Featured Speakers

Please note: This listing is incomplete at this time and will be updated as new speakers are announced.

John R. Bartle

John R. Bartle is Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, and a Professor of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a Congressionally-chartered advisory group to the federal government. He is the author or editor of three books: "Management Policies in Local Government Finance," "Sustainable Development for Public Administration," and "Evolving Theories of Public Budgeting." His B.A. is from Swarthmore College, his MPA from the University of Texas, and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He also worked in city and state government in Minnesota, and for state and national nonprofit research organizations on tax policy issues.

Robert Blair

Robert Blair, Professor of Public Administration and Director of Urban Studies, has been at the University of Nebraska Omaha since 1989. Prior to joining the University, he worked in city management, economic development, and community development in Nebraska. Blair’s research interests include public policy, state and local government, urban and rural development, and program implementation. He directs the local management program and works regularly with city managers around the globe. Prof. Blair has consulted with communities, and public organizations on a number of projects related to community and economic development, including strategic action plans. He also worked with Omaha Public Power District on a neighborhood-based home energy audit program and a solar policy analysis study, and Omaha By Design on a neighborhood development plan. Prof. Blair has contributed his research to Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Works Management and Policy Journal, State and Local Government Review, International Journal of Public Administration, Great Plains Research, The Journal of the Community Development, Public Administration Review, and Public Administration Quarterly. Dr. Blair has also written chapters for policy textbooks.

David A. Harris

David A. Harris is President of the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation and a graduate student in Urban Affairs at the University of Nebraska–Omaha, focusing on community engagement, leadership and sustainability issues, and a consultant to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Most recently, he was Vice President of Grants and Initiatives at the Iowa West Foundation and the volunteer Chair of the Equity & Engagement Committee for the Heartland 2050 Sustainable Communities Initiative. Before joining Iowa West, David was Director of Regional Policy and Florida Philanthropy for the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, a Program Officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and Executive Director of Jobs for Youth in New York. David also worked at CBS, the Nigerian Television Authority, and Morgan Stanley early in his career. A Harvard College graduate (1980), David has been Vice Chair of the Funders Network for Smart Growth & Livable Communities, the Association of Black Foundation Executives, the National Parenting Association, and is currently a volunteer leader with several local and national organizations.

Chuck Hassebrook

Chuck Hassebrook is the Vice President for Renewable Energy Export with Sandhills Wind Energy of Valentine, Nebraska. Previously, he served 37 with the Center for Rural Affairs, including 17 years as its Executive Director. The Center is a national rural advocacy and development organization based in the Northeast Nebraska community of Lyons. Chuck's work was instrumental in securing the passage of state and federal policy reforms that strengthen family farms, small business, and rural communities. During his time as Executive Director, the Center provided loans, training, and business-planning assistance to over 10,000 small businesses in rural Nebraska. Chuck served 18 years as a Regent for the University of Nebraska, including two terms as Chair. His efforts led to tuition assistance for students from modest income families and the creation of a Rural Futures Institute, aimed at revitalizing small communities. Chuck also served on the Board of the USDA North Central Region Rural Development Center, the Nebraska Rural Development Commission, USDA Commission on Small Farms, and the Board of Bread for the World, a Christian ecumenical anti-hunger organization based in Washington. He was the 2014 Democratic Nominee for Governor of Nebraska. Chuck is a University of Nebraska graduate and native of Platte Center, where his family has farmed for more than a century.

Jack Hébert

Jack Hébert is the President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC). Jack spent his early years in Alaska wintering 60 miles from an Inupiat community in the mountains of the Northwest Arctic and summers in the “old” Denali Park. His mentors and teachers were the people that thrived in these environments, the First Alaskans that lived a traditional life and the next Alaskans, homesteaders and pioneers that brought change to a timeless land. His relationship and commitment to Alaska were born from these deep roots in the “Country.” For the past 36 years, Jack has been designing and building homes as a licensed general contractor in Interior Alaska through his companies Taiga Woodcraft and Hébert Homes LLC. His homes and planned communities have created many high-quality, well-designed, environmentally appropriate, and energy-efficient buildings over a long career. Jack is a graduate of the University of Washington, a Certified Green Professional, and is trained in LEED standards. He has received numerous honors, including the U.S. Green Building Council Cascadia Fellowship in recognition of his contributions to sustainable building, design and science; the first State of Alaska Governor's Award for Excellence in Energy Efficient Design; and the Energy Rated Homes of Alaska President’s Award. He has twice been honored as the Alaska State Homebuilder of the Year.

