Please join the Scowcroft Center’s Forward Defense  program for an upcoming event, “Building Resilience in US Communities.” Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deanne Criswell will join federal, state, and private sector emergency management experts to discuss how US preparedness for disasters—whether natural or manmade—can be improved.

Generously supported by Deloitte Consulting, this event will take place on Friday, March 22, 2024, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET, both in person at the Atlantic Council headquarters (1030 15th Street, 12th Floor, NW, Washington, DC 20005) and virtually. Please register using our form.

Emergency response is one of the most important—and costly—missions at every level of government due to the intense personal impact natural disasters have for millions of people each year. As major natural disasters increase in magnitude and frequency, US communities will require greater resources to respond and rebuild in the aftermath of these catastrophes. While FEMA sees substantial emergency appropriations when disasters strike, emergency management leaders at all levels are looking to find ways to make infrastructure more resilient so that disasters have less impact and recovery is less costly.

The United States now faces a critical time to meet threats posed by climate change and extreme weather by finding a balance between its focus on disaster response, but also on building resilience before disasters strike. To push forward this message, FEMA has launched a new initiative for 2024, the “year of resilience.” To recognize the full goals of their resilience initiatives, FEMA requires adequate funding from Congress. How can federal, state, and local governments work together to ensure communities are prepared to endure and recover from natural disasters?

Join our fireside chat between FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and Axios’ Andrew Freedman as well as a panel made up of emergency managements experts for a discussion on a vision for building resilience ahead of disasters in US communities.

We hope you can join us for this important and timely discussion. To attend in person or receive the virtual Zoom link, please complete the embedded registration form.

Sponsored By


Welcome remarks by

Introductory remarks by

Alex Haseley
Principal, Deloitte and Touche LLP

A keynote discussion featuring

Deanne Criswell
Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency, US Department of Homeland Security

Fireside chat moderated by

Andrew Freedman
Senior Climate Reporter, Axios

An expert panel discussion featuring

Willie G. Nunn
Regional Administrator, Region 10, Federal Emergency Management Agency, US Department of Homeland Security

Josh Sawislak
Managing Director, Sustainability and Climate Solutions, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Russell Strickland
Secretary, Maryland Department of Emergency Management

Annie Mack Vest
Director, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

Moderated by

Forward Defense

Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, generates ideas and connects stakeholders in the defense ecosystem to promote an enduring military advantage for the United States, its allies, and partners. Our work identifies the defense strategies, capabilities, and resources the United States needs to deter and, if necessary, prevail in future conflict.

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