Our Team

Consortium Leadership

Seth Schultz

CEO, Resilience Rising

Seth is CEO of Resilience Rising. A globally recognized innovator and thought leader, he has a long track record of building consensus and initiating change in the field of sustainable development, urban climate action and resilient infrastructure.  He is a passionate advocate for solutions that advance a safe, resilient and sustainable future, the need for transformative decarbonisation and long-term resilience.

Over the past two decades, Seth has worked with many of the most leading and innovative organisations in this space to turn theory into practice, including the Louis Berger Group, the US Green Building Council, the Clinton Foundation, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the Global Covenant of Mayors, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Resilience Shift.

Seth shares his expertise through involvement with various boards and advisory councils, is a sought-after speaker and guest lecturer, and has authored numerous articles, reports, blogs and thought leadership pieces around the world.

Michael S. Bruno

Board Chair, Resilience Rising

Michael S. Bruno is the Provost at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Prior to his appointment, he was the Dean of the School of Engineering and Science, and Professor of Ocean Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. He was also the Director of the Center for Maritime Security, a Department of Homeland Security National Center of Excellence. Dr. Bruno’s research and teaching interests include ocean observation systems, climate change, and community resilience. He is the author of more than 100 technical publications in various aspects of these fields, including the book, The Urban Ocean, published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Bruno is also a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He received the Denny Medal from the Institute of Marine Engineering in 2007. Dr. Bruno holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, a M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and a PhD degree in Civil and Ocean Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kerem Yilmaz

COO, Resilience Rising

Kerem is passionate about helping organisations conceptualize and deliver transformational change. He has worked with a variety of Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and philanthropic organisations to build internal operations capacity, develop long-term strategies, and scale new programs. Kerem previously served as a Strategy and Operations Director for the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy where he helped the global secretariat become an influential global alliance. Kerem has also served as a strategic advisor to both leading NGOs and private sector organisations and was also the Head of Research at the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group where he helped to establish the organisation’s early research agenda. Prior to his work in the NGO space, Kerem was as a Manager at Accenture, where his work focused on implementing retail supply chain systems and business intelligence tools.

Savina Carluccio

Executive Director, ICSI

Savina is the Executive Director of the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI) and a fervent advocate of the role of civil engineers in tackling our society’s biggest challenges. She is an experienced Civil Engineer and infrastructure practitioner with almost two decades of experience advising government, infrastructure owners and operators, multi-lateral development banks and NGOs to develop and implement inclusive, sustainable and resilient infrastructure that is fit for the future. Prior to taking her role at ICSI, she worked as an Associate Director and infrastructure advisor at Arup and she was the Head of Guidance and Standards at the Resilience Shift. Savina also serves a member of Institution of Civil Engineers’ Advisory Board on sustainable and resilient infrastructure. During her time at the Resilience Shift she directed the development of Infrastructure Pathways, a comprehensive resource for practitioners seeking to implement climate resilience in practice.

Martyn Link

Executive Director, Resilience First

Martyn is an experienced strategic leader, passionate about enabling organisations prepare for, and adapt to, the biggest challenges of our time. He leads the world’s largest business resilience network, Resilience First, the business-focused arm of Resilience Rising, a global consortium working together to accelerate a safe, resilient and sustainable future for all. Prior to this Martyn spent 11 years at the global engineering giant Wood Plc, where he was responsible for corporate strategy, organisational design and leading the pivot towards the energy transition. Martyn is a scientist by training and has two degrees from Edinburgh University. He started his career at Wood Mackenzie where he focused on corporate strategy and competitive intelligence. Martyn subsequently helped shape the investment portfolio of an innovation fund before joining Wood.

Xavier Aldea Borruel

Director of Operations, Resilience Rising

Xavier is the Director of Operations at Resilience Rising. Prior to his appointment, he was Head of Operations for the Resilience Shift programme at Arup’s International Development group, and a Sustainability Project Manager for Suez Environnement. 

Xavier is passionate about building programmes to facilitate the world’s transition to a sustainable and net-zero economy, while building resilience in our society’s systems to cope with unexpected events.  

During his professional career, Xavier has worked as a researcher and project manager of EU-funded programmes on urban resilience, sustainability, Life Cycle Assessment and carbon footprint. He has co-authored 9 publications in these topics. 

Xavier joined Arup to be responsible for the management of the Resilience Shift programme. During his time at Arup Xavier set up systems and processes to secure funding from Foundations, managed the programme budget, and was responsible for the Programme Board Secretariat.  