Jessica Johnston

Jessica Johnston is Senior Program Manager for the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), having joined ICMA in early 2013 to manage their USAID-funded CityLinks program. Based on the premise that cities learn best from each other, Jessica has been working to bring cities from developing countries together with US counterparts to tackle climate-related challenges. A strong believer in the power of locally-led action, Jessica has worked with communities across Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean to facilitate tailored climate solutions. Johnston’s career in international development began as a Peace Corps education and community development volunteer in Jordan in 2006. Since then she has been working with non-profits to support a wide range of technical projects throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012 Johnston graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College with a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management. While at Heinz College, Jessica was named a fellow with the Council of Women World Leaders. As a fellow, she worked in the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago on gender and education issues. Jessica also holds a BA from Chapman University in Peace and Conflict Studies, and is originally from Denver, Colorado.

Timothy R. Kenny

Timothy R. Kenny has served as Executive Director of the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA) for 21 years. In addition to his early professional career as a Certified Public Accountant in the Dallas office of Arthur Young & Co., an international public accounting firm, Kenny has worked in the real estate development, finance and construction industries. Serving since 1994 as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA), headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, Kenny leads an internally funded, multi-purpose authority. NIFA operates programs to finance affordable single and multi-family housing (both ownership and rental), New Markets Tax Credit projects, medical facilities, community infrastructure, industrial development projects and first-time farmers/ranchers. In his public sector career, Kenny has served as the director of program development for the Utah Housing Finance Agency (1991-1993) and as the Executive Director of the Texas Housing Finance Agency (1987-1989). A native of San Antonio, Texas, Kenny worked in the wholesale building materials industry and the family construction business while earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at the University of Texas-Austin. Recently, Kenny is or has served as a member of: Co-Chair, Sustainability Task Force, National Council of State Housing Agencies; Board of Directors, National Council of State Housing Agencies; NAHB National Multifamily Board of Trustees; NAHB National Housing Finance Committee Member; 10th Dist. Federal Reserve Bank Community Advisory Committee; The Nature Conservancy, Treasurer and Board of Trustees, Nebraska Chapter; Lincoln Public Schools Community Learning Centers Advisory Board; Nebraska Subprime Advisory Task Force and Lincoln Rotary Club #14 Board of Directors.

Sharon S. Baum Kuska

Sharon S. Baum Kuska, Ph.D., P.E., LEED A.P. is professor of architecture and former associate dean at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture. She also serves as the vice president of the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities. In addition, Dr. Kuska is the 2004-6 recipient of the H. Robert Douglass Distinguished Professorship, and the 2006-8, 10-12 recipient of the W. Cecil Steward Distinguished Professorship. Kuska is a registered civil engineer in the State of Nebraska, and is a past-President of the Nebraska Society of Professional Engineers. She teaches courses in both the College of Architecture and the College of Engineering and Technology, and is a member of the Womens Studies faculty and the Graduate faculty. She has been a visiting professor at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland, and has also delivered presentations at conferences both nationally and internationally. Research interests lie in the areas of sustainability, structures, rural community issues, and the contributions of women to the architectural profession.

James (Jay) Leighter

Jay Leighter, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Creighton University in 2006 where he teaches courses in courses in cultural communication, communication practices, group communication, deliberation and communication design. He is Director of Creighton's Sustainability Studies Program. A board member at the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities, he also is a a member of the Green Omaha Coalition and, at Creighton, an active participant in several sustainability initiatives. His work has appeared in the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Western Journal of Communication, International Journal of Participation, and Human Communication Research.

