Wednesday, June 19

Location: Faculty House, 64 Morningside Dr, 3rd floor

6:00pm: Check-in and Networking

6:30pm: Kick-Off Event

Welcome Remarks, Alex Halliday, Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

Remarks from Jainey Bavishi, Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Resiliency

Panel Discussion:

  • Moderated by Radley Horton, Lamont Associate Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, The Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE
  • Jesse Keenan, Lecturer in Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Visiting Scholar, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • Liz Koslov, Assistant Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Robin Bronen, Executive Director, Alaska Institute for Justice

8:00pm: Networking Reception

About the Speakers

Alex N. Halliday is the Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He joined the Earth Institute in April 2018, after spending more than a decade at the University of Oxford, during which time he was dean of science and engineering.

With about 400 published research papers, Halliday has been a pioneer in developing mass spectrometry to measure small isotopic variations in everything from meteorites to seawater to living organisms, helping to shed light on the birth and early development of our solar system, the interior workings of the Earth, and the processes that affect Earth’s surface environment.

His scientific achievements have been recognized through numerous awards, including the Murchison Medal of the Geological Society, the Bowen Award and Hess Medal of the American Geophysical Union, the Urey Medal of the European Association of Geochemistry, and the Oxburgh Medal of the Institute of Measurement and Control. He is a Fellow of the UK’s Royal Society and Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. His contributions to science and innovation have been recognized with the award of a knighthood in the UK.

Halliday has also helped to lead a variety of distinguished scientific societies and advisory panels. He is the former Vice President of the Royal Society and former President of the Geochemical Society. He has served as an external board member for Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council, the Max Planck Society, London’s Natural History Museum, the American Geophysical Union, and more.

As a professor in Columbia’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Halliday divides his time between Columbia’s Morningside campus and his geochemistry lab at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.


Jainey K. Bavishi currently serves as the Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency and Deputy Chief Resilience Officer, where she leads the City’s OneNYC resiliency program, preparing the city for the impacts of climate change and other 21st century threats.

Jainey most recently served as the Associate Director for Climate Preparedness at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In this role, she led the implementation of the climate preparedness pillar of the President’s Climate Action Plan. In the final year of the Obama Administration, she was responsible for embedding and institutionalizing climate resilience considerations across Federal programs and policies; advancing climate equity to address the disproportionate impacts of climate change on low-income and other vulnerable communities; and developing innovative approaches to climate adaptation finance.

Prior to this, Jainey served as the Executive Director of R3ADY Asia-Pacific based in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she was responsible for initiating, expanding and managing the start-up public-private partnership, which focused on enhancing disaster risk reduction and resilience in the Asia-Pacific region. Previously, she served as the Director of External Affairs and Senior Policy Advisor to the Administrator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington, DC. She was also the Founding Director of the Equity and Inclusion Campaign, a coalition of community-based leaders in the Gulf Coast region that focused on recovery from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, at the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation. Jainey has a Master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bachelor’s degree in public policy and cultural anthropology from Duke University.


Radley Horton is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. His research focuses on climate extremes, tail risks, climate impacts, and adaptation. Radley was a Convening Lead Author for the Third National Climate Assessment. He currently Co-Chairs Columbia’s Adaptation Initiative, and is Principal Investigator for the Columbia University-WWF ADVANCE partnership, and the NOAA-Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments-funded Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast. He is also the Columbia University lead for the Department of Interior-funded Northeast Climate Science Center, and is a PI on an NSF-funded Climate Change Education Partnership Project. Radley has been a Co-leader in the development of a global research agenda in support of the United Nations Environmental Program’s Programme on Vulnerability, Impacts, and Adaptation (PROVIA) initiative. He serves on numerous national and international task forces and committees, including the Climate Scenarios Task Force in support of the 2018 National Climate Assessment, and frequently appears on national and international television, radio, and in print. Radley teaches in Columbia University’s Sustainable Development department.


Elizabeth Yeampierre is a internationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental and climate justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry born and raised in New York City. A national leader in climate justice movement, Elizabeth is the co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance. She is Executive Director of UPROSE, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community based organization. Her award winning vision for an inter-generational, multi-cultural and community led organization is the driving force behind UPROSE. She is a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around just, sustainable development, environmental justice and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency in Sunset Park. Prior to assuming the Executive Director position at UPROSE, Ms. Yeampierre was the Director of Legal Education and Training at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Director of Legal Services for the American Indian law Alliance and Dean of Puerto Rican Student Affairs at Yale University.  She holds a BA from Fordham University, a law degree from Northeastern University.