Xavier holds a MSc Degree in Industrial Engineering and an MBA. 

Rebecca Laberenne

Director of Programs, Resilience Rising

Rebecca has two decades of experience focused on improving the quality and safety of the built environment, with a particular interest in housing and social infrastructure in rapidly urbanizing countries with high natural hazard risk. 

Most recently she was a Senior Consultant to the World Bank’s Global Program for Safer Schools, providing technical assistance to school infrastructure investment projects in West Africa, Central Asia, and the Caribbean. She has also consulted for The Rockefeller Foundation, The Resilience Shift, Resilient Cities Catalyst and Resilient Cities Network on climate adaptation and infrastructure resilience. She was previously the Associate Director for Innovation in the Built Environment at The Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities initiative where she led the formation of 20+ strategic partnerships focused on the built environment, infrastructure, and disaster risk management. 

She has a background in structural engineering and started her career working at Guy Nordenson and Associates in New York where she worked for 13 years and was the lead structural engineer for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., among other building and infrastructure projects. She also worked as a Program Manager and Structural Engineer for the social enterprise Build Change on post-earthquake housing reconstruction in China and Haiti. 

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Certificate in Architecture from Princeton University; a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials from University of California, Berkeley; and a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from New York University.

Emily Morris

Director of Communications and Global Events, Resilience Rising

Emily is Director of Communications and Global Events at Resilience Rising. She has over a decade of strategic communications experience, with particular expertise in building a brand in the climate and sustainability arena. She has developed and executed strategies for major global events, creative campaigns, publication launches and organizational milestones, with the ultimate goal of inspiring people to take action. In her most recent role at C40 Cities, Emily led and mentored a global team of communications and events specialists responsible for cultivating an inclusive, compelling and well-respected brand identity and voice. Prior to her time with C40, Emily lived and worked in Lebanon, Syria and Kenya. She currently resides outside of Boston and enjoys traveling, being outdoors and reading a good book.


Consortium Team

All Consortium MembersICSIResilience FirstResilience Rising

Theo Bachrach

Campaign Manager, Resilience Rising

Theo is a Campaign Manager at Resilience Rising. Prior to this he worked for the Resilience Shift.

He has a background in campaigns and coalition building where he has worked at the national and sub-national level across Europe, North America and Africa within the private and public sector.

In 2021 he was seconded from the Resilience Shift to the UN Climate Champions team to coordinate the Race to Resilience campaign and establish the Resilience Hub at COP26, the first-time resilience has had a permanent home at a COP.

His professional and personal interests include mobilising non-state actors to understand and build resilience to the impacts of climate change and expanding opportunities for young people to participate in policy making and advocacy.

He holds a first-class degree in International Relations and is slowly improving at Spanish.

Rich Baldwin

Programme Director, Resilience4Ports

Richard has over 30 years of professional, high-end experiences in environmental sciences and public outreach, with particular expertise in resiliency projects including storm recovery and remedial actions, flood-event evaluations, environmental investigations and waterway studies at all levels of the resiliency “food chain” including for private, federal and public clients and institutions. He has led Hurricane Sandy recovery operations and post-Sandy resiliency projects, most notably including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Rebuild by Design competition and projects located both on Long Island, New York and Revere, Massachusetts wherein nature-based solutions were selected for design and eventual implementation. In his global climate change practice area, Rich has specialized in utilizing “Living with Nature and Blue-Green” resiliency intervention measure such as living reefs, stabilized sand dunes, land re-sculpting, marsh-land restoration, etc., where appropriate. Rich also has a strong renewable-energy practice in which he is focusing on developing an U.S. East Coast-based offshore wind (OSW) industry, including addressing the required highly-specialized port facilities which will soon be required to support the buildout of the evolving marketplace. He is also actively involved in assessing the OSW-industry specific vessels and logistical models which will be required to comport with the Jones Act. Finally, in this workspace, Rich is a senior practitioner in bringing all levels of the OSW supply chain to the U.S. which is currently anchored in Europe and Asia.

Rich is a licensed Professional Geologist in New York and in Pennsylvania, an American Institute of Professional Geologists Certified Professional Geologist and an Adjunct Professor in the Earth Sciences Department at State University of New York at Stony Brook. Rich also has a strong volunteer life and serves on a committee with the Peconic Land Trust and is a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) with East Moriches Community Ambulance, both of which are his way of giving back to the communities that have provided him with so much. He and his wife Stephanie (who is also an environmental scientist) live out on Eastern Long Island, New York.

