NRDems Forum: The Hurricane Maria Conference: Reflecting on Catastrophe and Preparing for the Future

Date: Thursday, September 20, 2018 Time: 10:00 AM Location: Capitol Visitor Center HVC-215

On Thursday, September 20th, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business, and Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources, will sponsor a Congressional conference on Hurricane Maria marking one year since the catastrophic storm made landfall on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The conference will feature three expert panel presentations from non-governmental organizations, private sector organizations, and academia. The conference will be an opportunity to hear from experts on Hurricane Maria’s impact, explore how the Federal government can improve its response and recovery efforts, and remember those who lost their lives in the storm.

Keynote Speaker:

Irwin Redlener, MD, Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University

Panel 1: Beyond Government: Resources Assisting Response Efforts (updated)

  • Tiffany Cross, Co-Founder & Managing Editor, The Beat DC (Moderator)
  • Kellie Bentz, Head of Global Disaster Response and Relief, Airbnb
  • Gina Adams, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, FedEx
  • Jennifer Jones, Strategist, Evelyn Lozada Foundation
  • Angelique Sina, Co-Founder & President, Friends of Puerto Rico
  • Nate Mook, Executive Director, World Central Kitchen
  • José Calderón, President, Hispanic Federation

Panel 2: Helping Vulnerable Communities Weather the Storm 

  • Gretchen Sierra-Zorita, MPA, Public Policy and Communications Strategist (Moderator)
  • Irwin Redlener, MD, Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University
  • Jeff Schlegelmilch, MPH, MBA, Deputy Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University
  • Casey Harrity, MPA, Senior Director, Humanitarian Programs, Save the Children
  • Annelle Primm, MD, MPH, Chair and Convener, All Healers Mental Health Alliance
  • Marcie Roth, Chief Executive Officer, Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies
  • Alejandra Y. Castillo, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, YWCA USA

Panel 3: Looking to the Future

  • Federico de Jesús, MA, Principal, FDJ Solutions (Moderator)
  • Enrique Fernández Toledo, Director, Puerto Rico Relief and Economic Policy, Center for American Progress
  • Barbara Lyons, PhD, Senior Vice President, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Diane Yentel, MS, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Low Income Housing Coalition
  • Carmen Orozco-Acosta, PhD, Senior Policy Advisor, US Domestic Program, Oxfam America
  • Alice Thomas, JD, Climate Displacement Program Manager, Refugees International