OCEANS 2018 Charleston Speakers

Keep checking back as we continue to add influential and engaging speakers to our exciting plenary lineup.


Oceans & Technology: A View Forward
Plenary Presentation | Tuesday, October 21, 2018 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Moderator: RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN Ret.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere

Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 5, 2017, as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere for the Department of Commerce in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dr. Gallaudet was previously a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, where his most recent assignment was Oceanographer of the Navy and Commander of the Navy Meteorology and Oceanography Command. During his 32 years of military service, Dr. Gallaudet has had experience in weather and ocean forecasting, hydrographic surveying, developing policy and plans to counter illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and assessing the national security impacts of climate change.

He has led teams of Navy Sailors and civilians performing such diverse functions as overseeing aircraft carrier combat operations, planning and conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts, assisting Navy SEAL Teams during high visibility counter‐terrorism operations, and developing the Navy’s annual $52 billion information technology, cyber security and intelligence budget.

Dr. Gallaudet holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and master’s and doctoral degrees from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, all in oceanography.

International Plenary: Future Oceans Perspectives
Plenary Presentation | Tuesday, October 21, 2018 | 10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

Moderator: Craig McLean
Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and Acting Chief Scientist, at NOAA

Craig McLean is the Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research at NOAA. He is also serving as the acting Chief Scientist for NOAA.

He is responsible for NOAA’s research enterprise including a network of research laboratories and programs including the Climate Program, National Sea Grant, Ocean Exploration, and Weather Research. Internationally, Mr. McLean serves as the U.S. Representative to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), and as the Co-chair of the U.S. European Union Marine Working Group, and in the US-Canada-EU North Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance under the Galway Statement.

Mr. McLean has previously served in NOAA as Deputy Assistant Administrator of the National Ocean Service, Deputy Director of the National Marine Sanctuary System, and was the founding Director of NOAA’s Ocean Exploration program. He served in uniform for nearly 25 years in NOAA’s Commissioned Corps, retiring at the rank of Captain. Mr. McLean served aboard hydrographic, oceanographic, and fisheries research ships. Craig led NOAA’s innovation and planning for the Smithsonian Institution’s Sant Ocean Hall, and achieved a National Ocean Action Plan goal of securing a permanent, dedicated US ship for the ocean exploration, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.

Craig is also an attorney and has practiced marine resource law for NOAA. Mr. McLean is a Fellow of the Explorers Club, the Marine Technology Society, a 250th Anniversary Fellow of Rutgers University, and a past-president of the Sea-Space Symposium.

Panelist: Peter M. Haugan
Chair of IOC/UNESCO and Research Director II at Institute of Marine Research | Professor of Oceanography at the Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen

Professor Peter M. Haugan is professor of oceanography at the Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen and adjunct Research Director at Institute of Marine Research, Norway. He is the elected chair of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC of UNESCO). He has more than 30 years of experience in marine scientific research and international ocean science coordination. Recent achievements include raising the attention to ocean science, related data and information exchange and services in the United Nations (UN) system and beyond. The preparation and subsequent proclamation of the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and the launch of the first ever Global Ocean Science Report (2017) are highlights. Haugan takes a keen interest in the science-policy-society interface. His professional merits include 5 years as research engineer in the petroleum industry in the early 1980s, active contributions to seagoing and polar oceanography from the late 1980s, research on climate, carbon cycle and storage of CO2 from he 1990s, head of institutions, international coordination of marine research infrastructures and science-policy interface from 2000. He has broad academic interests and has also initiated and led research and education efforts in renewable energy including offshore wind.

Designing for Change: Addressing Regional and Local Coastal Resilience Challenges
Plenary Panel | Wednesday, October 24, 2018 | 8:15 – 9:30 a.m.

Panelist: Dr. Anne D. Cope, Ph.D., P.E.
Senior Vice President, Research & Chief Engineer, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

Dr. Anne Cope is the senior vice president, research and chief engineer at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. She is responsible for overseeing the FORTIFIED building standards program as well as developing and guiding the research programs at the IBHS Research Center in Richburg, South Carolina. She leads IBHS’s team of engineers, scientists and others who conduct research about the performance of full-scale homes and commercial structures, building materials and construction practices during natural catastrophe conditions, including hurricanes, wildfires, severe thunderstorms, and hail storms, and implement in real-world communities through IBHS’s FORTIFIED program.

