Executive Committee


Lauren Butner

Engineers Without Borders USA

Lauren Butner first joined BRW in 2013 serving on both the media and outreach subcommittees. She is currently on the BRW Executive Committee as a co-coordinator and working in the community resilience arena through the Community Engineering Corps at Engineers Without Borders USA. There she coordinates the domestic program, which brings pro bono engineering services to under-served communities across the country. She has a Master’s degree in Disaster Resilience Leadership from Tulane University and worked on various academic projects while enrolled, including an evaluation of the City Assisted Evacuation awareness campaign implemented by evacuteer.org. A native Californian, she moved to New Orleans in 2011 to serve as an AmeriCorps member with a local rebuilding non-profit and continues to volunteer whenever possible.


Kali RappKali Rapp


Kali R. Roy is the Executive Director of evacuteer.org. This is her third year co-coordinating the Building Resilience Workshop in both logistics and programming. Roy holds a MSc in Disaster Resilience Leadership Studies from Tulane University and her work spans program management to operations planning and continuity training for energy companies and public service infrastructure leaders in emergency management and software solutions. She is excited to engage with resilience-minded citizens in her adopted home and living laboratory of New Orleans and enjoys demonstrating the value of resilience-based capacity building.




jeanaJeana C. Wiser, MUP

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Jeana C. Wiser is an Associate Project Manager for the Preservation Green Lab, the research arm of the National Trust for Historic Preservation – founded 5 years ago to highlight and promote the relationship between older, smaller buildings and sustainability. Jeana joined BRW in 2011 as a co-coordinator and transitioned into a more directional role, in 2012, as a member of the BRW Executive and Steering Committees.

Regarding resilience, Jeana’s interests lie in the importance of strong social ties and relationships as well as the intangible aspects of resilience. She values the role of BRW in highlighting the excellent work that’s already being done and helping to form those connections between sometimes seemingly disparate work. Additionally, she enjoys and appreciates contributing to the ever-expanding definition of resilience.

While working towards a Master of Urban Planning degree from University of Washington (2009-2011), Jeana was the lead Research Assistant at the Center for Hazard Mitigation Planning and Research.  As lead Research Assistant, Jeana managed the implementation of a Washington coast tsunami vertical evacuation joint pilot project with the State of Washington Emergency Management Division and co-authored a report on the seismic vulnerability and cultural importance of Seattle’s unreinforced masonry building stock.



S_LaskaShirley Laska
Special Advisor to the Executive Committee


Shirley Laska, PhD, is professor emerita of sociology and founding past director of the Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology at the University of New Orleans (UNO-CHART). She has been conducting applied research on the social/environmental interface, natural & technological hazards, and disaster response, especially long-term recovery and risk reduction, for 25 years. Her work includes studies on residential flood mitigation, hurricane response, coastal land loss effects, coastal fisheries, community risk assessment and risk management for coastal hazards, use of information technology and GIS as support tools for disaster management, and evacuation of the vulnerable.

Since Katrina Laska’s work has been focused on lessons to be learned from the event, especially in the realm of community recovery and hazard resilience both in the urban and non-urban setting. This work emphasizes Participatory Action Research in both slow onset – coastal land loss and sea level rise –and abrupt major disaster events – hurricane Katrina and the BP oil leak.



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