Seeing the Dangers Ahead, Part III - Toward Equity and Resilience: Harnessing Climate Risk Information for Better Decisionmaking

A wind turbine made out of a bar chart and a circle chart; a fire with a pressure gauge; a cloud made out of binary code (0s and 1s); a line chart in the background. The logos of the State Impact Center, Woodwell Center, and the Massachusetts AGs Office.
  • Tuesday, March 1, 2022–Tuesday, March 1, 2022
  • Online Event

The State Ener­gy & Envi­ron­men­tal Impact Cen­ter, Wood­well Cli­mate Research Cen­ter, and the Mass­a­chu­setts Office of the Attor­ney Gen­er­al host­ed a three-part vir­tu­al event series that pro­vid­ed essen­tial infor­ma­tion and tools to help reg­u­la­tors and advo­cates under­stand the lat­est avail­able pub­lic and pri­vate data about phys­i­cal, finan­cial, and tran­si­tion cli­mate risks, how reg­u­la­tors might address key data gaps, and how to har­ness cli­mate risk data for gov­ern­ment decision-making. 

Lead­ing experts reviewed best prac­tices and oppor­tu­ni­ties for affect­ed com­mu­ni­ties and state and local gov­ern­ments to uti­lize phys­i­cal and finan­cial cli­mate risk data to pro­mote resilience and envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice. They also dis­cussed key data gaps and poten­tial strate­gies to address them.


Heather McTeer Toney

Heather McTeer Toney

Vice Pres­i­dent of Com­mu­ni­ty Engage­ment, Envi­ron­men­tal Defense Fund

Heather McTeer Toney served as the first African-Amer­i­can, first female and youngest may­or of Greenville, MS. In 2014, she was appoint­ed by Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma to serve as Region­al Admin­is­tra­tor for Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency’s (EPA) South­east Region, where she served until 2017. Known for her ener­getic and gen­uine com­mit­ment to peo­ple, her work has made her a nation­al fig­ure in pub­lic ser­vice, diver­si­ty and com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment. Heather led the Moms Clean Air Force field team for two years and worked on local gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy ini­tia­tives and the Moms & May­ors pro­gram. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Spel­man Col­lege in Atlanta and a law degree from the Tulane Uni­ver­si­ty School of Law. Heather is cur­rent­ly serv­ing as an envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice liai­son for Envi­ron­men­tal Defense Fund.

Keynote Speak­er

Joe Kennedy III

Joe Kennedy III

Board Mem­ber, Wood­well Cli­mate Research Center

Joe Kennedy III is an Amer­i­can lawyer and politi­cian who served as the U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Massachusetts’s 4th con­gres­sion­al dis­trict from 2013 to 2021. A mem­ber of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, he rep­re­sent­ed a dis­trict that extends from Boston’s west­ern sub­urbs to the state’s South Coast. He worked as an assis­tant dis­trict attor­ney in the Cape and Islands and Mid­dle­sex Coun­ty, Mass­a­chu­setts, offices before his elec­tion to Con­gress. In Jan­u­ary 2021, he became a CNN com­men­ta­tor. He also serves as a board mem­ber for Wood­well Cli­mate Research Cen­ter. He grad­u­at­ed from Har­vard Law School.

Pan­el Discussion

Robin Bronen

Robin Bro­nen

Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Alas­ka Insti­tute for Justice

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. 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. She attend­ed the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Davis School of Law.

Joyce Coffee

Joyce Cof­fee

Founder and Pres­i­dent, Cli­mate Resilience Consulting

Joyce Cof­fee, LEED AP, is founder and Pres­i­dent of Cli­mate Resilience Con­sult­ing, a social enter­prise that works with clients to cre­ate prac­ti­cal and equi­table strate­gies that enhance mar­kets and com­mu­ni­ties through adap­ta­tion to cli­mate change. Cof­fee has 25 years of lead­er­ship expe­ri­ence in gov­ern­ment, pri­vate, non­prof­it, phil­an­thropic and aca­d­e­m­ic sec­tors. She has worked with over 200 insti­tu­tions to cre­ate and imple­ment cli­mate-relat­ed resilience ini­tia­tives. Spe­cif­ic areas of empha­sis include resilience strat­e­gy, resilience finance, resilience mea­sure­ment and social equi­ty. She is an appoint­ed direc­tor or chair of 25 non­prof­it boards and ini­tia­tives. She received a B.S. in biol­o­gy, envi­ron­men­tal stud­ies and Asian stud­ies from Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty and a Mas­ters in city plan­ning from the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Technology.

Dr. Jennifer Jurado

Dr. Jen­nifer Jurado

Chief Resilience Offi­cer, Broward Coun­ty, FL

Dr. Jen­nifer Jura­do is respon­si­ble for lead­ing cli­mate resilience and envi­ron­men­tal plan­ning ini­tia­tives for Broward Coun­ty, FL with a focus on urban adap­ta­tion, sus­tain­able resource man­age­ment, and clean ener­gy strate­gies. For near­ly two decades she has guid­ed the inte­gra­tion of sci­ence to inform resilient design stan­dards and has led mul­ti-juris­dic­tion­al ini­tia­tives involv­ing pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships key to large-scale ini­tia­tives. Dr. Jura­do is an orig­i­nal con­trib­u­tor to the four-coun­ty South­east Flori­da Region­al Cli­mate Change Com­pact and serves on the board with the Amer­i­can Soci­ety of Adap­ta­tion Pro­fes­sion­als and the Amer­i­can Geo­phys­i­cal Union’s Thriv­ing Earth Exchange. She earned her Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mia­mi in Marine Biol­o­gy and Fisheries.