Sophie Bedecarré Ernst

Communications and Special Projects Manager, Resilience Rising

Sophie is Communications and Special Projects Manager at Resilience Rising. Prior to this, Sophie led communications for the National Academy of Design, a 200-year-old non-profit membership organization of prominent American artists. Prior to working at the National Academy of Design, Sophie was part of the Communications and Events team at C40 Cities for nearly five years. In her time at C40, Sophie managed communications for a wide range of strategic projects with a focus on C40’s Global Green New Deal, Global Youth Initiative and creative campaigns. She has played a key role in developing strategic communications plans for large-scale global campaigns, events and organization-wide goals, drawing from her educational background in environmental justice and the visual arts. Sophie lives in Brooklyn and enjoys spending time with her dog, knitting and painting. 

Beena Chester

Director of Business Engagement, Resilience First

Beena is responsible for the strategic partnership and engagement direction of Resilience First’s corporate membership and networks.

With over 20 years’ experience in the membership sector, Beena was previously the Events Director at London First, where she grew their programme of membership engagement through an expanded calendar of events with senior executives and politicians, whilst at the same time leading on large-scale commercial summits (including East West Institute’s second Worldwide Cyber Security Summit) and awards ceremonies. Beena also spearheaded Skills London, the UK’s largest careers fair for 15 to 24 years old, and the London Planning Awards, organised in partnership with the Mayor of London.

Prior to that, Beena was the Head of Membership at the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain (FCCGB), where she grew their membership base and introduced new member services to increase the network’s engagement. At the FCCGB, Beena also had the opportunity to work with the French government as well as HRH The Prince of Wales.

Beena currently sits on the Board of the Global Tech Advocates Future of Work Committee and is excited to also recently be appointed to the International Security Expo Advisory Council.

Outside of work, Beena enjoys life with her family, yoga and travelling.

Gemma Cowan

Communications Manager, Resilience Rising

Gemma is the Communications Manager for Resilience Rising and the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure. Prior to this, she worked as Communications Manager for the Resilience Shift.

Gemma has communications experience in the commercial and development sectors, and spent many years working with marginalised groups in Cape Town’s townships, sharing their stories and working alongside them to create sustainable socio-economic change in their communities. She is skilled in external communications, advocacy, strategy, and project management. Prior to joining The Resilience Shift, Gemma took a career break to complete an MSc Sustainable Development, focussing her research on the effect of gender equity on apparel value chains. Gemma’s core interests lie at the intersection of social justice and climate change issues; she applies a systems approach to problem-solving and believes that solutions to these challenges need to be inclusive, community-led and holistic.

Billie Donovan

Programme Coordinator, ICSI

Billie is Programme Coordinator at the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, and Climate Community Executive for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Billie has experience working in the charity, research and academic sectors and has a BSc in Biological Sciences. Prior to joining ICSI/ ICE she had administrative and project management roles at the Natural History Museum and Cancer Research UK. At ICE, Billie provides secretariat support to low carbon and sustainability focused Community Advisory Boards and works on projects such as ICE Carbon Champions. She dedicates the other 50% of her time to ICSI-led initiates. Billie’s core interests lie in developing advocates for a more sustainable future and working with industry experts to provide resilience-driven solutions to the carbon and climate change challenges impacting the Civil Engineering sector.

Amanda Eichel

Senior Advisor, Resilience Rising

Amanda has championed the cause of urban climate action over the past two decades. Working for two of the world’s leading cities on sustainability, first in Seattle and then in New York City, she pioneered efforts to develop city networks to rapidly scale climate change solutions, most recently as Executive Director of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

Recognized globally as an urban climate change leader, she founded, built or led some of the world’s most impactful initiatives to deliver meaningful city action on climate change, including the Compact of Mayors, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.

Amanda has also worked for the state of California, was a senior advisor to Mike Bloomberg as the Special Envoy on Climate Action to the Secretary General of the U.N. and has spearheaded numerous collaborations and innovations to drive climate action at the local level.

Dave Hall

Web Designer, Resilience Rising

Dave is a web designer, developer, writer and filmmaker. He began working with the Resilience Shift on their website in 2018, and his role has expanded to cover design and development across the consortium’s partner websites and projects as well as video work. Working as part of the communications team, he contributes both creatively and practically to Resilience Rising’s messaging and identity.