Prior to joining IBHS in 2009, Dr. Cope was a project manager and structural engineer with Reynolds, Smith & Hills, Inc., designing projects for NASA, Department of Defense and commercial launch operations. Dr. Cope’s research encompasses topics ranging from the full-scale simulation of wind effects on buildings to detailed studies of the vulnerabilities of buildings to natural hazards and the development of damage prediction models. She is also a proud veteran of the United States Army.

Dr. Cope earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Clemson University, and her doctorate from the University of Florida. She is a registered professional engineer in Florida and South Carolina.

Panelist:  Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips
United States Navy (Retired)

Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, USN (Ret) is  a member of the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board. A Surface Warfare Officer, Rear Admiral Phillips has served in every warfare group of the Surface Navy: Destroyers, Aircraft Carriers, Amphibious, and Replenishment Ships. During her 31 years on active duty she commissioned and commanded USS MUSTIN (DDG 89), and commanded Destroyer Squadron TWO EIGHT, and Expeditionary Strike Group TWO – which included all the Amphibious Expeditionary Forces on the East Coast of the United States. Ashore she was a Senior Fellow on the CNO’s Strategic Studies Group XXVIII, and managed requirements and resources for the Surface Navy as Deputy Director and Director of Surface Warfare Division, (N86) in the Pentagon. While at N86, from 2009-2012 she served on the Chief of Naval Operations’ Climate Change Task Force, and Energy Task Force, where she Co-Chaired the Surface Force Working Group – developing and implementing climate change adaptation and energy reduction strategies for the Navy. In addition, she has served overseas in Guam and Lisbon, Portugal, and operated extensively with NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.

Upon retirement from the U.S. Navy in 2014 she pursued her MBA at The College of William and Mary, Mason School of Business, graduating in 2016. During this time she also chaired the Infrastructure Working Group for the Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot Planning Project convened by Old Dominion University. The project worked to develop a collaborative, whole of government and community approach to address the impact of sea level rise across the Hampton Roads region that could be used as a template by other regions facing similar challenges. Now an independent consultant, she continues to work to address sea level rise and climate impact on national security at the regional, state, and national level, and speaks about climate security and adaptation strategies to a broad range of audiences. She also serves on local, regional, and national non-profit Boards, and coordinates an evolving wetlands restoration project for her neighborhood in Norfolk, Virginia.

Panelist:  The Honorable Joseph P. Riley, Jr.
Professor, American Government and Public Policy, The Citadel
Executive in Residence, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities, College of Charleston
Distinguished Fellow, Pew Charitable Trusts

Joe Riley is widely considered one of the most visionary and highly effective governmental leaders in America.   He served ten terms as Mayor of the City of Charleston from 1975 to 2016.

He graduated from The Citadel in 1964 and the University of South Carolina Law School in 1967, and served in the S.C. House of Representatives from 1968 to 1974.

In his time as Mayor, Charleston transformed from a decaying urban center to a top cultural destination.   He is known for his innovative redevelopment projects, carefully crafted to add to the overall quality of life in the city.  He diffused racial tensions by working closely with the African American community.  The crisis leadership that he demonstrated after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 gained national praise for getting the city quickly cleaned up and running.

Today, Riley is professor of American Government and Public Policy at The Citadel and Executive in Residence at the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston.  He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Pew Charitable Trusts, working on smart solutions for flood-prone communities and the national government, and the first Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Urban Land Institute. Riley is also currently working to build the International African-American Museum, a $75 million project scheduled to break ground in 2018.

Under his leadership, Charleston increased its commitment to racial harmony and progress, achieved a substantial decrease in crime, experienced a remarkable revitalization of its historic downtown business district, supported the creation and growth of Spoleto Festival USA, added significantly to the City’s park system including the highly celebrated Waterfront Park, developed nationally acclaimed affordable housing, and experienced unprecedented growth in Charleston’s size and population.

Mayor Riley led a city government with an impressive record of innovation in public safety, housing, arts and culture, children’s issues, and economic revitalization and development. The City of Charleston is recognized as one of the most livable and progressive cities in the United States.