Effie Turnbull-Sanders

Effie Turn­bull-Sanders

Envi­ron­men­tal Jus­tice Com­mis­sion­er, Cal­i­for­nia Coastal Commission

Effie Turn­bull-Sanders is vice pres­i­dent of Civic Engage­ment and Eco­nom­ic Part­ner­ships at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. She is also a governor’s appointee and envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice com­mis­sion­er for the Cal­i­for­nia Coastal Com­mis­sion. Pri­or to her role at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia she was Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the South Los Ange­les Tran­sit Empow­er­ment Zone (SLATE‑Z), and worked in ser­vice of the chil­dren of Los Ange­les as Assis­tant Gen­er­al Coun­sel to the Los Ange­les Uni­fied School Dis­trict (LAUSD). Through her legal career, she has worked as coun­sel to pub­lic and pri­vate orga­ni­za­tions such as the City of Los Ange­les and Richards, Wat­son & Ger­shon. She is also mem­ber of Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Karen Bass’ Con­gres­sion­al Coun­cil. Sanders was a Pres­i­den­tial Appointee for Vice Chair Cruz Reynoso with the Unit­ed States Com­mis­sion on Civ­il Rights. Sanders received her Bach­e­lor of Arts degree in Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tions from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Los Ange­les, her Juris Doc­tor­ate from UCLA School of Law and is a grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Ross Pro­gram in Real Estate. 


Dr. Heather Goldstone

Dr. Heather Goldstone

Chief Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Offi­cer, Wood­well Cli­mate Research Center

Dr. Heather Gold­stone over­sees Wood­well Cli­mate Research Center’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions activ­i­ties, bring­ing the rich sto­ries of Wood­well sci­en­tists to diverse pub­lic audi­ences. Dr. Gold­stone has exten­sive expe­ri­ence as both a sci­en­tist and a jour­nal­ist, and she is pas­sion­ate about meld­ing data and nar­ra­tive in cli­mate change sto­ries that build aware­ness and inspire action. Dr. Gold­stone came to Wood­well Cli­mate from WGBH, where she found­ed and host­ed a week­ly sci­ence-focused radio show, Liv­ing Lab Radio. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she wrote the Cli­matide blog about coastal com­mu­ni­ties fac­ing cli­mate change. In 2014, she was rec­og­nized for the breadth of her work with WGBH’s Mar­gret and Hans Rey/​Curious George Pro­duc­er award. Heather holds a B.S. from James Cook Uni­ver­si­ty and a Ph.D. from Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Technology.

Clos­ing Remarks

Christophe Courchesne

Christophe Courch­esne

Deputy Chief, Ener­gy and Envi­ron­ment Bureau, Mass­a­chu­setts Office of the Attor­ney General

Christophe Courch­esne is Deputy Chief of the Ener­gy and Envi­ron­ment Bureau at the Mass­a­chu­setts Attor­ney General’s Office, where he helps over­see the Office’s exten­sive ener­gy and envi­ron­men­tal lit­i­ga­tion and advo­ca­cy, par­tic­u­lar­ly focus­ing on cli­mate, clean ener­gy, envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice, and pol­luter account­abil­i­ty. Pri­or to this appoint­ment, Courch­esne was Chief of AG Healey’s Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Divi­sion where he super­vised attor­neys and sup­port staff on envi­ron­men­tal lit­i­ga­tion, includ­ing enforce­ment of fed­er­al and state envi­ron­men­tal laws, mul­ti­state part­ner­ships on fed­er­al reg­u­la­to­ry and pol­i­cy actions, civ­il inves­ti­ga­tions, and envi­ron­men­tal and ener­gy pol­i­cy analy­sis and advo­ca­cy. Before join­ing the AG’s Office in 2015, Courch­esne was a senior attor­ney at Con­ser­va­tion Law Foun­da­tion and pre­vi­ous­ly was a senior asso­ciate at Good­win Proc­ter LLP in Boston. Courch­esne also served as a law clerk for Jus­tice Robert J. Cordy of the Mass­a­chu­setts Supreme Judi­cial Court. He is an alum of the Boston Bar Association’s Pub­lic Inter­est Lead­er­ship Pro­gram, has served as the chair of the Grafton Plan­ning Board, and was a char­i­ty run­ner for Casa Myr­na in the 2013 and
2014 Boston Marathons. He is a grad­u­ate of Har­vard Law School and the Uni­ver­si­ty
of Mass­a­chu­setts at Amherst.

Megan Herzog

Megan Her­zog

Spe­cial Assis­tant, Ener­gy and Envi­ron­ment Bureau, Mass­a­chu­setts Office of the Attor­ney General

Megan Her­zog is Spe­cial Assis­tant Attor­ney Gen­er­al for Cli­mate Change in the Ener­gy & Envi­ron­ment Bureau of the Mass­a­chu­setts Attor­ney General’s Office. Since join­ing the bureau in 2018, she has par­tic­i­pat­ed in lit­i­ga­tion and advo­ca­cy involv­ing state and fed­er­al air, cli­mate, ener­gy, and nat­ur­al resources laws. Pri­or to join­ing the bureau, Megan worked as a Staff Attor­ney at the Boston, MA office of the Con­ser­va­tion Law Foun­da­tion, in CLF’s Ener­gy and Ocean Con­ser­va­tion Pro­grams. Megan was pre­vi­ous­ly the Emmett/​Frankel Fel­low at UCLA’s Emmett Insti­tute on Cli­mate Change and the Envi­ron­ment. Megan received a J.D. from Stan­ford Law School, where she was Co-Edi­tor-in-Chief of the Stan­ford Jour­nal of Law, Sci­ence & Pol­i­cy. She received an M.S. in Envi­ron­ment and Resources from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Mount Holyoke College.