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Keynote Speakers

Monday, June 6, 2022 | 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Michael D. Alexander, AICP

"Georgia and Metro Atlanta,  Demographic Destiny and our Growth Outlook "

Georgia and Metro Atlanta are known as young places, but that is changing. Current Socioeconomic conditions are also changing. Technology is having an enormous impact on how we think about work and mobility. At the intersection of these changes, how will  Georgia and Metro Atlanta be impacted over the long term? What will it mean for our economy and quality of life?

Director, Atlanta Regional Commission's Center for Livable Communities

Mike Alexander is the Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission's Center for Livable Communities which includes the Community Development, Natural Resources, Research & Analytics, Transportation Accessibility & Mobility, and Mobility Services Groups of the ARC. Mike has over 20 years of Public policy experience focused on regional and local community planning. As the Director, he leads this multidisciplinary, professional staff in the fields of transportation planning, environmental planning, community development, economics and demographic forecasting.

He is a graduate of the ARC Regional Leadership Institute, Leadership DeKalb, and Leadership Atlanta. Originally from South Carolina, Mike attended Auburn University where he received a dual masters degree in Public Administration and Community Planning. He served as a Marine Infantryman in Desert Storm. Mike, his wife Michelle, and their two daughters, live in Decatur.

Monday, June 6, 2022 | 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Dennis D. Truax, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, D.WRE, F.NSPE, F.ASCE 

“Innovating to Provide a Nation's 21st Century Water Resource Security”

We live in a different world, and previous engineering successes will likely result in failure of one kind or another.  Climate change, population growth, dwindling resources, and lack of vision by decision makes are both a challenge, and an opportunity, for the environmental and water resource engineering community designing for the 21st Century.  Now is the time to engage in rethinking how we assure one of our most precious resources will be adequate to meet the needs for the rest of this century.

2022 ASCE President

Dennis D. Truax is professor emeritus of the Richard A. Rula School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Mississippi State University. During his 41 years, he served as school director, department head, and professor. He held the James T. White endowed chair for 15 years and was director or co-director of the Mississippi Transportation Research Institute for 13 years.  

Truax is a licensed professional engineer and holds national certifications as an environmental engineer from the American Academy of Environmental Engineering and Scientists and as a water resources engineer with American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. As a consulting engineer, he has worked on environmental and water resource management systems throughout the world, including the design of over 550 water and wastewater treatments systems.  

He was elected fellow of ASCE in 1999 and fellow of the National Society of Professional Engineers in 2016. He is a chapter honor member of the Mississippi State University Chapter of Chi Epsilon. He received the 2020 Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award and the 2018 NCEES Distinguished Service Award. Recently, he was the 2020 ASCE Region 5 Wall of Fame Inductee and in 2021 was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni of the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech.  

He served on the ASCE Board of Direction, chaired numerous committees and task forces related to Society organization, student activities, diversity, professional development, and technical advancement. He was faculty advisor to the Mississippi State ASCE Student Chapter for 26 years and was the charter faculty advisor for the Mississippi State Chapter of Engineers without Borders having worked with that group for 11 years.  He holds or has held national leadership positions and committee appointments with National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, NSPE, and the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. He just completed his 13th year on Mississippi’s Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors, having served as board president twice, and served 12 years on the state’s Onsite Wastewater Advisory Council as chair for most of that time.  

During his academic career, he has published over 120 refereed and reference papers and report and made almost 170 papers and poster presentations.  Dr. Truax research areas included wastewater treatment, process optimization, management of organic and inorganic hazardous wastes, and modeling of surface waters for TMDL determination.  His other areas of research related to transportation and construction engineering and included delineation of roadway systems and NEPA compliance for highways using remotely-sense data, modeling of highway evacuation strategies, predicting pavement performance, evaluating resources and their allocation in the management of waterways, and comparing the economics of transportation management alternatives.  