He has worked to create user-friendly and unique interactive designs to showcase our work, for example Infrastructure Pathways, the Resilience Toolbox and stories such as the Resilient Leadership report and Securing Our Future Through Resilient Infrastructure, the Resilience Shift’s mission statement.

Dave holds a degree in philosophy from Cambridge University. Also a writer and director, his debut narrative feature film, Passing Through, is currently in festivals.

George Karagiannis

Engineering Leadership Group Director

George is the Director of the Engineering Leadership Group, the first of its kind peer to peer engagement platform with a vision to capture the voice of engineering firms worldwide. The Engineering Leadership Group is created and delivered by Resilience First and the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, members of the Resilience Rising Consortium.

From 2019 to 2022, he was Greece's Deputy Secretary-General for Civil Protection (US equivalent: Deputy FEMA Administrator). Before that, he was Technical Officer at the European Commission Joint Research Center, where his area of expertise revolved around emergency management, critical infrastructure protection and hybrid threats. Prior to joining the Joint Research Center, he was a Disaster Management Consultant. He has worked in four countries, developed two strategic national risk assessments, helped organize over 60 exercises, developed a dozen emergency operations plans and responded to disasters in the field. He also was a Research Scientist at the Technical University of Crete in Greece, where his interdisciplinary research lay at the intersection of systems engineering and disaster resilience.

George earned his Doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from Saint-Etienne School of Mines in France. He also holds degrees in Civil Engineering, Disaster Management and Business Administration, and is a Certified Emergency Manager by the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Amy Leitch

Arup Strategic Partnership Manager

Amy is an Associate of Arup’s Climate Services and Sustainability portfolio, based in New York.  Amy helps cities, businesses and communities strategize to enhance their organizational and community capacity and adapt and thrive in the face of climate change and other shocks and stresses. Her systemic approach brings together multi-disciplinary teams to integrate technical expertise with stakeholder engagement and a commitment to social value. She works with organizations including local governments, city networks, multinational corporations, real estate developers, universities and philanthropic foundations to help them manage risk and build adaptive capacity. She brings over 15 years of US and international experience; her more recent work has focused on centering racial equity in climate action planning and practice. Amy was selected as a national award winner 2021 “40 Under 40” by Consulting-Specifying Engineer.

Between 2020 and March 2022, Amy was the Head of Programmes of the Resilience Shift, Arup’s flagship initiative, supported by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, aiming to enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure and leading the creation of new knowledge and guidance to support a shift in thinking, practice and learning.

Amy oversaw The Resilience Shift’s cohort of initiatives, and delivered projects focused on cross-sectoral exploration of the impact of disruption, the role of leadership in climate action, translation of climate science for urban policymakers and business leaders and a a multi-stakeholder, whole-systems approach to enhance the resilience of ports, as a nexus of critical infrastructure systems, amongst other initiatives. Amy also supported the organization’s successful transition to an independent not for profit entity, providing continuity of The Resilience Shift’s knowledge base and projects.

Juliet Mian

Arup Strategic Partnership Director

Juliet is a Director of Arup’s Climate Services and Sustainability portfolio.  She specialises in assessment and enhancement of the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate change and other shocks and stresses.  She brings over 25 years’ experience on a broad range of infrastructure projects both in the UK and internationally.

Juliet works closely with clients across transportation, energy and water sectors, using this cross-sectoral capability to focus on interdependencies across the system of systems.

Between 2018 and March 2022 Juliet was Director of the Resilience Shift, Arup’s flagship initiative aiming to enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure, supported by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, leading the creation of new knowledge and guidance support a shift in thinking, practice and learning.  She oversaw its successful transition to becoming an independent not for profit entity. She is also the Global Skills Leader for Arup’s Resilience Skills Network, responsible for research, knowledge and learning across our growing community of resilience practitioners.

Laura Michelon

Marketing Manager, Resilience First

Born and raised in Venice, Italy, Laura obtained two master’s degrees in Languages, Economic & Legal Institutions of East Asia, and Advertising: Art Direction & Copywriting and has worked in several countries.

As a marketing strategist, Laura has gained a wealth of knowledge while creating and delivering engaging, effective, and often award-winning communications campaigns across digital and traditional channels.

She is multilingual and that along with her global work experience has allowed Laura the opportunity to gain insights and adapt to a variety of professional cultures.

She is a member of the Tate Museum and enjoys fine-dining, basketball, yoga and meditation.

Katie Momber

Programme Manage, ICSI

Katie is Programme Manager at the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, and Climate Community Manager at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Katie has worked in ICE’s Engineering Knowledge team for over two years, consulting with networks of experts in engineering and sustainability to advance thinking around best practices and barriers to progress.