Riley has held numerous national leadership positions and received many awards and distinctions.  President Barack Obama presented him with the 2009 National Medal of the Arts for cultivating Charleston’s historic and cultural resources to enhance public spaces, and for revitalizing urban centers throughout the U.S. as the founder of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design. The American Architectural Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2010 created the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Award for Leadership in City Design in his honor.  He received the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2004 Olmsted Medal; Governing Magazine named him their Public Official of the Year in 2003 for “leveraging the power of urban design and civic space.”  The American Architectural Foundation honored him in 2002 with the Keystone Award for exemplary leadership to those who use architecture to transform their communities.  He was named one of the 2004 Giants of Design by House Beautiful Magazine and received the first U.S. Conference of Mayors President’s Award in 2000 for outstanding leadership.

In 2000, he was honored as the first recipient of the Urban Land Institute’s J. C. Nichols Prize for Visionary Urban Development, and also in 2000, was honored with the Arthur J. Clement Award in Race Relations for his battle to remove the confederate flag from the S.C. Statehouse.  Riley received the 1994 Thomas Jefferson Award for “his exceptional leadership and ‘Jeffersonian’ vision in redefining the promise and, ultimate the future, of our nation and its cities.”

He has received the Seaside Prize from the Seaside Institute for exemplary leadership and contributions to high-quality urban design throughout America.  He received the Outstanding Mayors Award from the National Urban Coalition, the Distinguished Citizen Award by the National Association of Realtors.

He served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1986-87 and has received honorary degrees from ten colleges and universities.

Panelist:  David E. Rivers, M.A., DHL
Associate Professor and Director, Public Information and Community Outreach (PICO), Medical University of South Carolina

David E. Rivers, DHL, serves as Professor and Director of the Public Information and Community Outreach at the Medical University of South Carolina.  He has served the University in a number of capacities since January 1995.

During the past forty years, he has held senior-level positions in the City of Atlanta government, the Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia State University, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Energy and the District of Columbia Government.

Dr. Rivers received his Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Affairs from Georgia State University and his Master of Arts degree in Political Science/Public Administration from Georgia State University, where he has completed course work for the Ph.D. in Political Science.  He is also a graduate of the National Urban Fellows Program in Public Administration from Yale University. He is a graduate of the Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Program at Furman University and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Allen University.  In addition, Dr. Rivers served three years in the U.S. Army.

Dr. Rivers serves as Board Chairman of the National Urban Fellows in New York, NY.  He also serves as Chairman of the James E. Clyburn Research and Scholarship Foundation. He is also President of the Jonathan Green Foundation.  Dr. Rivers is Vice Chairman of the Sea Island Comprehensive Health Care Corporation.  He is a member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation, and the 100 Black Men of Charleston, SC.  Dr. Rivers is a Board Member of the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, SC; My Brothers Keeper, Charleston, SC; National Council of La Raza ~ California State University Center for Latino Community Health in Monterey Bay, California; Allen University Board of Trustees in Columbia, SC; the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s 21st Century Council Executive Committee; Advisory Board Member of Charleston First Reliance Bank; and the Trident Urban League.  He has also served as a Board Member of the Community Foundation and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.  In addition, he was elected citywide to serve as a Commissioner of Public Works for the City of Charleston in 2003 and was re-elected in September of 2009 and 2015 unopposed, where he serves as Vice Chairman.

Panelist:  Mark J. Wilbert
Chief Resilience Officer, City of Charleston, Office of the Mayor

Mark Wilbert is the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Charleston, SC.  As Chief Resilience Officer, his efforts have focused on leading city staff members in developing and implementing a plan for addressing the consequences of flooding and sea level rise  in a thriving city of approximately one hundred and fifty thousand residents and almost six million visitors annually.  Prior to assuming his current role in 2018, Mark served as the Emergency Management Director for the City of Charleston for 5 years.  Mark served on active duty in the United States Coast Guard for 35 years, retiring as a Captain in 2013.  During his career he was involved in planning and responding to numerous weather related disasters, 9-11 related events and several large incidents, including the G-8 Summit in 2004 and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010.

The International Space Station: An Oceans’ View from Space
Plenary Presentation | Wednesday, October 24, 2018 | 9:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Moderator: Rear Admiral Michael J. Silah

Join Rear Admiral Michael J. Silah, Director, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, NOAA, Director NOAA Corps in this plenary session connecting outer space to inner space through a live video conversation with NASA Astronauts “Nick” Tyler N. Hague (Col, U.S. Air Force) and Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor (MD) aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as they discuss the unique challenges and opportunities for studying the oceans from space and for designing and testing new technologies to advance Earth and ocean science in collaboration with ISS.


Panelists: Serena M. Aunon Chancellor (MD) & Nick “Tyler” N. Hague