Francesco Maria Orsini

Francesco Maria Orsini received a degree in architectural engineering from Universitá degli Studi di Trieste (Italy), and and MSc in urban management and development from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development in the Netherlands, where he specialised in land and housing policies. Now a resident of Medellín, Colombia, Orsini has worked in both the public, academic and private sector on issues of urban planning and development. Among other experiences, he served as technical coordinator for the Empresa de Desarrolllo Urbano (EDU), City of Medellín, where he was part of the team in charge of the planning and development of the Proyecto Urbano Integral (2013 Veronica Rudge Green Design Award) and the Housing Consolidation and Environmental Recovery of the “Juan Bobo” stream basin area (2008 ONU Habitat Best Practice Award). Recently, as a sub-director of BIO2030, Orsini worked on a strategic spatial plan for the sustainable development of Medellín and its metropolitan area. He currently leads the consulting department of Urbam, the Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies from EAFIT University, in Medellín, Colombia. Urbam focuses on case studies, research and consultancy from transformative processes arising from the bottom up (grassroots) and top down (public policy) in urban and rural areas in cross-Andean areas in Latin America and the tropics. Urbam aims to incorporate study and projects around the socio-political convergence of academia, grassroots organizations, public policy and the private sector for the development of applied research projects, consulting and training. Its goals include addressing the real problems of the city and the rural territory and from a cross-disciplinary approach, understanding the tropical Andean region as a territory with unique cultural, environmental and urban conditions.

Jim Powell

Jim Powell is Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), where he teaches natural resource policy, sustainability, and public administration. His research includes community and institutional response to climate change in Alaska, including Alaska Native observations and adaptation to total environmental changes. Before his position with UAS, Jim spent 28 years in environmental management, focusing on water quality issues and wetlands management. Among other appointments, Jim served Alaska state government as Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation and Assistant Director for the Division of Environmental Quality. His public service includes nine years on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly with 3 years as Deputy Mayor. The deepened understanding of municipal decision-making and local environmental systems he gained during his years on the Assembly inspired his passion to improve city-level planning through sustainability assessment, monitoring and adaptation. Today, Jim balances his teaching with serving on several state and local nonprofit boards. He also lectures and consults on sustainability planning and is a board member of the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities. Jim has a PhD in Natural Resources and Sustainability Science from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a Master in Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Eisenhower College at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Ecological Society of America’s Rapid Response Team and for 14 years he has been on the board of the Arctic Winter Games, which sponsors a yearly international competition for youth involving culture and sports among Arctic Nations.

Camilo Restrepo Ochoa

Camilo Restrepo Ochoa is Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and  is principal and founder of Agenda architecture studio in Medellín, Colombia. Restrepo Ochoa also serves as Coordinator of Urbam Strategies at Urbam at EAFIT (Escuela de Administración, Finanzas Y Tecnología) University in Medellín. He graduated as an architect from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in 1998, and holds a masters degree from Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya through the METROPOLIS program in 2005. In 2014 he was nominated for the Mies Crown Hall Architecture Prize in Chicago, and the BSi (B-S-I, Banca della Svizzera Italiana) Architecture award in Switzerland. His work has been widely published around the world, and he was one of three finalists of the 2012 Rolex Mentor Protégé award. He has been curator for different architecture exhibitions and events in Latin America and a member of the art and architecture counseling board for the Museum of Modern art in Medellín. Restrepo Ochoa has received the Colombian national prize for architecture and design Lapiz de Acero in 2008 with the project Orquideorama in association with J. Paul Restrepo and PlanB, and in 2010 with his design for the exhibition Medellín Transformación de Una Ciudad in association with Mesa editores and Paisajes emergentes. His work was recently published in Tropics Imprecisos. In 2010 his Archipelago de Arquitectura was published by Mesa Editores, and in 2009 his monograph Hand Luggage was published by Mesa Editores.

Andrew Rudd

Andrew Rudd is the Urban Environment Officer for UN-Habitat’s Urban Planning & Design Branch in New York, where he leads substantive advocacy for the urban dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (including the SDGs). He also manages a portfolio of projects related to urban sprawl and landscape connectivity. Before that he worked for five years in UN-Habitat’s Nairobi office, where he served on the agency’s delegation to the Rio+20 conference and managed the Urban Patterns for a Green Economy publication series, a photographic investigation of fast-growing cities and UN-Habitat’s participation in the Shanghai Expo. Previously Andrew worked as an architect in New York on residential, retail and transportation planning projects around the world. He is one of the lead authors of The Urban Planet: Patterns and Pathways to the Cities We Want (forthcoming), and has been a contributing author to Urban Environment Education Report (forthcoming), Global Street Design Guide (2015), Assessment Report on Cities and Climate Change II (2015), Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities (2013), Cities and Biodiversity Outlook: Action and Policy (2012), Working Towards a Balanced and Inclusive Green Economy (2011) and Open Space on the Aylesbury: Between Public and Private (2007). Andrew studied architecture at Yale and urbanism at the London School of Economics.

