BART DE JONG is counselor for Infrastructure and the Environment at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington. He covers relations with counterpart US government agencies, multilateral institutions, NGOs, and the US private sector. Policy areas include water management, infrastructure, transport, climate, and the environment.
He joined the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment in 1988 and served in various international divisions, explaining developments in Dutch water management and coastal defense policies to foreign delegations. He was posted as attaché at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta, where he worked on bilateral cooperation in river basin management and the Jakarta Flood Control Project. He also was director of the Yangtze River Intermodal Transport Project, a Chinese-Dutch collaboration that encompassed port development along the Yangtze River and its estuary.
In 2004–2009 he was posted at the EU’s Permanent Representation of the Netherlands in Brussels. Before his posting to Washington, he was head of the Shipping Division of the Maritime Directorate in the Netherlands.
Mr. de Jong holds a master’s degree in human geography from the State University of Utrecht, with minors in development economics and international political relations.
REAR ADM. BRET MUILENBURG assumed his duties as commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and Chief of Civil Engineers in November 2015.
His operational tours of duty include assignments with Naval Mobile Construction Battalions 62, 133, and 7; the 30th Naval Construction Regiment and Task Force Forager, theater engineers for International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Afghanistan. He made numerous peacetime and contingency deployments, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq/Kuwait, and Afghanistan. Other assignments include assistant resident officer in charge of construction, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia; shops engineer, US Naval Academy, Annapolis; environmental and planning officer, Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy; production officer, Public Works Center Jacksonville, Florida; staff member, Civil Engineering Readiness Division of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Fleet Readiness and Logistics); staff member, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment; head detailer and community manager, Civil Engineer Corps; commanding officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii, and regional engineer, Navy Region Hawaii. Before assuming command of NAVFAC, he was commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific and the Pacific Fleet Civil Engineer.
Rear Adm. Muilenburg is a registered professional engineer in Virginia, a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps, and qualified as a Seabee Combat Warfare officer. He is a 1984 graduate of the US Naval Academy, where he received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. He also holds an MS in engineering management from George Washington University and an MS in environmental engineering and science from Stanford University. In addition, he completed the Executive Education Advanced Management Program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
ROBERT J. NICHOLLS has studied coastal processes, coastal hazards, and their solution for 25 years and established an international reputation on climate change in coastal areas, especially potential impacts and adaptation responses. A distinctive dimension of his research has been consideration of the coastal zone as a series of interacting systems, an approach that facilitates policy analysis.
He has advised national governments (e.g., the UK, Netherlands, Singapore, Maldives) and intergovernmental organizations (e.g., OECD), including as a lead author on five reports of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change assessment process, and a review edi-
tor in the most recent (2014) assessment. He coleads the World Climate Research Program Sea Level Rise Grand Challenge to deliver science in support of impact and adaptation assessment. He is also involved in the following research projects, including as principal investigator: (1) Integrating Coastal Sediment Systems (iCOASST)—a consortium project on predicting decadal coastal morphological evolution; (2) ESPA Delta—a project of Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA), examining the future of ecosystem services and human well-being in coastal Bangladesh; and (3) Deltas, Vulnerability, and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation (DECCMA)—examining adaptation to climate change in the Volta, Mahanadi, and Ganges-Brahmaputra Deltas, with a focus on migration.
He was awarded the Roger Revelle Medal by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in 2008; the award recognizes “outstanding contributions to the ocean sciences by inspired researchers who communicate their knowledge and global vision of the challenges facing our planet in order to shape a better future for humankind.”
DAVID PEARCE is the department manager of Manhattan Operations Engineering at Consolidated Edison, responsible for ensuring that the city’s electric grid provides best-in-class reliability to one of the world’s most important financial and cultural centers, including the development of resilient designs to address natural or human initiated disturbances. He has held a variety of positions in Con Edison, including manager of energy services, project manager for distributed generation, and transmission planning engineer. He was deeply involved in Con Edison’s response to Hurricane Sandy, and witnessed firsthand the impact of ocean inundation of electric infrastructure. His group is now responsible for designing and implementing system upgrades to allow the Manhattan electric grid to withstand a similar flooding event in the future.
Mr. Pearce holds a BSc in electrical engineering from the University of the West Indies (Trinidad & Tobago), an MS in regulatory policy and communications technology from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), and an executive master’s in technology management from Columbia University.
KATHLEEN D. WHITE, a registered professional engineer, leads the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Climate Preparedness and Resilience Community of Practice and has over 28 years of experience in the USACE.
Her responsibilities include development of policy, technical guidance, methods, and tools to support climate preparedness and resilience. Her work reflects extensive interagency and expert collaboration in the areas of climate change that are related to USACE mission and operations, particularly the Civil Works program and water resources management. Topics include sea level change impacts and adaptation, hydro-logic nonstationarity, changing reservoir sedimentation, and climate vulnerability analyses affecting coastal projects, watersheds, reservoirs, and supply chains. She is also responsible for implementation of climate preparedness and resilience in USACE projects, including agency technical review and oversight of policy and guidance.
She received a 2013 GreenGov Presidential Award: Climate Champion for her role in the interagency team that developed the Sea Level Rise Tool for Sandy Recovery. She was selected as the USACE 2014 Elvin R. “Vald” Heiberg III “Engineer of the Year” and as a 2015 Top Ten Federal Engineer of the Year by the National Society of Professional Engineers.
Dr. White holds BS and MS degrees in civil engineering and a PhD in civil and environmental engineering.
ALI VELSHI was most recently the host of “Ali Velshi on Target” a nightly prime-time show on Al Jazeera America with debates, interviews, and on-the-ground reporting. He has reported from the US presidential campaign trail and from Turkey on ISIL and the Syrian refugee crisis, from Tehran on the days leading up to the nuclear deal, and on the debt crisis in Greece.
He was previously at CNN, where he was chief business correspondent, anchor of “World Business Today,” host of the weekly business roundtable “Your Money,” and cohost of “American Morning.”
In 2010 Mr. Velshi received a National Headliner Award for Business & Consumer Reporting for “How the Wheels Came Off,” on the near collapse of the American auto industry. During the global financial crisis, he appeared on a number of national TV shows to explain the
causes of the meltdown in plain terms. He is the author of Gimme My Money Back (Sterling and Ross, 2008) and coauthor with CNN’s Christine Romans of How to Speak Money (Wiley, 2010).
Born in Kenya and raised in Canada, Mr. Velshi graduated from Queen’s University in Ontario with a degree in religion. He serves on the boards of trustees of the X-Prize Foundation, Seeds of Peace, and Chicago History Museum, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.