Professionally, he has worked on environmental and water resource management systems throughout the United States as well as Argentina, Canada, China, Mexico, Romania, Tanzania, Turkey and Venezuela.  He has consulted for local and international engineering firms, small municipalities and regional authorities, law firms, industry, and federal agencies.  Technically, he has helped design over 500 wastewater treatment plants world-wide.  He was project engineer for the design, permitting, contract management, and construction of a regional solids waste management system and has worked on almost a dozen county or regional solid waste management plans.  He has performed numerous Environmental Assessments, supervised the clean-up of several hazardous waste sites, and provided inspection for hazardous materials management systems throughout Mississippi.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 | 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Ben DeAngelo

"Utilizing Our Best Available Information for Climate-Ready Infrastructure"

We are observing and projecting into the future climatic changes that pose risks to our lives, welfare, and property. NOAA collects observational data on our changing climate, conducts research to better understand how our climate is changing, and works to improve models in order to better predict future changes in temperature, precipitation, sea levels, and the nature and severity of extreme weather events. NOAA is working with ASCE on a partnership to bring NOAA science and expertise into the next generation of ASCE's codes and standards that factor in a changing--rather than a stationary--climate.

Deputy Director, NOAA Climate Program Office

Benjamin DeAngelo is the Deputy Director of the Climate Program Office in the research arm of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he helps lead this office’s efforts to support foundational climate research, regional adaptation and resiliency, and climate change literacy and education. DeAngelo also serves as the NOAA Principal to the interagency U.S. Global Change Research Program and serves as the Chair of the Artic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), a working group under the Arctic Council.

Before joining NOAA in 2017, DeAngelo was the Deputy Executive Director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and Senior Advisor for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He helped lead the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment (2018). Prior to that DeAngelo was with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where he was a Senior Analysist for climate science and policy. At EPA, DeAngelo was the technical lead for the Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Finding under the Clean Air Act. He is an author or editor on over 25 publications covering climate impact assessments, black carbon, greenhouse gas mitigation, and Arctic trends.

DeAngelo received his bachelor’s at Pennsylvania State University, master’s at the University of Toronto, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany. He lives in Washington, DC and is married with two young children.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 | 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Daniel Blackman

“Tackling the Climate Crisis and Advancing Environmental Justice”

EPA, in our mission to protect human health and the environment, has prioritized our actions to tackle the climate crisis while also focusing on how to advance environmental justice. EPA’s efforts include regulatory updates, investment of the historic bipartisan infrastructure funding including prioritization of underserved communities, and actions to protect those most vulnerable to contaminants.  

Regional Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Southeast Region (Region 4)

On November 29, 2021, President Biden appointed Daniel Blackman to serve as the Regional Administrator for EPA’s Southeast Region (Region 4). In this role Daniel is leading EPA efforts to protect public health and the environment for the region spanning Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

Daniel has dedicated his career to creating economic opportunities for marginalized communities throughout the South, specifically in building more resilient communities with equitable economic opportunity, greater access to education and a healthy environment for all, not just for a select few. 

Daniel has spent over a decade advising policymakers at the state capitol, and advocating on behalf of Georgia ratepayers and small businesses in energy-related matters before Georgia’s Public Service Commission. He has served as chairman of the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club and board member to the ACLU. 

During the Obama Administration, Daniel worked closely within EPA Region 4 on issues including water infrastructure, clean air, and land/emergency management policies that impacted the southeast. He leaned heavily on his civil rights background to amplify the Region’s Environmental Justice Policy and convened stakeholders with federal agencies to address a multitude of community concerns strategically and comprehensively. 

His work in addressing groundwater contamination at nuclear plants and its impact on public health and safety has given him the opportunity to testify numerous times before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and his commitment to working throughout the Southeastern United States to push for legislation that addresses toxic ash left behind from burning coal has given him the opportunity to play a key role in the transitioning from coal to clean energy in the United States. 

He is the son of immigrants from Barbados and is an alumnus of Clark Atlanta University. Daniel and his wife Jeanelle are the proud parents of four children, and the family resides in Forsyth County, Georgia.

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