Presenter Profiles

JackieSpier_2Congresswoman Jackie Speier – Jackie Speier has lived her entire life inside California’s 14th Congressional District and in 2008 was elected to represent the district in Congress.  Previously she had served the residents of the San Francisco Peninsula while on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and the California State Assembly and State Senate. In total she has over 29 years of representative public service.

Jackie serves on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee. She is a member of her party’s leadership team as Senior Whip, working within the Democratic caucus to push issues that will create jobs and strengthen the middle class. In January, 2013, Jackie was appointed to serve as a Vice Chair of the congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

Rich Photo - Small_2Assemblyman Rich Gordon  – Assemblyman Rich Gordon was elected to the State Assembly in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. In the State Assembly Gordon chairs the Assembly’s Rules Committee; is a member of the Business, Professions and Consumer Protections committee; the Committees on Budget; Health; Local Government; Revenue & Taxation; chairs the LGBT Caucus; co-chairs the Bay Area Caucus; and is the Chair of the Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy.

Assemblyman Gordon previously served 13 years on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and is a past President of the California State Association of Counties. Prior to his service on the Board of Supervisors, Gordon served on the County Board of Education and worked as executive director of a non-profit youth agency and as a minister in the United Methodist Church.

DavePine_HP_2San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine – Dave Pine was elected to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in a special election in May 2011. He represents District 1 which includes Burlingame, Hillsborough, Millbrae, San Bruno, and portions of South San Francisco; the unincorporated communities of San Mateo Highlands, Baywood Park and Burlingame Hills; and the San Francisco Airport.

Pine serves on numerous county and regional boards and commissions including: the SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission; the SF Bay Restoration Authority; the Association of Bay Area Governments; the San Mateo County First Five Commission; and the Health Plan of San Mateo.

Supervisor Pine previously was a school board member for the Burlingame School District from 2003 to 2007 and the San Mateo Union High School District from 2007 to 2011. He is a past president of the San Mateo County School Boards Association, and also was an education policy advisor to Steve Westly during his 2006 California gubernatorial campaign.

Pine has been active in a wide variety of civic and nonprofit organizations including: The Committee for Green Foothills; Community GatePath; the San Mateo County Transportation Authority Citizens Advisory Committee; and the San Mateo County Blue Ribbon Autism Task Force.

Before focusing his career on public service, Pine worked as an attorney representing start-up and high-growth technology companies. After working in private practice with Fenwick & West, he served as Vice President and General Counsel for Radius, Excite@Home and Handspring.  Originally from New Hampshire, Pine is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School.

John Englander RevisedJohn Englander, author “High Tide on Main Street” – John Englander is an oceanographer, consultant and sea level rise expert. His broad marine science background coupled with degrees in Geology and Economics allows him to see the big picture on climate and look ahead to the large-scale financial and societal impacts, particularly as they relate to sea level rise.  He brings the diverse points of view of an industry scientist, entrepreneur and CEO.

For over 30 years, he has been a leader in both the private sector and the non-profit arena, serving as CEO for such noteworthy organizations as The Cousteau Society and The International SeaKeepers Society.  Today, he works with businesses, government agencies, and communities helping them understand the financial risks of long-term sea level rise.

His book, High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis, was released on October 22, 2012, one week before Hurricane Sandy. Prophetically, it described just such an event hitting New York City as one example of what might occur.

Mr. Englander is a sought after keynote speaker. His recent media appearances include MSNBC, Fox Business Channel, Al Jazeera America, National Public Radio (NPR), and SkyNews TV-UK.  He has been featured in USA Today, Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Publisher’s Weekly.

John Englander is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and The Explorers Club and the Special Advisor at Global Environment and Technology Foundation. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Travis Head Shot_2Will Travis, Former BCDC Executive Director – Will Travis is a consultant, writer, teacher and speaker who focuses on using sea level rise adaptation planning as a means of advancing economic prosperity in the Bay Area. He served as the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) from 1995 to 2011. At BCDC he oversaw the formulation of the nation’s first state coastal management agency regulations for addressing sea level rise in shoreline development. In 2012 he served as the Senior Advisor to the Bay Area Joint Policy Committee where he coordinated the efforts of four regional agencies to advance future economic prosperity and address climate change in the region’s land use planning. He has degrees in architecture and regional planning from Penn State.

Tom PalmerLarry Goldzband, BCDC Executive Director – Larry Goldzband (415/352-3653, has been Executive Director of BCDC since August 2012.  Larry has worked for members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, was Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary for former Governor Pete Wilson, and was Director of the California Department of Conservation.  In the private sector, he managed Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s charitable contributions program for over ten years, which provided almost $20M in grants annually (mainly to northern California-based charitable organizations), and was Executive Director of the PG&E Corporation Foundation.  In addition, Larry twice served as a BCDC Commissioner for a total of almost ten years.  Larry received his undergraduate degree from Pomona College and his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASam Schuchat, Executive Director, California State Coastal Conservancy – Sam Schuchat became Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy in July 2001. He serves on the boards of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority, the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, and the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission. He served on the California Fish and Game Commission from 1999 to 2004 including two years as Vice-President. He was the Executive Director of the Federation of State Conservation Voter Leagues from 1998 to 2001; the Federation is the trade association of 26 environmental Political Action Committees (PAC) in as many states. From 1992 to 1998 he was the Executive Director of the California League of Conservation Voters, the nation’s largest and oldest state environmental PAC with 25,000 members.

