Dr. John Renne, AICP
Evacuteer.org Board President;
Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES)
John L. Renne, Ph.D., AICP, is an Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES) in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. He is an Honorary Research Associate at the Transport Studies Unit in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford in England. Dr. Renne’s work focuses on creating sustainable and resilient transportation systems. He coined the term “carless evacuation” after Hurricane Katrina. He led a National Study on Carless and Special Needs Evacuation Planning, funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and is a co-founder of the National Evacuation Conference. Dr. Renne has published extensively and served as an editor of scholarly journals on the topics of evacuation and transportation resilience for Natural Hazards Review, Journal of Emergency Management, and the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. Dr. Renne is the Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Transportation and Land Development and serves as a Committee Member on the TRB Emergency Evacuation Committee. He serves in leadership and board positions with the Urban Land Institute and the Palm Beach County Planning Congress. Dr. Renne is also the founder of The TOD Group, LLC, the Denver TOD Fund, LLC, and the TOD Index, LLC.
Robert X. Fogarty
Evacuteer.org Co-Founder; Dear New Orleans + Dear World, Founder
Robert X. Fogarty is the co-founder of Evacuteer.org and founder of Dear World. He started Evacuteer.org after assisting the city of New Orleans to evacuate 18,000 residents without cars in advance of Hurricane Gustav, the largest hurricane evacuation in U.S. history.
In 2011, Fogarty started Dear World, a scalable version of Dear New Orleans, his for-profit photography venture for social good. Fogarty has photographed thousands, including Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Drew Brees, Academy Award Winner Susan Sarandon and NBA All Star Chris Paul. He graduated from the University of Oregon School of Journalism in 2005.
Attorney, Fayard Law Firm, LLC
Fayard was born in Baton Rouge and grew up in Denham Springs, Louisiana. She graduated with honors from both Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School. At Michigan, she administered a fellowship program on behalf of the university.
Fayard worked at both the White House and Congress before taking a position at Goldman Sachs. She later worked at the Washington-based firm of Williams and Connolly before returning to government service, and to Louisiana, to work as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. of the Eastern District of Louisiana. Fayard was later appointed to the faculty of the College of Law at Loyola University New Orleans and served there until 2009 when she returned to private practice. She currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Louisiana Appleseed, a non-profit organization that promotes access to justice. She is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the Junior League of New Orleans and a Life Loyal member and former chapter president of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, Inc. Fayard is licensed to practice law in Louisiana and New York.
Josh Sawislak, AICP
Global Director of Resilience
Josh Sawislak is the global director of resilience for AECOM. In this role, he works across the entire enterprise of AECOM's offerings in planning, design, construction, finance, operations, and development to help develop and leverage resilient strategies projects and clients to address sustainability, climate change, disaster preparedness, and enterprise risk management. He provides thought leadership and strategic advice to corporations, national governments, municipalities, NGOs, and international organizations across the globe. In 2015, he served as a speaker at the first US-China Climate Leaders’ Summit in preparation for the global climate negotiations in Paris in 2015 (COP-21) and led AECOM’s delegation to Paris. He also presented at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and gave lectures and participated in symposia in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceana.
Prior to rejoining AECOM, he served in the Administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, most recently as the Associate Director for Climate Preparedness at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he developed U.S. federal policy on climate adaptation and resilience and worked with foreign governments and international organization on multilateral and bilateral efforts. He also led the development of the infrastructure recommendations for President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.
Jeffrey Thomas is a New Orleans attorney with over 17 years of law and policy experience focused on environmental protection, economic development, disaster recovery, renewable energy, and increasing public participation in government. As principal of Thomas Strategies, LLC, Jeffrey helps facilitate public-private financing and policy solutions to spur resilient and sustainable community and economic development. Jeffrey is also a partner at Cara Stone, LLP.
Jeffrey coordinated the New Orleans Citizen Sewer, Water & Drainage System Reform Task Force, which was created at the request of the City of New Orleans to recommend existing opportunities to improve the City’s water and flood protection systems, including means for reducing polluting runoff and reducing subsidence by safely absorbing more storm water within public spaces.
Jeffrey’s local experience also includes service as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as Special Assistant to the New Orleans Office of Recovery & Development Administration, in which he supervised post-disaster policy development aimed at blight reduction, neighborhood commercial revitalization, and sustainable public infrastructure investment.
Jeffrey’s community efforts have been recognized with several honors, including the New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine’s Leadership in Law Award, and designation among Gambit Magazine’s “Forty Under Forty” in the New Orleans region.