The Rebuilders: Governor Cuomo Names Three Commissions to Assess Storm Preparedness

Hurricane Sandy was a moment of reckoning for the city, and that reckoning has begun. The general consensus is that the

Never again. (Governor’s Office/Flickr)

Hurricane Sandy was a moment of reckoning for the city, and that reckoning has begun. The general consensus is that the city and the state must build back better, stronger and quite likely differently than before. Are sea walls appropriate? Should we let people live on barrier islands? What kind of improvements should be made to our transportation infrastructure, and how?

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These are among the questions our leaders will be grappling with, and to help answer them, Gov. Cuomo has just announced three new commissions, NYS 2100, NYS Respond and NYS Ready. The commissioners are a who’s who of business, infrastructure, environmental, planning, utilities and emergency preparedness professionals and experts. As Gov. Cuomo made clear, their job is neither simple nor easy.

“These three commissions have been tasked with a significant responsibility, and we need the best and brightest professionals to serve on them,” Mr. Cuomo said in a release. “These appointments consist of experienced men and women who have the skills and backgrounds necessary to review and make recommendations for New York State to improve its preparedness and response capabilities as well as to strengthen the state’s infrastructure for the future.”

Below are the descriptions, responsibilities and members of each of the commissions, as outlined by the governor’s office:

NYS 2100 Commission

The NYS 2100 Commission is tasked with finding ways to improve the resilience and strength of the state’s infrastructure in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies. The Commission will be co-chaired by Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Felix G. Rohatyn, former Chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation. In addition to President Rodin’s leadership and expertise, the Rockefeller Foundation will provide both staff expertise and other assistance in developing the Commission’s report and recommendations. The Commission’s preliminary recommendations are due January 3, 2013.

Specific areas the Commission has been charged to review and make recommendations on include:
· Strategies to protect existing transportation, energy, environmental, and other infrastructure systems to withstand natural disasters and other emergencies;
· Priority projects to replace damaged infrastructure or to diversify or make more resilient our infrastructure; 
· Long-term options for the use of barriers and natural protective systems; 
· Opportunities to integrate infrastructure planning, protection and development into New York’s economic development strategies; and 
· Reforms in the area of insurance and risk management related to natural disasters and other emergencies.

· Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation (Co-Chair)
· Felix Rohatyn, Senior Advisor to Chairman and CEO, Lazard (Co-Chair)
· Richard T. Anderson, President, New York Building Congress 
· Dan Arvizu, Director and CEO, U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewal Energy Laboratory 
· Walter Bell, Former Chair, Swiss Re America Holding Company
· Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Advisory Member)
· Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, London, England
· Lloyd Dixon, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation 
· Mortimer L. Downey, Vice Chair, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
· Clark W. Gellings, Fellow, Electric Power Research Institute
· Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (Advisory Member)
· J. Robert Hunter, Insurance Director, Consumer Federation of America
· Sudhakar Kesavan, Chair and CEO, ICF International
· Roy Kienitz, Former Under Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation
· Timothy Killeen, President, SUNY Research Foundation and SUNY Vice-Chancellor for Research 
· Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund
· Sylvia Lee, Water Manager, Skoll Global Threats
· Joe Lhota, Chair and CEO of the Metropolitan Transit Authority 
· Miho Mazereeuw, Lecturer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
· Guy J.P. Nordenson, Partner, Guy Nordenson and Associates
· John Porcari, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation (Advisory Member)
· Robert Puentes, Senior Fellow Brookings Institute
· Gil Quiniones, President and CEO, New York Power Authority 
· Jack Quinn, President, Erie Community College
· Scott Rechler, Vice-Chair, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 
· Jonathan F.P. Rose, President, Jonathan Rose Companies
· Lisa Rosenblum, Executive Vice-President for Government and Public Affairs, Cablevision 
· John Shinn, USW District 4 Director, United Steelworkers
· Mark Tercek, President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy
· Robert D. Yaro, President, Regional Plan Association (also member of the NY Works Task Force)

NYS Respond Commission

The NYS Respond Commission is tasked with finding ways to ensure that New York State is ready to respond to future weather-related disasters. The Commission will examine and make recommendations to improve the planning, training and resource commitment that must occur before the next major weather event in order for the appropriate deployment of people and resources to take place during and after the emergency or disaster occurs. The Commission will be co-chaired by Thad Allen, Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, and Admiral (US Coast Guard, Retired), and Brad Penuel, Director of the Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response at New York University. The Commission’s recommendations are due to the Governor by January 3, 2013.