Katie’s previous professional experience has been in the UK Charity Sector, and prior to joining ICSI and ICE, she completed an MSc at UCL on Environment, Politics and Society, and also has a Human Geography BA. Katie has a keen interest in the social value of infrastructure and community-based resilience solutions. She believes that collaboration between industry, government and civil society will be key to cracking some of the most pressing climate dilemmas of our time.

Elaine Roberts

Strategic Advisor, Resilience Rising

Elaine is focused on driving change for social impact in both not for profit organisations and businesses. She specialises in optimising customer and commercial propositions aligned to strategic business change, to maximise stakeholder value. Elaine’s leadership background is as a CMO in global organisations, including roles as a growth driver, customer champion, chief storyteller, capability builder and innovation catalyst, across the telecommunications, energy, automotive, transport and professional services sectors. Elaine is currently the interim Director of Strategic Communications at Resilience Rising, building the brand presence of the new NGO consortium through leadership, business, infrastructure, and climate change adaptation.

She is a Trustee at Stop the Traffik, was previously a Trustee at EngineeringUK, and the Enham Trust. Elaine has worked for Lloyd’s Register, BCA Marketplace, Centrica, Vodafone and Motorola. She was an officer in the REME, British Army. Elaine has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Defence Technology and is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Laura Saarinen

Operations and Grants Manager, Resilience Rising

Laura Saarinen is the Operations and Grants Manager at Resilience Rising. She joined the team from NCD Alliance, a global civil society network where she worked as part of their Partnerships & Membership team.

Laura started her career as a journalist in her home country in Finland, and later supported the work of the press offices at the U.S. embassies in Sweden and the UK. More recently, Laura coordinated media development activities under an international, cross-sector consortium at Thomson Reuters Foundation. Prior to that, she coordinated the set up and delivery of a pilot grants programme at Institute for Strategic Dialogue, in collaboration with Google.org.

Laura is passionate about supporting and building strong teams, and developing networks and programmes that are diverse, inclusive, and have long-term impact on societal challenges.

Before moving to the UK, Laura completed a BA in journalism in Finland and an MA in media and communication studies in Sweden.

Roman Svidran

Brand and Visual Designer, Resilience Rising

Roman is a Visual Designer and creative with a background in branding, user interface and user experience. Prior to his role at Resilience Rising, he worked at Arup International Development, design agencies, and helping start-ups as an independent consultant and designer. Roman steered away from commercial work and found passion in the fields of resilience, sustainability, and international development. He was involved in designing on subjects of urban resilience, organisational transformation, climate change, inclusive environments, and essential services – such as water and sanitation. Outputs of his work vary, from branding, publications, and workshop design to website and application design. Some of the most important underlying principles for his work are human-centered design, ethics and empathy, sustainable design, and systems thinking. 

Gemma Cowan

Communications Manager, Resilience Rising

Gemma is the Communications Manager for Resilience Rising and the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure. Prior to this, she worked as Communications Manager for the Resilience Shift.

Gemma has communications experience in the commercial and development sectors, and spent many years working with marginalised groups in Cape Town’s townships, sharing their stories and working alongside them to create sustainable socio-economic change in their communities. She is skilled in external communications, advocacy, strategy, and project management. Prior to joining The Resilience Shift, Gemma took a career break to complete an MSc Sustainable Development, focussing her research on the effect of gender equity on apparel value chains. Gemma’s core interests lie at the intersection of social justice and climate change issues; she applies a systems approach to problem-solving and believes that solutions to these challenges need to be inclusive, community-led and holistic.

Billie Donovan

Programme Coordinator, ICSI

Billie is Programme Coordinator at the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, and Climate Community Executive for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Billie has experience working in the charity, research and academic sectors and has a BSc in Biological Sciences. Prior to joining ICSI/ ICE she had administrative and project management roles at the Natural History Museum and Cancer Research UK. At ICE, Billie provides secretariat support to low carbon and sustainability focused Community Advisory Boards and works on projects such as ICE Carbon Champions. She dedicates the other 50% of her time to ICSI-led initiates. Billie’s core interests lie in developing advocates for a more sustainable future and working with industry experts to provide resilience-driven solutions to the carbon and climate change challenges impacting the Civil Engineering sector.

Katie Momber

Programme Manage, ICSI

Katie is Programme Manager at the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, and Climate Community Manager at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Katie has worked in ICE’s Engineering Knowledge team for over two years, consulting with networks of experts in engineering and sustainability to advance thinking around best practices and barriers to progress.

