Biographies

2017 PIEC Speaker Biographies  - download the compiled bios here

Alexis A. Straus is the Acting Regional Administrator of EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9), based in San Francisco. She oversees a regional staff charged with implementation and enforcement of federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and 148 tribal nations. From 1994 to 2012, she served as the Director of the Water Division in Region 9, leading implementation of the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and other statutes. Earlier in her career at EPA, she worked in the Superfund and Hazardous Waste programs. In 2008, Alexis received the Presidential Rank Award.

Roger-Mark De Souza has a long history of working on islands from an environmental, sustainable development and population perspective. He is originally from the Caribbean and his graduate work focused on mobility patterns among Caribbean peoples. Since then he has been working on disaster mitigation, food security, community based adaptation, loss and damage and climate programming in Madagascar, the Philippines, and the Caribbean and has been directing efforts to promote island to island collaboration among the Caribbean, Pacific, and Indian ocean island stakeholders.  Currently he is the director of population, environmental security, and resilience for the Wilson Center in Washington D.C. He leads programs on climate change resilience, reproductive and maternal health, environmental security, and livelihoods, including the Global Sustainability and Resilience Program, Environmental Change and Security Program, and Maternal Health Initiative. Before joining the Center in 2013, De Souza served as vice president of research and director of the climate program at Population Action International, where he provided strategic guidance, technical oversight, and management of programs on climate change, environment, and security, as well as population, gender and reproductive health. From 2007 to 2010, as the director of foundation and corporate relations at the Sierra Club, he led a multi-million dollar fundraising program. Prior to the Sierra Club, he directed the Population, Health, and Environment Program at the Population Reference Bureau for 10 years, where he designed and implemented research, communications, and capacity-building projects in the USA, Africa, SE Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Previously he served as Special Assistant to the President of the World Resources Institute working on U.S. and global sustainability. De Souza holds graduate degrees in international relations and development policy from George Washington University and the University of the West Indies. He serves on advisory boards at the National Science Foundation, John Hopkins University and Resource Media. 

Bouveau Anastacio is the Director or Palau’s Bureau of Tourism. The goal of the Bureau of Tourism is to establish Palau’s National Tourism Master Plan and publish its regulatory frameworks for the Tourism Industry. Ms. Anastacio has a background in Business Administration and Tourism Management, which she applies to support the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism’s mission to promote, develop, protect, and management natural resources of the Republic of Palau, in areas of marine and fisheries, agriculture, aquaculture, forests, mineral and other land-based and ocean-based resources as well as tourism.

Dr. Mark Keim helps experts and everyday people to better understand disasters so that they can protect themselves, their families and their communities. A prolific author, speaker, consultant and the founder of DisasterDoc™, Mark is one the most widely recognized disaster medical experts in the world. Throughout his 16-year career with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mark provided life-saving knowledge to thousands of people worldwide. He directed and advised on dozens of natural and manmade disasters and won numerous honors, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Distinguished Service Award for his contributions after 9/11, the 2001 Anthrax letter emergencies and Hurricane Katrina.  Mark values education, both as a student and an instructor. He earned a BS and MD from Southern Illinois University and an MBA from Emory University, Goizueta School of Business. He currently teaches disaster medicine at Harvard Medical School and public health at Emory University. Additionally, Mark has written 46 scientific articles and 22 book chapters and served on The White House Subcommittee for Disaster Reduction and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Karen Reynolds is the President of Environmental Canines Services LLC (ECS), which is the first company in the world to specialize in using scent trained canines to detect and source track human sewage pollution in storm water and surface waters caused by leaking sewer lines, faulty septic systems, and illicit pipe connections.  In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the company and conducting training for its canines and handlers, she has worked as a canine handler with her own ECS canines, Logan and Remi, and as the on-site Project Manager for projects across the country for the past 8 years.  Karen has 25 years of experience as a professional dog trainer, scenting dog canine handler, and dog sports competitor. 

Dr. Ngaio Richards is the Forensics & Field Specialist at Working Dogs for Conservation. In this capacity at WD4C she has handled conservation detection dogs in numerous ecological monitoring applications. She also ran a successful pilot study that used dogs to simultaneously locate otter and mink feces along the banks of 3 rivers in Montana for analysis of heavy metals, brominated flame retardants, and pharmaceuticals (as well as genetics).  She has a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Acadia University (Nova Scotia) and an M.Sc. in Natural Resource Sciences with emphasis on applied wildlife biology and ecotoxicology from McGill University (Quebec). In 2010 she received a Ph.D. in Forensic Science from Anglia Ruskin University (UK). She is currently a member of the Investigative Chemistry Research Group at Anglia Ruskin University and a Director of the Foundation of Analytical Science & Technology in Africa (FASTA). In addition, Ngaio is a member of Clark Fork-Bitterroot Search Dogs, a search and rescue group in Western Montana, and is in the process of being certified for canine Human Remains Detection. 

Dania Rodriguez is the Executive Director of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) in Washington, DC. She has twenty-two years of demonstrated national environmental experience with expertise in the field of technical, financial and policy development and a comprehensive knowledge of State and Territorial (States) environmental programs.  She has served as the liaison between the States and numerous Federal Agencies such as EPA and DOD on important policy issues. As the Executive Director she runs the day-to-day operations of ASTSWMO. This includes managing the Association’s Budget, Cooperative Agreements, the ASTSWMO Staff, and providing support to the ASTSWMO Board of Directors. Prior to her career at ASTSWMO, Dania worked for the American Petroleum Institute (API). Dania received a B.A. in Political Science from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Georgetown University, McCourt School of Public Policy.