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Steering Committee

Alan Cohn

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Managing Director, Integrated Water Managment -- NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

Alan currently leads an initiative to prepare urban water systems for climate change and population growth, including programs to reduce system demand, protect critical infrastructure, and promote awareness and sustainable water measures in the built environment. Alan participates in several US and international networks focusing on water and climate change and has developed international city-to-city partnerships to exchange best practices and develop innovative sustainable water management projects.  Alan’s experience includes teaching urban planning graduate students, a fellowship to study environmental innovation in the Netherlands and Germany, and several years working at the Federal level on climate change impacts and greenhouse gas mitigation.

Carter Craft

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Senior Economic Officer -- Consulate General of the Netherlands

Carter is a Senior Economic Officer at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. He is an urban planner with more than twenty years of experience specializing in water, transport, and land use issues in and around New York City. Carter’s work helps people rethink and reestablish their relationship to the waterways through more balanced use and stewardship of the water. These efforts include a range of innovations in public policy, including the creation of the New York City Council Waterfronts Committee and a “water use” plan for the East River along Williamsburg and Greenpoint. His work now focuses on sharing knowledge and best practices in the areas of climate change, water, and infrastructure between the Netherlands and the northeastern United States.

Edgar Westerhof

National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency -- Arcadis

Edgar is the Flood Risk and Resiliency Lead for North America. Edgar is a water consultant with 18 years of experience in integrated (urban) water management. He has a deep understanding of urban and industrial flood proofing concepts, infrastructure planning and design, sustainable urban water management and waterfront development and international water management concepts. Edgar was leading the Arcadis participation in the international HUD Rebuild by Design competition, including the winning BIG U – Waterfront Resiliency Plan of Manhattan.

Jennifer Cherrier

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Professor -- Brooklyn College

Jennifer is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College-CUNY where she teaches and advises students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her research is both basic and applied, primarily focusing on microbial cycling and flux of carbon and nitrogen in aquatic systems. She is also interested in understanding how human stressors impact aquatic environments and in identifying solutions to offset these impacts, particularly as it pertains to water resource sustainability. Her research group has developed a novel 'blue' technology (ecoWEIR, patented) that augments green infrastructure to both maximize stormwater-related pollutant removal efficiency as well as allow for water storage and reuse. Cherrier is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief for Limnology and Oceanography e-Lectures and is a Leopold Leadership Fellow for Sustainability as well as a National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science Kalvi Alum.

John Brock 

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Policy Analyst -- NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

John is a Policy Analyst at the NYC DEP in the Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis where he primarily focuses on integrated water management and resiliency efforts. Prior to joining NYC DEP, John worked for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations as an Assistant Borough Director. With a background in environmental science and urban planning, John holds an M.S. from Pratt Institute in Urban Environmental Systems Management.

Kartik Chandran


Professor -- Columbia University

Kartik is an American environmental engineer at Columbia University, where he is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. He primarily works on the interface between environmental molecular and microbiology, environmental biotechnology and environmental engineering. The focus of his research is on elucidating the molecular microbial ecology and metabolic pathways of the microbial nitrogen cycle. Applications of his work have ranged from energy and resource efficient treatment of nitrogen-containing wastewater streams, development, and implementation of sustainable approaches to sanitation to novel models for resource recovery. In 2015, he received the MacArthur Fellowship for his innovative work on "integrating microbial ecology, molecular biology, and engineering to transform wastewater from a troublesome pollutant to a valuable resource".

Klaus Lehn Christensen

Director -- Danish Cleantech Hub

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Klaus is the Director of Danish Cleantech Hub in NYC, a joint public-private initiative by the Confederation of Danish Industry and State of Green. He is responsible for partnerships and outreach, conferences, workshops, delegation visits and market analysis. Mr. Christensen has a public and private sector background with a focus on cleantech. Before relocating to New York in 2014, he worked with Smart Cities for Denmark’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and was a co-founder of an export consultancy focused on Danish public-private cleantech solutions for the US market. From 2008-2012 Mr. Christensen also held Public Diplomacy positions at the Spanish Embassy and British Embassy respectively in Copenhagen.

Kristin Bell

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Senior Project Manager -- NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)

Kristin works at the New York City Economic Development Corporation where she develops and manages ecosystem-building programs that support urban innovation in cleantech, waste systems, and water management. By leveraging NYC’s position as a global hub for tech and innovation, Kristin believes the transition to make our urban systems more sustainable and resilient can lead to impactful local economic opportunity and quality of life improvements. Kristin hold a BA in Environmental Studies and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MS in Urban Environmental Systems Management from the Pratt Institute.

Lisa Diaz

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Managing Partner -- Turf Advisory

Lisa is the Managing Partner and Founder of Turf Advisory. She provides public and private sector clients with strategic and tactical advice on designing, financing and managing next-generation infrastructure to build smarter cities. Lisa is responsible for business development and oversees partnerships with IBM,, The Trust for Public Land, Philips Lighting, and Bronx Pro, among others. She curates innovative and pragmatic technology-powered solutions by working with clients to market their services to both the public and private sectors. Lisa speaks frequently on urban innovation, is a Senior Advisor to the Global Futures Group, and a member of the Smart Cities NY Advisory Board as well as a member of The Women in Housing and Finance.

Matthijs Bouw

NY - Matthijs Bouw - One Architecture BV

Founder & CEO -- ONE Architecture

Matthijs is a Dutch architect and urbanist and founder of One Architecture (est. 1995), an award-winning Amsterdam and New York-based design and planning firm. He is the Rockefeller Urban Resilience Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Bouw’s work at UPenn theorizes and positions design as an integrator among disciplines, actors and issues in urban resilience and water management projects. In NYC, Boston and San Francisco, he works on multiple prominent climate adaptation projects. In the Philippines, he is the urban planner for ABD on New Clark City, and works on nature-based disaster reduction in Tacloban. In the Netherlands, One is part of the ‘Hackable City’ team for Buiksloterham, a large scale brownfield redevelopment in Amsterdam-Noord based on the principles of the circular economy.

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