Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Co-Founder and President of the Children’s Health Fund
Dr. Irwin Redlener is the Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute, which works to understand and improve the nation’s capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. He is a nationally recognized expert on disaster preparedness policies, pandemic influenza, the threat of terrorism in the U.S., the impact and consequences of major natural disasters and related issues. Dr. Redlener is the author of Americans At Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared For Megadisasters and What We Can Do Now, published in 2006 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and recently served as one of the ten members of the congressionally established National Commission on Children and Disasters.
Dr. Redlener is also President and Co-Founder, along with singer-songwriter Paul Simon, of the Children’s Health Fund (CHF), a philanthropic initiative created to develop health care programs in some of the nation’s most medically underserved communities. CHF programs are now active in 25 urban and rural communities around the U.S. providing quality comprehensive medical care to more than 80,000 children each year. Dr. Redlener holds an M.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Hunter College of the City University of New York and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Hofstra University.
Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais
Director for Domestic Emergencies Unit at Save the Children US
Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais is the Director of Save the Children’s Domestic Emergencies Unit. She was instrumental in establishing the Unit in 2006, helping to develop the strategic plan, build response capacity, and lead preparedness, response and recovery program planning and implementation. She was Team Leader for Save the Children’s Hurricane Katrina Response programs in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. She also led Save the Children’s responses to: the 2007 Southern California Wildfires; spring 2008 tornadoes in Tennessee and Arkansas, June 2008 mid-western floods in Iowa and Indiana; 2008 Hurricanes Dolly, Gustav and Ike; the 2009 American Samoa Tsunami, and the 2011 SE Tornadoes. De Marrais also leads Save the Children’s emergency preparedness work, to help ensure that children’s needs are included in all aspects of community emergency management.
Prior to joining Save the Children, De Marrais work for the Maryland Legislature’s Chairman of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families, serving in both his legislative and political offices. She holds degrees from Tufts University and Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.
Click profile pictures to watch a video introduction from each board member.
Clinical Associate Professor of Public Health and Founding Director of the Program on Population Impact, Recovery and Resilience at New York University
NYU Associate Professor David Abramson is the founding director of NYU’s Program on Population Impact, Recovery and Resiliency (PiR2), a faculty member of NYU’s College of Global Public Health, and an associate faculty member of the NYU Medical School’s Department of Population Health. Dr. Abramson has led a number of major research studies examining the long-term impacts of disasters on communities and on vulnerable populations, including children. These studies include the longitudinal Gulf Coast Child and Family Health (G-CAFH) Study, post-Hurricane Katrina, and the Sandy Child and Family Health (S-CAFH) Study currently being conducted in partnership with Rutgers University with funding from the New Jersey Department of Health. Dr. Abramson is also the co-investigator of the NIH-funded Women’s and Their Children’s Health (WaTCH) Study, exploring the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on children’s long-term health, in collaboration with Louisiana State University. Dr. Abramson is also the co-founder and co-director of the SHOREline youth empowerment project a curricular project-based learning program presently operating in a number of Gulf Coast and New York City high schools.
Dr. Abramson received his PhD in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University, with a specialization in political science, and an MPH from Columbia University as well.
Watch Dr. Abramson’s video introduction here
Director of Crisis Management and Business Continuity for the Walt Disney Company
Andrea is the Director of Crisis Management and Business Continuity for The Walt Disney Company and serves as Vice-Chair for the American Red Cross Los Angeles Regional Board of Directors. At Disney, she oversees an enterprise-wide department that is responsible for all-hazards emergency planning and testing for Disney and its affiliates world-wide. Prior to joining Disney, Andrea served as the External Affairs Director for FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office (LRO) where she oversaw all media, intergovernmental and congressional activities for the largest disaster recovery effort in United States history with a total recovery portfolio of over $20 billion. Prior to FEMA, Andrea served as the Regional Training and Exercise Planner for the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management and was the Emergency Manager for the 12th District of the Federal Reserve.
Andrea holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from CSU, Chico; a Master of Science in Public Health from Pennsylvania State University’s Medical School and was a 2013 inductee to the Women’s Emergency Management Hall of Fame.
Watch Andrea’s video introduction here
VP, US Public Policy at GSK
Tanisha Carino serves as Vice President, U.S. Public Policy at GSK, which is committed to helping people do more, feel better, and live longer. In her role, Dr. Carino promotes public policies in the best interest of patients and the public’s health. Tanisha brings over 15 years experience in consulting, management, health policy, and strategy development across government, industry, and academia. She is a recognized thought leader in the evolving US regulatory environment, market access, and commercial trends, as well as health technology and evidence-based medicine.
Tanisha has a PhD in Health Policy from Johns Hopkins University where her dissertation focused on the role of adolescent resiliency and its association with healthcare seeking behavior and is a Fulbright scholar. She serves as an associate faculty member in Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is a board member of Bread for the City in Washington, DC.
Watch Dr. Carino’s video introduction here
Director, Director of the Neighborhood Empowerment Network for the City Administrator’s Office of the City and County of San Francisco
A fourth generation San Franciscan who has a degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University, Mr. Homsey has spent the last 25 years as a communications professional in both the private and public sector. After a long stint in the technology field, Mr. Homsey was appointed Director of The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services in 2004. In January 2008 he became the Director of Neighborhood Resilience in the City Administrator’s office. Currently Mr. Homsey is an alum of the Presidio Institute’s Inaugural Class of Cross Sector Leadership Fellows and is on the Steering Committee for the United Nations Making Cities Resilient Campaign.
Mr. Homsey is the program manager for the Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) initiative which is a coalition of residents, community supported organizations, non-profits, academic institutions, and government agencies with the mission to empower residents with the capacity and resources to build, and steward, strong sustainable communities. Recently the NEN was honored as one of the top 10 programs honored by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation through its 2015 Innovations in American Government Award Competition. For more information about the NEN, please visit www.empowersf.org.
Watch Mr. Homsey’s video introduction here
Senior Director, Issue Networks at US Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Gerald McSwiggan oversees the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center Issue Network capabilities. He also manages the Center’s disaster assistance and recovery capabilities. Gerald has managed the Center’s response to disasters including the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, multiple hurricanes in the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Ocean coastal regions, flooding in Pakistan and parts of the United States, tornadoes and wildfires in the United States, and more.
Gerald previously served as Federal Programs Coordinator in the Washington, D.C. Federal Affairs Office of Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Prior to working for the State of Florida, he worked on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Fellow for U.S. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Gerald holds a B.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University, and holds an MBA from Georgetown University.
Watch Gerald’s video introduction here
Former Deputy Administrator at FEMA
The Honorable Richard Serino is currently a “Distinguished Visiting Fellow” at Harvard University, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and a Senior Advisor at MIT’s Urban Risk Lab. Mr. Serino was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 8th Deputy Administrator in October 2009 and served until 2014. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Administrator, he served as Chief of Boston EMS and Assistant Director of the Boston Public Health Commission.
During his time at FEMA, Mr. Serino traveled all over the country to over 60 disasters to hear directly from survivors, and build relationships with whole community partners. He also lead the Whole Community and Survivor – centric themes at FEMA and throughout Emergency Management. While serving as Chief, Mr. Serino served as Incident Commander for over 35 mass casualty incidents and for all of Boston’s major planned events. Mr. Serino attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program in 2000, completed the Kennedy School’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative in 2005, and graduated from the Executive Leadership Program, Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School. Mr. Serino has received numerous local, national and international awards for heroism, leadership and innovation.
Watch Mr. Serino’s video introduction here