished Service Awards. As a member of the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association, he helped develop regional response team procedures bringing local emergency managers to the assistance of impacted counties and the state. Mr. Rudnicki then moved into the private sector as a consultant working in Reston, Virginia, where he developed numerous domestic security exercises, developed state and local plans, and was selected by the Secretary of DHS to be part of the Nationwide Plan Review ordered by the President following Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, Mr. Rudnicki accepted a job with the City of Fairfax, Virginia, as the emergency coordinator and has remained in this position to date. He has served on numerous committees throughout his career and now serves as the president of the Virginia Emergency Managers Association, and he is the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) USA-Region III secretary and treasurer. Mr. Rudnicki is a certified professional emergency manager with the states of Florida and Virginia and a certified emergency manager through the IAEM.
Timothy L. Sellnow is a professor of communication at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches courses in risk and crisis communication. Dr. Sellnow’s research focuses on bioterrorism, pre-crisis planning, and communication strategies for crisis management and mitigation. He has conducted funded research for DHS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has published numerous refereed journal articles on risk and crisis communication and has co-authored four books on risk and crisis communication. His most recent book is Risk Communication: A Message-Centered Approach. He is also past editor of the National Communication Association’s Journal of Applied Communication Research. Dr. Sellnow received his Ph.D. from Wayne State University in 1987.
Jeannette Sutton is a senior research scientist in the Trauma Health and Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she specializes in disaster sociology with a primary focus on online informal communications in disaster, public alerts and warnings, and community resiliency. Much of her research investigates the evolving role of information and community technology, including social media and mobile devices, for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Dr. Sutton is the principal investigator (PI) on two NSF-funded projects, one on the use of Twitter for disaster communications and a second on the role of information access in relation to perceptions of collective efficacy. She is also a co-investigator on the DHS-sponsored project Comprehensive Testing of Imminent Threat Public Messages for Mobile Devices. Dr. Sutton holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and completed her postdoctoral training at the Natural Hazards Center. She is also a special term appointee with the Center for Integrated Emergency Preparedness at Argonne National Laboratory.
Bruce Thomas has served as chief meteorologist and national spokesperson for Midland Radio Corporation, Kansas City, Missouri, since 2004. Mr. Thomas has been recognized by the Department of Commerce with the Mark Trail Award for outstanding service promoting All Hazards NOAA Weather Radio across America. Prior to his work with Midland Radio, Mr. Thomas spent nearly two decades as a broadcast meteorologist in Tornado Alley, working with network affiliate television stations in College Station, Waco, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Kansas City. He is currently serving as president of the National Weather Association. He is also an active member of the American Meteorological Society where he holds the designation Certified Broadcast Meteorologist.
Rick Wimberly is president of Galain Solutions, Inc., an independent consultancy with expertise in alerts and warnings, which serves clients at local, state, and federal levels as well as private industry. Galain’s clients include the FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) program. Mr. Wimberly has been involved in the alert and warning industry for 15 years and in the public safety industry for nearly 25 years. He writes extensively on topics related to alerts and warnings, including a widely followed blog for Emergency Management magazine. A recent cover story article Mr. Wimberly wrote for Emergency Management magazine, “Do Alert Notifications Fail to Live Up to Expectations,” addressed common shortcomings of telephone-based alerting systems, including challenges with geotargeted messages.
Wade Witmer has been with the FEMA IPAWS Division since January 2009. The IPAWS program is tasked with implementing the vision of Executive Order 13407 for the United States to have “an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive system to alert and warn the American people.” The IPAWS brings together the Emergency Alert System, the new CMAS, a feed for publishing alerts to Internet services, and integration with NWS’s All-Hazards Radio network. Using industry standard protocols, authorized public safety officials can use IPAWS to send emergency alerts to citizens in their local area. Prior to joining the IPAWS Division at FEMA, Mr. Witmer was employed with the Defense Information Systems Agency for 9 years, serving across various programs as a communications systems engineer, program manager, and portfolio manager for Mobile Communications in the Presidential Communications Upgrade Program. Just prior to joining FEMA, he served as the White House Communications Agency deputy director of enterprise architecture, strategic planning, and systems engineering. Mr. Witmer has more than 20 years of experience in government systems engineering and program acquisition management. He has a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.
Michele Wood is an assistant professor in the Health Science Department at the California State University, Fullerton, where she teaches courses in statistics and program design and evaluation. Dr. Wood has 20 years of experience designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions. Through her affiliation with the Southern California Injury Prevention Center in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Public Health, she managed a national household preparedness survey conducted as part of the National Center for the START program through the University of Maryland’s Center of Excellence, as well as a California household telephone survey of earthquake preparedness. Dr. Wood received her Ph.D. in public health from the Department of Community Health Sciences at UCLA, and she also holds a master’s degree in community psychology.