Katie’s previous professional experience has been in the UK Charity Sector, and prior to joining ICSI and ICE, she completed an MSc at UCL on Environment, Politics and Society, and also has a Human Geography BA. Katie has a keen interest in the social value of infrastructure and community-based resilience solutions. She believes that collaboration between industry, government and civil society will be key to cracking some of the most pressing climate dilemmas of our time.

Beena Chester

Director of Business Engagement, Resilience First

Beena is responsible for the strategic partnership and engagement direction of Resilience First’s corporate membership and networks.

With over 20 years’ experience in the membership sector, Beena was previously the Events Director at London First, where she grew their programme of membership engagement through an expanded calendar of events with senior executives and politicians, whilst at the same time leading on large-scale commercial summits (including East West Institute’s second Worldwide Cyber Security Summit) and awards ceremonies. Beena also spearheaded Skills London, the UK’s largest careers fair for 15 to 24 years old, and the London Planning Awards, organised in partnership with the Mayor of London.

Prior to that, Beena was the Head of Membership at the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain (FCCGB), where she grew their membership base and introduced new member services to increase the network’s engagement. At the FCCGB, Beena also had the opportunity to work with the French government as well as HRH The Prince of Wales.

Beena currently sits on the Board of the Global Tech Advocates Future of Work Committee and is excited to also recently be appointed to the International Security Expo Advisory Council.

Outside of work, Beena enjoys life with her family, yoga and travelling.

George Karagiannis

Engineering Leadership Group Director

George is the Director of the Engineering Leadership Group, the first of its kind peer to peer engagement platform with a vision to capture the voice of engineering firms worldwide. The Engineering Leadership Group is created and delivered by Resilience First and the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, members of the Resilience Rising Consortium.

From 2019 to 2022, he was Greece's Deputy Secretary-General for Civil Protection (US equivalent: Deputy FEMA Administrator). Before that, he was Technical Officer at the European Commission Joint Research Center, where his area of expertise revolved around emergency management, critical infrastructure protection and hybrid threats. Prior to joining the Joint Research Center, he was a Disaster Management Consultant. He has worked in four countries, developed two strategic national risk assessments, helped organize over 60 exercises, developed a dozen emergency operations plans and responded to disasters in the field. He also was a Research Scientist at the Technical University of Crete in Greece, where his interdisciplinary research lay at the intersection of systems engineering and disaster resilience.

George earned his Doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from Saint-Etienne School of Mines in France. He also holds degrees in Civil Engineering, Disaster Management and Business Administration, and is a Certified Emergency Manager by the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Laura Michelon

Marketing Manager, Resilience First

Born and raised in Venice, Italy, Laura obtained two master’s degrees in Languages, Economic & Legal Institutions of East Asia, and Advertising: Art Direction & Copywriting and has worked in several countries.

As a marketing strategist, Laura has gained a wealth of knowledge while creating and delivering engaging, effective, and often award-winning communications campaigns across digital and traditional channels.

She is multilingual and that along with her global work experience has allowed Laura the opportunity to gain insights and adapt to a variety of professional cultures.

She is a member of the Tate Museum and enjoys fine-dining, basketball, yoga and meditation.

Theo Bachrach

Campaign Manager, Resilience Rising

Theo is a Campaign Manager at Resilience Rising. Prior to this he worked for the Resilience Shift.

He has a background in campaigns and coalition building where he has worked at the national and sub-national level across Europe, North America and Africa within the private and public sector.

In 2021 he was seconded from the Resilience Shift to the UN Climate Champions team to coordinate the Race to Resilience campaign and establish the Resilience Hub at COP26, the first-time resilience has had a permanent home at a COP.

His professional and personal interests include mobilising non-state actors to understand and build resilience to the impacts of climate change and expanding opportunities for young people to participate in policy making and advocacy.

He holds a first-class degree in International Relations and is slowly improving at Spanish.

