Cindy, Harvey, Irma, Maria, Nate, and an August New Orleans severe rainstorm highlighted what Louisiana residents already know – the way we choose to live with water needs to change. Communities are increasingly focusing on becoming more resilient in the face of changing conditions, whether that’s coastal land loss or the challenges of urbanization in watersheds.
On Monday, the Water Institute announced that Jeff Hebert will join as Vice President for Adaptation and Resilience. Hebert most recently served as Deputy Mayor, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief Resilience Officer of New Orleans. From developing and implementing the world’s first comprehensive resilience strategy, Resilient New Orleans, and the city’s first climate action strategy, Hebert will bring a vast knowledge of what it takes to help communities adapt to ever-changing conditions.
“We’ve learned so much in Louisiana over the past decade about how necessary it is to find ways to keep our communities and cultures thriving,” Hebert said. “However, last year’s flooding in north and southeast Louisiana, along with the active hurricane season and severe rain events in New Orleans and Houston and current flooding in Southeast Australia, all remind us that there’s so much more work ahead. I’m thrilled to be joining such an amazing team dedicated to developing solutions to these challenges.”
Hebert earned a bachelor’s degree from New York University, a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a graduate of the Achieving Excellence in Community Development program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Prior to his current roles with the City of New Orleans, Hebert served as the first Director of Blight Policy and Neighborhood Revitalization for the city as well as the Director of Community Planning for the Louisiana Recovery Authority after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Hebert was recognized in 2016 as one of 100 extraordinary individuals tackling global issues by GOOD magazine and is a recognized global leader in resilience. In addition, he was awarded the Excellence in Government Innovation Award from the Bureau of Governmental Research in 2012.
“Jeff’s experience advising government officials locally and around the world on resilience and disaster recovery planning and implementation means he brings a wealth of knowledge to the Institute’s efforts,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, President, and CEO of the Institute. “Jeff’s deep experience will help the Institute fulfill its mission to bring the best of the natural sciences together with the human dimension as we help communities prepare for an uncertain future.”
Hebert started as the Vice President for Adaptation and Resilience on January 1, 2018.