In 2015, Ms. Yeampierre was part of the leadership of the People’s Climate March Mobilization – a march of over 400,000 people. She played a major role in ensuring the frontline was made up of young people of color, and successfully proposed the adoption of the Jemez principles for democratic organizing which have since become the road map to building just relationships in the climate movement. Elizabeth was the first Latina Chair of the US EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. She worked diligently to ensure that environmental justice was incorporated into EPA rulemaking and integrated into all federal agencies. Her most recent effort led to the creation of a US EPA NEJAC workgroup dedicated to developing recommendations for resilience from storm surges for industrial waterfront communities. Ms. Yeampierrealso served as member of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences Advisory Council where she successfully advocated forauthentic engagement and leadership of communities in scientific research in their own communities.  In addition, after joining a group of national environmental justice leaders to brief the Obama transition team in 2008, Elizabeth was selected as the opening speaker at the first White House Forum on Environmental Justice. In September 2015, Elizabeth was one of the opening speakers at Pope Francis’s Climate Change Rally at the National Mall in Washington DC. Ms. Yeampierre is a co-founder of the BEA-I (Building Equity & Alignment for Impact) an initiative designed to strengthen strategic relationships between philanthropy, big greens and the grassroots and she also serves on the steering committees of the Solution Project and Climate Justice Alliance.


Jesse M. Keenan is a social scientist and a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Keenan’s principle research focus is on climate change adaptation and the built environment, including aspects of design, engineering, financing and planning. Keenan holds concurrent appointments as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and as a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Keenan’s research has partnered with a variety of global actors, including the AIA, Audi, Carnegie Corporation, EPA, Goldman Sachs, Google, ICC, Knight Foundation, MoMA, Mori Foundation, Lennar Foundation, NASA, National Security Council, National Institute of Standards and Technology, NSF, Open Society Foundation, Regional Plan Association, RAND Corporation, States of California and Massachusetts, the White House and the U.N. Keenan’s books include Blue Dunes: Climate Change by Design (Columbia University Press), Climate Change Adaptation in North America: Experiences, Case Studies and Best Practices (Springer) and Climate Adaptation Finance and Investment in California (Routledge). Keenan holds degrees in the law (J.D., LL.M.) and science of the built environment (M.Sc.), including a Ph.D. from the Delft University of Technology.


Liz Koslov studies the social, cultural, and political dimensions of urban climate change adaptation. Her current book project, Retreat: Moving to Higher Ground in a Climate-Changed City, is an ethnographic account of “managed retreat,” the process of relocating people and unbuilding land exposed to extreme weather and sea level rise. The book is based on fieldwork in the New York City borough of Staten Island, where residents organized in favor of home buyouts after Hurricane Sandy. A related article, The Case for Retreat, appears in Public Culture. Liz has spoken about this research in outlets that include The New Yorker, WWNO New Orleans Public Radio, and Scientific American.

Prior to coming to UCLA, Liz was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at MIT. She received a PhD in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University, an MSc in Culture and Society from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Communication and Spanish and Latin American Literature from George Washington University.


Robin Bronen works as a human rights attorney and has been researching and working with communities forced to relocate because of climate change since 2007.

Her research has been publicized by CNN and the Guardian, among others. She has worked with the White House Council on Environmental Quality to implement President Obama’s Climate Change Task Force recommendation to address climate displacement as well as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Climate Change Office.

She is a senior research scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and co-founded and works as the executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice, a non-governmental organization that is the only immigration legal service provider in Alaska. The Alaska Institue for Justice houses a language interpreter center, training bilingual Alaskans to be interpreters, and also serves as a research and policy institute focused on climate and social justice issues.

The Alaska Bar Association awarded Bronen the 2007 Robert Hickerson Public Service award and 2012 International Human Rights award. The Federal Bureau of Investigation awarded the Alaska Institute for Justice the 2012 FBI Director’s Community Service award for its work with human trafficking victims, and the International Soroptimist’s awarded Bronen the 2012 Advancing the Rights of Women award. Victims for Justice awarded her the Advocacy award in 2014.