Rich Baldwin

Programme Director, Resilience4Ports

Richard has over 30 years of professional, high-end experiences in environmental sciences and public outreach, with particular expertise in resiliency projects including storm recovery and remedial actions, flood-event evaluations, environmental investigations and waterway studies at all levels of the resiliency “food chain” including for private, federal and public clients and institutions. He has led Hurricane Sandy recovery operations and post-Sandy resiliency projects, most notably including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Rebuild by Design competition and projects located both on Long Island, New York and Revere, Massachusetts wherein nature-based solutions were selected for design and eventual implementation. In his global climate change practice area, Rich has specialized in utilizing “Living with Nature and Blue-Green” resiliency intervention measure such as living reefs, stabilized sand dunes, land re-sculpting, marsh-land restoration, etc., where appropriate. Rich also has a strong renewable-energy practice in which he is focusing on developing an U.S. East Coast-based offshore wind (OSW) industry, including addressing the required highly-specialized port facilities which will soon be required to support the buildout of the evolving marketplace. He is also actively involved in assessing the OSW-industry specific vessels and logistical models which will be required to comport with the Jones Act. Finally, in this workspace, Rich is a senior practitioner in bringing all levels of the OSW supply chain to the U.S. which is currently anchored in Europe and Asia.

Rich is a licensed Professional Geologist in New York and in Pennsylvania, an American Institute of Professional Geologists Certified Professional Geologist and an Adjunct Professor in the Earth Sciences Department at State University of New York at Stony Brook. Rich also has a strong volunteer life and serves on a committee with the Peconic Land Trust and is a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) with East Moriches Community Ambulance, both of which are his way of giving back to the communities that have provided him with so much. He and his wife Stephanie (who is also an environmental scientist) live out on Eastern Long Island, New York.

Sophie Bedecarré Ernst

Communications and Special Projects Manager, Resilience Rising

Sophie is Communications and Special Projects Manager at Resilience Rising. Prior to this, Sophie led communications for the National Academy of Design, a 200-year-old non-profit membership organization of prominent American artists. Prior to working at the National Academy of Design, Sophie was part of the Communications and Events team at C40 Cities for nearly five years. In her time at C40, Sophie managed communications for a wide range of strategic projects with a focus on C40’s Global Green New Deal, Global Youth Initiative and creative campaigns. She has played a key role in developing strategic communications plans for large-scale global campaigns, events and organization-wide goals, drawing from her educational background in environmental justice and the visual arts. Sophie lives in Brooklyn and enjoys spending time with her dog, knitting and painting. 

Gemma Cowan

Communications Manager, Resilience Rising

Gemma is the Communications Manager for Resilience Rising and the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure. Prior to this, she worked as Communications Manager for the Resilience Shift.

Gemma has communications experience in the commercial and development sectors, and spent many years working with marginalised groups in Cape Town’s townships, sharing their stories and working alongside them to create sustainable socio-economic change in their communities. She is skilled in external communications, advocacy, strategy, and project management. Prior to joining The Resilience Shift, Gemma took a career break to complete an MSc Sustainable Development, focussing her research on the effect of gender equity on apparel value chains. Gemma’s core interests lie at the intersection of social justice and climate change issues; she applies a systems approach to problem-solving and believes that solutions to these challenges need to be inclusive, community-led and holistic.

Amanda Eichel

Senior Advisor, Resilience Rising

Amanda has championed the cause of urban climate action over the past two decades. Working for two of the world’s leading cities on sustainability, first in Seattle and then in New York City, she pioneered efforts to develop city networks to rapidly scale climate change solutions, most recently as Executive Director of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

Recognized globally as an urban climate change leader, she founded, built or led some of the world’s most impactful initiatives to deliver meaningful city action on climate change, including the Compact of Mayors, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.

Amanda has also worked for the state of California, was a senior advisor to Mike Bloomberg as the Special Envoy on Climate Action to the Secretary General of the U.N. and has spearheaded numerous collaborations and innovations to drive climate action at the local level.

Dave Hall

Web Designer, Resilience Rising

Dave is a web designer, developer, writer and filmmaker. He began working with the Resilience Shift on their website in 2018, and his role has expanded to cover design and development across the consortium’s partner websites and projects as well as video work. Working as part of the communications team, he contributes both creatively and practically to Resilience Rising’s messaging and identity.

He has worked to create user-friendly and unique interactive designs to showcase our work, for example Infrastructure Pathways, the Resilience Toolbox and stories such as the Resilient Leadership report and Securing Our Future Through Resilient Infrastructure, the Resilience Shift’s mission statement.

Dave holds a degree in philosophy from Cambridge University. Also a writer and director, his debut narrative feature film, Passing Through, is currently in festivals.

