Frontiers in Resilience Symposium Held this Week

This week, George Mason University (GMU) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) held a Frontiers in Resilience Symposium on “Developing Innovative Resilience Solutions at the Interface of Science, Economics, and Policy.”  ASDWA staff attended and offers the following highlights from the event.
Keynote Addresses:

  • Susan Monarez, DHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategy and Analysis shared information about the upcoming 2018 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review that assesses long-term trends for terrorism, cyber security, and critical infrastructure and uses risk factors to inform capability based planning and resilience to address priority threats and hazards.
  • Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security with the Commonwealth of Virginia provided information about the state’s efforts to address port security, cyber security, sea level rise and flood resilience, and work with DHS to help water and wastewater systems address water security and resilience. He shared that the Commonwealth has: created a statewide critical infrastructure group to assess risks and conduct planning; developed a critical infrastructure cyber assessment program with the National Guard; and procured a HUD grant to increase resilience in Norfolk’s Ohio Creek Watershed and create a Coastal Resilience Center.

Subject Matter Expert Panels:
Panels focused on resilience challenges and community resilience shared their perspectives for improving resilience efforts, including the need to:

  • Develop holistic science-based strategic adaptable resiliency plans and actions that include considerations for critical infrastructure interdependencies across all sectors at the regional and local levels, rather than working in siloes to address one aspect of critical infrastructure at the national level.
  • Connect models for different critical infrastructure sectors and convert them into decision support tools.
  • Build resilience into critical infrastructure engineering and design plans that are mostly now focused on optimal efficiency and safety.
  • Develop educational programs that encourage students in all disciplines to think more broadly about community considerations and needs such as social and economic factors.
  • Engage communities in resiliency planning discussions that include considerations for human health and well-being, as well as local economies and jobs, that create a sense of importance and pride in the people of the community.

The Symposium also included cross cutting session presentations on a variety of topics such as the University of New Mexico’s civil engineering program that is building resilience into infrastructure design by quantifying recovery and loss functions; and DHS’s Infrastructure Development and Recovery Program that has developed a Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Toolkit which includes a planning framework, a cyber security assessment, and a university curricula that was developed with GMU.  For more information about the symposium, visit the GMU website.