CONFERENCE KEYNOTES & SPEAKERS
Monday Plenary Speakers
Opening Plenary Session: Federal Agencies Working Together: The Water Policy Committee
Read the FLOODS ACT SEC13 PL 117-316
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science
U.S. Department of the Interior
Gary Gold is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at U.S. Department of the Interior where he provides leadership and oversight to the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Geological Survey. Gary is an attorney and engineer who focuses his work to addressing drought in the West. During his career, Gary has provided leadership on a variety of initiatives including water infrastructure projects, tribal water rights settlements, and ecosystem restoration efforts.
Sarah Kapnick, Ph.D.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Sarah Kapnick, Ph.D., is the Chief Scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In this role, Dr. Kapnick is responsible for advancing policy and program direction for NOAA’s science and technology priorities.
Dr. Kapnick has extensive experience at the intersection of climate science and economics. Most recently, she served as a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan in the role of Senior Climate Scientist and Sustainability Strategist for Asset and Wealth Management. While at J.P. Morgan, she supported sustainability and climate action efforts and served as an advisor on new business and investment opportunities and risks.
Previously, Dr. Kapnick was a Physical Scientist and Deputy Division Leader on seasonal to decadal variability and predictability at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). At GFDL, her work spanned seasonal climate prediction, mountain snowpack, extreme storms, water security and climate impacts. She was an expert and reviewer for NOAA’s Small Business Innovation Research Program, a member of its Eastern Region Climate Team, a science panelist for Climate.gov and the NOAA team lead for the NASA High Mountain Asia Team.
Dr. Kapnick is a member of the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prior to her graduate studies, she spent two years as an investment banking analyst with Goldman Sachs covering financial institutions. She received a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences with a Certificate in Leaders in Sustainability from UCLA, and an A.B in Mathematics with a Certificate in Finance from Princeton University.
Julie A. Robinson, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Earth Science Division
Science Mission Directorate
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Dr. Julie A. Robinson is Deputy Director for Earth Science at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters in Washington, DC. In this role, she supports the director in overall management for the entire agency’s Earth Science portfolio, including, research and applications, data access, technology, mission development and operations. NASA’s Earth Science mission is to understand our changing planet including the development of the new Earth System Observatory—a set of five satellite missions to provide critical data on climate change, severe weather and other natural hazards, wildfires, and global food production.
Gloria Montaño Greene
Deputy Under Secretary
USDA, Farm Production and Conservation
Gloria Montaño Greene was appointed Deputy Under Secretary for USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) mission area on February 22, 2021. Her experience is focused in government and community work and includes federal policy, politics, advocacy, intergovernmental relations, communications, and management. As the FPAC Deputy Undersecretary, Montaño Greene leads agencies that deliver farm programs and services to farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers. These programs include farm loans, conservation, disaster assistance, crop insurance and price support.
Honorable Michael L. Connor
Montaño Greene is a former State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency in Arizona from 2014-2017. With FSA in Arizona, Montaño Greene led implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill programs across the state. She previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff to Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona. Montaño Greene also served as Deputy Director for Chispa Arizona, a program of the League of Conservation Voters focused on the empowerment of Latino voices in Arizona on issues including energy, public lands,and democracy access.
Montaño Greene is originally from rural Arizona. She is a proud graduate of the University of Arizona.
Army (Civil Works)
Honorable Michael L. Connor is the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Army on all matters related to the Army’s Civil Works Program. He establishes policy direction and provides supervision of Department of the Army functions relating to all aspects of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' Civil Works program. These responsibilities include programs for conservation and development of the nation's water and wetland resources, flood control, navigation, and shore protection. Previously, Secretary Connor served as the Deputy of Department of Interior and Commissioner at the Bureau of Reclamation.