Amy Leitch

Arup Strategic Partnership Manager

Amy is an Associate of Arup’s Climate Services and Sustainability portfolio, based in New York.  Amy helps cities, businesses and communities strategize to enhance their organizational and community capacity and adapt and thrive in the face of climate change and other shocks and stresses. Her systemic approach brings together multi-disciplinary teams to integrate technical expertise with stakeholder engagement and a commitment to social value. She works with organizations including local governments, city networks, multinational corporations, real estate developers, universities and philanthropic foundations to help them manage risk and build adaptive capacity. She brings over 15 years of US and international experience; her more recent work has focused on centering racial equity in climate action planning and practice. Amy was selected as a national award winner 2021 “40 Under 40” by Consulting-Specifying Engineer.

Between 2020 and March 2022, Amy was the Head of Programmes of the Resilience Shift, Arup’s flagship initiative, supported by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, aiming to enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure and leading the creation of new knowledge and guidance to support a shift in thinking, practice and learning.

Amy oversaw The Resilience Shift’s cohort of initiatives, and delivered projects focused on cross-sectoral exploration of the impact of disruption, the role of leadership in climate action, translation of climate science for urban policymakers and business leaders and a a multi-stakeholder, whole-systems approach to enhance the resilience of ports, as a nexus of critical infrastructure systems, amongst other initiatives. Amy also supported the organization’s successful transition to an independent not for profit entity, providing continuity of The Resilience Shift’s knowledge base and projects.

Juliet Mian

Arup Strategic Partnership Director

Juliet is a Director of Arup’s Climate Services and Sustainability portfolio.  She specialises in assessment and enhancement of the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate change and other shocks and stresses.  She brings over 25 years’ experience on a broad range of infrastructure projects both in the UK and internationally.

Juliet works closely with clients across transportation, energy and water sectors, using this cross-sectoral capability to focus on interdependencies across the system of systems.

Between 2018 and March 2022 Juliet was Director of the Resilience Shift, Arup’s flagship initiative aiming to enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure, supported by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, leading the creation of new knowledge and guidance support a shift in thinking, practice and learning.  She oversaw its successful transition to becoming an independent not for profit entity. She is also the Global Skills Leader for Arup’s Resilience Skills Network, responsible for research, knowledge and learning across our growing community of resilience practitioners.

Elaine Roberts

Strategic Advisor, Resilience Rising

Elaine is focused on driving change for social impact in both not for profit organisations and businesses. She specialises in optimising customer and commercial propositions aligned to strategic business change, to maximise stakeholder value. Elaine’s leadership background is as a CMO in global organisations, including roles as a growth driver, customer champion, chief storyteller, capability builder and innovation catalyst, across the telecommunications, energy, automotive, transport and professional services sectors. Elaine is currently the interim Director of Strategic Communications at Resilience Rising, building the brand presence of the new NGO consortium through leadership, business, infrastructure, and climate change adaptation.

She is a Trustee at Stop the Traffik, was previously a Trustee at EngineeringUK, and the Enham Trust. Elaine has worked for Lloyd’s Register, BCA Marketplace, Centrica, Vodafone and Motorola. She was an officer in the REME, British Army. Elaine has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Defence Technology and is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Laura Saarinen

Operations and Grants Manager, Resilience Rising

Laura Saarinen is the Operations and Grants Manager at Resilience Rising. She joined the team from NCD Alliance, a global civil society network where she worked as part of their Partnerships & Membership team.

Laura started her career as a journalist in her home country in Finland, and later supported the work of the press offices at the U.S. embassies in Sweden and the UK. More recently, Laura coordinated media development activities under an international, cross-sector consortium at Thomson Reuters Foundation. Prior to that, she coordinated the set up and delivery of a pilot grants programme at Institute for Strategic Dialogue, in collaboration with Google.org.

Laura is passionate about supporting and building strong teams, and developing networks and programmes that are diverse, inclusive, and have long-term impact on societal challenges.

Before moving to the UK, Laura completed a BA in journalism in Finland and an MA in media and communication studies in Sweden.

Roman Svidran

Brand and Visual Designer, Resilience Rising

Roman is a Visual Designer and creative with a background in branding, user interface and user experience. Prior to his role at Resilience Rising, he worked at Arup International Development, design agencies, and helping start-ups as an independent consultant and designer. Roman steered away from commercial work and found passion in the fields of resilience, sustainability, and international development. He was involved in designing on subjects of urban resilience, organisational transformation, climate change, inclusive environments, and essential services – such as water and sanitation. Outputs of his work vary, from branding, publications, and workshop design to website and application design. Some of the most important underlying principles for his work are human-centered design, ethics and empathy, sustainable design, and systems thinking.