Specific areas the Commission has been charged to review and make recommendations on include ensuring that:
· sufficient trained personnel can be activated for emergency response and recovery efforts
· the health and safety of hospital patients and other vulnerable persons are protected during an emergency
· the public is provided with reliable and timely information
· every locality has planned and is prepared for a disaster
· emergency responses are effectively coordinated across all levels of government
· adverse events are rapidly responded to and post-emergency needs such as shelter, food, water, electricity and essential appliances are identified and met

· Thad Allen, Senior Vice President, Booz Allen; Admiral (US Coast Guard) – Retired (Co-Chair)
· K. Bradley Penuel, Director, Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response at New York University (Co-Chair)
· Doug Barton, Director of Planning & Economic Development, Tioga County
· Patricia Bashaw, EMS Coordinator, Essex County 
· Bradford Berk, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences & CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center
· LaRay Brown, Senior Vice President, Corporate Planning, Community Health and Intergovernmental Relations, NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation
· Major General Doug Burnett, Florida National Guard (Ret.) 
· James Burns, President, Firemen’s Association of the State of New York
· The Reverend Frederick Davie, Executive Vice President, Union Theological Seminary in New York City
· Peter J. Davoren, President and Chief Executive Officer, Turner Construction
· Grant Dillon, President, Global Preparedness and Mitigation
· Eli Feldman, President & CEO, MJHS and Elderplan
· Peter Gudaitis, President, National Disaster Interfaiths Network
· Tony Hannigan, Executive Director, Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) 
· Jerome Hauer, Commissioner, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (Advisory Member)
· Scott Heller, Director of Emergency Management, Albany Medical Center
· Tino Hernandez, President & Chief Executive Officer, Samaritan Village, Inc. 
· Bart Johnson, Executive Director, International Association of Chiefs of Police
· Timothy Manning, Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, FEMA (Advisory Member)
· Mike McManus, President, New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association
· Thomas Mungeer, President, New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association
· Chris Renschler, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Buffalo
· Marilyn Saviola, Vice President, Advocacy and the Women’s Health Access Program, Independence Care System
· Jennifer Schneider, Professor & Russell C. McCarthy Endowed Chair, Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management & Safety Department, Rochester Institute of Technology
· Mark J. Solazzo, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, North Shore-LIJ Health System
· Harry L. Weed, II, Superintendent of Public Works, Village of Rockville Centre
· Sheena Wright, President, United Way of New York City

NYS Ready Commission

The NYS Ready Commission is tasked with finding ways to ensure critical systems and services are prepared for future natural disasters and other emergencies. The Commission will be co-chaired by Ira M. Millstein, Senior Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, and Dr. Irwin Redlener, Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The Commission’s recommendations are due to the Governor by January 3, 2013.

Specific areas the Commission has been charged to review and make recommendations on include:
· addressing vulnerabilities in the State’s health care, energy, transportation, communications and other systems
· ensuring that new, modified and existing construction is resilient
· ensuring the availability of adequate equipment, fuel, food, water and other emergency supplies
· ensuring that first responders and other critical personnel are able to communicate efficiently and have access to adequate resources
· ensuring the availability of reliable real-time information for decision-makers
· ensuring that lines of authority are clear and officials have the authority to react rapidly to emergency situations.

· Ira Millstein, Senior Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (Co-Chair)
· Irwin Redlener, Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University (Co-Chair)
· William Acker, Executive Director, NY-BEST
· Scott Amrhein, President, Continuing Care Leadership Coalition
· Robert Atkinson, Director of Policy Research, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information at Columbia University
· Guruduth Banavar, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Global Public Sector, IBM
· Donald Capoccia, Managing Principal & Founder, BFC Partners
· Mae Carpenter, Commissioner, Westchester County Department of Senior Programs & Services 
· Gerry Cauley, President & CEO, North American Electric Reliability Corporation
· Mary Ann Christopher, President & CEO, Visiting Nurse Service of New York
· Arthur V. Gorman, Jr., Lieutenant Colonel, US Marine Corps (Ret.) 
· Patricia A. Hoffman, Assistant Secretary of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy (Advisory Member)
· William Hooke, Senior Policy Fellow and Director, American Meteorological Society
· John Kemp, President & CEO, The Viscardi Center
· Kit Kennedy, Counsel to the Air & Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
· Steven Levy, Managing Director, Sprague Energy
· Robert Mayer, Vice President – Industry and State Affairs, US Telecom
· Daniel McCartan, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Western New York Regional Resource Center & Erie County Medical Center 
· John Merklinger, 9-1-1 Coordinator, Monroe County, and President, New York State 9-1-1 Coordinators Association
· Cynthia Morrow, Commissioner of Health, Onondaga County 
· Major General Patrick A. Murphy, Adjutant General of New York State (Advisory Member)
· Kyle Olson, Founder, The Olson Group
· Walter Parkes, Chairman, O’Connell Electric Company, Inc. 
· Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University
· Howard Schmidt, Former Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator
· Denise Scott, Managing Director, LISC
· D. Gregory Scott, Senior Vice President, Terminal Operations & Petroleum Distribution, Gulf Oil
· S. Shyam Sunder, Director, Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 
· Major General (Retired) Joseph J. Taluto, Former Adjutant General, New York State
· Anthony Townsend, Associate Research Scientist, Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, New York University
· Russell Unger, Executive Director, Urban Green Building Council
· Susan C. Waltman, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) 
· William “Bill” Wilson, President & CEO, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of New York
· John E. Zuccotti, Co-Chairman, Brookfield Office Properties

For biographies of commission members, please go to:

The Rebuilders: Governor Cuomo Names Three Commissions to Assess Storm Preparedness