Resilience touches every sector. It’s critical to the success of almost every business, market, and profession. Our members cross disciplines, with backgrounds in civil and environmental engineering, land use planning and development, geoscience, geography, insurance, disaster and crisis risk management, finance, accounting, law, communications, utilities, and technology.
University of Pennsylvania
Robert Fetell is a student in the MS of Applied Geosciences (Engineering Geology) program at the University of Pennsylvania after graduating summa cum laude from Penn with a degree in Earth Science.
His work experience spans an internship in Government Relations at Shell International, B.V. (in the Hague, Netherlands); an internship at Ramboll, a Danish Civil Engineering firm; and a resilience internship for the Miami Beach Commissioner who chairs the Land Use & Sustainability Committee. Robert also served as Penn’s UN Youth Delegate to the “Innovation and Collaboration for a Sustainable World” Conference and was appointed by the City of Miami Beach Commission to serve on the Board of the City’s Next Generation Council.
These experiences led Robert to follow an inner calling to mitigate the consequences of climate change in his hometown of Miami Beach, FL and found a nonprofit organization – the Resilience Youth Network – to unite young people behind climate adaptation and natural hazard resilience.
Alec Rodriguez is a water resources engineer at Atkins, a member of SNC-Lavalin Group, in Denver, Colorado. Alec began his career at Jacobs Engineering Group in Miami, Florida where he was born and raised. Alec is also an alum of the University of Miami, where he received his B.S. in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Climate Science and Policy. While at UM, he worked with a variety of different groups and teams on and off campus, including the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth Coastal Systems Program, the Net Zero Water Project, and the university’s Cuba Infrastructures Challenge Team. Alec also worked for CH2M Hill as a civil engineering intern for two summers and during his final semester.
After graduating, Alec moved to Denver, Colorado, where he now works for Jacobs Engineering Group as a water resources engineer. In addition to his water resources modeling and stormwater compliance work, Alec is a member of Jacobs’ Internet of Things (IOT)-Smart Sensors Group, where he has worked on risk and resilience assessments for water utilities, developing all-hazards risk assessments and risk reduction recommendations for water utilities throughout the United States.
Community Engagement Chair
Colorado School of Mines
Cassidy Grady is a graduate student pursuing an MS in Geological Engineering and a certificate in Humanitarian Engineering and Science from Colorado School of Mines where she recently graduated with a BS in Geological Engineering and a minor in Engineering for Community Development.
Cassidy is currently performing research on mapping geo-environmental hazards in the Arequipa region of Peru, specifically looking at rockfall hazard mapping using GIS and participatory methods such as local geographic knowledge. As an undergraduate, Cassidy was a project lead for an Engineers Without Borders water distribution project in Los Gomez, Nicaragua. She also co-founded a student organization named Socially Responsible Scientists and Engineers for students to engage with ideas about the role of social responsibility, sustainability, and community engagement in the context of engineering and science.
In her future career, Cassidy aims to continue working on projects that empower marginalized communities to develop their own forms of resilience against the impacts of climate change.
Digital Media Chair
FEMA Risk Management Directorate
Anne Sheehan is a Geospatial Risk Analyst and Emergency Management Geospatial Specialist at FEMA. Anne leverages GIS and project management skills to support the National Risk Index, an online mapping application that identifies communities most at risk to 18 natural hazards, and Hazus, a natural hazards risk estimation software. She believes that spreading awareness of natural hazard risk to the general public and investing in climate resilience prior to the occurrence of natural hazard events are crucial to reducing losses and ultimately saving lives.
Prior to joining FEMA, Anne served as the Parks Management GIS Intern Coordinator at the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, where she led GIS projects to help manage snow storms and other needs while teaching high school and college interns data analysis and GIS. In tandem, she interned at HIP Consult, where she researched and mapped fiber optic networks globally.
Anne holds a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies from The George Washington University. Her academic interests include remote sensing, urban heat island effect, equity, climate change, urban sustainability, environmental justice, and floodplain management.
Leila Bahrami is a senior urban planner and designer at CHPlanning, Ltd, and an Ecological Researcher and Environmental Planner with 5+ years of education spanning environmental analytics, planning frameworks, GIS mapping, and visual communications. She is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Design, where she received a masters in Landscape Architecture and a certificate in GIS and Spatial analysis.
Leila is interested in Urban Design and Resilient Landscapes, and currently works as a GIS and Remote Sensing Analyst at the Environmental Modeling Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Leila’s research centers on coastal wetland adaptation using multispectral imagery for vegetation analysis to locate and measure endangered species and map the costal wetland deterioration at urban-wildlife interfaces.
Leila also has extensive experience in landscape design working and researching nature-
based solutions and technologies to bring creative and interdisciplinary thinking to urban
design projects. Leila strongly believes in leveraging science to design more thoughtful landscapes that shapes our public spaces into resilient and sustainable community resources.
Lanziye (Lance) He
Global Outreach Chair
Xinhe Geotech Engineering & Construction
Lanziye He (Lance) is a University of Pennsylvania graduate candidate pursuing dual-degrees in a Masters of Environmental Science (Sustainability) and a Masters in Law. Prior to UPenn, Lance earned his bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University. Lance has a variety of academic and work experiences including: 1) an internship as an Electro-mechanical Engineer at Parker Hannifin – Porter Instrument Division in dental and medical instrumentation; 2) a research assistant experience at Bio-Polymer Microfabrication Lab where he worked on his thesis about stretch-and-fold methods for micro/nano fibers fabrication; and 3) a partnership in managing home remodeling projects in Pennsylvania.
Lance has extensive experience working as a project coordinator for Hunan Balin Xinhe Geotech LLC, which is a strategic partner in building construction foundations with the China State Construction Engineering Corporation – Fifth Division in Changsha, China.
Currently, Lance is working on the National Judicial Exam in China and preparing his application to JD programs in the U.S. Based on these experiences, Lance envisions his future career in the legal practice in environmental and resilience-related fields and international business, bridging parties in the West with Chinese stakeholders.
Urban Sustainability Chair
Dewberry Resilience Planning
Corey Wills is a dual degree student in the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Environmental Studies and Master of City Planning programs with a focus on resilience and adaptation practices. Her work has ranged from regional to site-specific resilience planning. At the regional level, she recently worked to mobilize regional watershed stakeholders in southwestern Pennsylvania to build a coalition for cross-boundary water resource management, worked with Dewberry to write and conduct stakeholder outreach for the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan, and co-designed a social vulnerability index to identify at-risk communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
At the local level, she created a GIS analysis of potential locations for urban food forests for food desert alleviation in Philadelphia and conducted stakeholder outreach to lay the foundation for a Cobbs Creek watershed coalition whose goal is to collaboratively and equitably manage and advocate for sustainable urban water resources. At the site-specific level, Corey wrote a successful grant proposal to site green roofs on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus to address various climate change scenarios and is working with a variety of diverse stakeholders to design and implement green stormwater infrastructure at Andrew Hamilton School in West Philadelphia.
Corey is passionate about sustainable water resource management, natural hazard mitigation and adaptation planning, climate resilience planning, and is particularly interested in equitable floodplain management and managed retreat strategies. Her professional goal is to leverage ethical, sustainable, and community-driven resilience planning to address climate change impacts in the urban environment.