Craig ConnorCraig Conner, Flood Risk Program Manager, US Army Corp. of Engineers – Craig Conner is the Flood Risk Management program manager for the San Francisco District of the US Army Corps of Engineers.  Craig has over 25 years of experience working for the Federal Government on marine, coastal, and riverine engineering projects as an engineer, project manager, planner, and program manager.  He has represented the District at many interagency meetings on climate change, specifically addressing the Corps’ policy on sea level rise and the philosophy of shared responsibility among Federal, State, and local agencies to plan for climate change.  Craig earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Oceanography from Humboldt State University in 1981 and a Master of Science degree in Ocean Engineering in 1986 from the University of Miami.

Kathleen Schaefer, Regional Engineer, Risk Analysis, FEMA , Region IX– Ms Schaefer is a Regional Engineer in the Mitigation Division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region IX Office.  Ms. Schaefer is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of California and a Certified Floodplain Manager.   As a Regional Engineer, Ms. Schaefer oversees development and preparation of FEMA National Flood Insurance Program flood mapping products.   This included the production of new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps under FEMA’s Map Modernization Initiative and currently, it includes overseeing the production of new Flood Risk Identification products under FEMA’s RiskMAP initiative.  Ms. Schaefer is the recipient of 2012 Hogg-Owen Award for Meritorious Achievement in Floodplain Management, presented by the Floodplain Management Association.

She has earned a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia – Charlottesville and a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Maximilian Auffhammer ResizedMaximillian Auffhammer, George Pardee Jr. Professor of International Sustainable Development, UC Berkeley – Professor Auffhammer received his B.S. in environmental science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1996, a M.S. in environmental and resource economics at the same institution in 1998 and a Ph.D. in economics from UC San Diego in 2003. He joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2003. His research focuses on environmental and resource economics, energy economics and  applied econometrics. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in the  Energy and Environmental Economics group, a Humboldt Fellow, and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Professor Auffhammer serves as Co-Editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. His research has appeared in The American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Economic Journal, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, The Energy Journal and other academic journals. Professor Auffhammer is the recipient of the 2007 Cozzarelli Prize awarded by the National Academies of Sciences, the 2009 Campus Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2007 Sarlo Distinguished Mentoring Award.

JPotter2013_2Julian Potter, Chief of Staff, San Francisco International Airport – Julian Potter is Chief of Staff and Director of Government Affairs and Policy at San Francisco International Airport. She is responsible for federal, state and local policy initiatives, legislative mandates and strategic partnerships with elected officials, business organizations and aviation trade associations. Her role includes oversight of the Airport’s environmental and sustainability policies making SFO a leader in green initiatives culminating in the lowering of the Airport’s energy use by 34% from 1990 levels. She also provides strategic support to High Speed Rail and other transportation initiatives in the region.

Julian has spent 20 years in public policy and executive positions working as a Deputy Assistant Secretary at Housing and Urban Development, Director of Policy for the City and County of San Francisco, Chief Operating Officer for a building and construction trade apprenticeship program and Special Assistant to the President.

She has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the New School for Social Research in New York

Len Materman Picture_2Len Materman, San Francisquito Creek JPA Executive Director – Len Materman is the Executive Director of the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (, a government agency serving multiple communities on the San Francisco Peninsula. Among its multi-jurisdictional projects is the design and environmental review of new facilities to protect Menlo Park and East Palo Alto from a 100-year Bay tide with fifty years of Sea Level Rise that will enable significant ecosystem and recreational enhancements.  Previously, Len worked at Stanford University; as a consultant to nonprofits, foundations, and the U.S. State Department; and as executive producer of a film broadcast nationally on PBS. During the Clinton Administration, he served as a full-time advisor to the Director of FEMA and as FEMA’s representative on two White House Task Forces. Prior to his work in Washington, Len was the director of government affairs for UC Berkeley, and he received degrees in political science and biological sciences from UC Davis.

Larry PattersonLarry Patterson, Interim City Manager, City of San Mateo – Mr. Patterson joined the City of San Mateo as its Public Works Director in June 2000 after providing traffic engineering consulting services to the City for over 9 years.  He was recently appointed Interim City Manager and will serve until a permanent City Manager is selected early next year.  As Public Works Director, Mr. Patterson has been responsible for engineering, maintenance, wastewater treatment and facilities management within the City.  He managed a Public Works Department with 120 full time employees and an operating budget of $27 million.

Prior to joining the City of San Mateo Mr. Patterson owned his own consulting engineering firm and provided traffic consulting services throughout northern California.  Mr. Patterson has over 35 years of experience.  He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and his Masters of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies.  He is a registered professional Civil Engineer.

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