Charles P. (Chuck) Schroeder

Charles P. “Chuck” Schroeder is Executive Director of the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska. Previously, Schroeder served as president and executive director of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where he worked since 2002. Prior to that, he held other leadership positions in the public, private and non-profit sectors, including serving as founding CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, headquartered in Denver, Colorado and Washington, DC. Chuck also served as executive vice president and director of development at the University of Nebraska Foundation and director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Schroeder was with his family’s company, the Schroeder Cattle Company, for about 30 years, the last 10 as owner and president. Chuck is a graduate of the University of Nebraska with a degree in Animal Science. Schroeder has served on many boards of business and civic organizations such as the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Museums West, the Oklahoma State Fair, Sirloin Club of Oklahoma, and advisory boards for the Oklahoma Arts Institute and the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art.  Previous volunteer leadership roles include terms as chairman of the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching, president of the Heartland Center for Leadership Development, chairman of the Beef Industry Food Safety Council, and founding board member of the Rural Policy Research Institute, as well as Agriculture Future of America.

Jeffrey L. Soule, FAICP

Jeff Soule has held a number of urban and regional planning and policy positions in government and the non-profit sector: Policy Coordinator for the US Department of Agriculture, Deputy Director, National Endowment for the Arts Design Program, and Director of The Center for Rural Pennsylvania. He managed the Mayor’s Institute on City Design and helped build the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Program. Mr. Soule joined the American Planning Association as Policy Director in 1996 where he managed Government Affairs, Public Information and Outreach for the Associations’ 40,000 members. In 2007 he became Director of Outreach and International Programs at APA, a new position combining Communications, Partnerships, and International activities. He advises the Chinese government on urbanization and has done several award winning collaborative plans in Nanjing, Beijing and Shanghai. Soule was named a Senior Fellow of the Energy and Climate partnership of the Americas by the Department of State in 2011. He has written and lectured extensively on urban design, community development, historic preservation, environmental conservation, infrastructure and heritage area planning. He is an officer of the Historic Towns and Villages Scientific Committee of ICOMOS and currently the Treasurer and Trustee of US/ICOMOS. He also has held many voluntary civic positions, including three terms as President of the Union Square Association in Baltimore. Mr. Soule is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, FAICP; the International Land Economics Society, Lambda Alpha; member of the Cosmos Club in Washington DC. Jeff received a BA degree, with honors, from Colgate University, and Master's Degrees in City and Regional Planning at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government.

W. Cecil Steward, FAIA

W. Cecil Steward, FAIA, is a world expert on sustainable development and sustainable design. He is founder, President and CEO of the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities. Dean emeritus and emeritus professor of architecture and planning at the University of Nebraska College of Architecture in Lincoln, he is president and founder of the International North/North Network for Urban Sustainability. A past president of the national American Institute of Architects (AIA), Steward has served on the boards of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the AIA and on the charter board of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium. He serves on the boards of directors of the Asia/Pacific Center for Architecture, the national Design Futures Council, and the steering committee of the United Nations Center for Human Settlements Best Practices Network and its international Dubai Award for Best Practices in Sustainable Development, among others. He was a design juror for the Memorial to the 911 Victims of United Flight 93, and a professional advisor to the Architect of the Capitol for a new master plan of the grounds of the U.S. Capital. In public service he is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Lincoln Association and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission. He founded the Nebraska Center for Sustainable Construction, which operates a recycled building materials store in Lincoln. He is a member of the Nebraska Capitol Environs Commission where he assisted in the writing of the first design guidelines for urban protection of the Nebraska Capitol building. At the national level he has served on the national Peer Review Committee for design reviews of selected General Services Administration projects, and as a member of the Pennsylvania Avenue Design Charrette Team in Washington, D.C. At the international level he served as a member of the National Committee on U.S./China Relations, and the UNESCO-sponsored design charrette team for the international Memorial to West African Slave Trade, Dakar, Senegal. Since 1984, he has served as a consultant to the Peoples Republic of China in establishing accreditation and licensing for architects.

Natalie Umphlett

Natalie Umphlett is the regional climatologist at the High Plains Regional Climate Center, in Lincoln, Nebraska. In her seven years at the center, she has worked with people throughout the Plains on their climate needs. Recently, her work has included engaging the City of Lincoln to pinpoint local historical climate variability and trends. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sciences with a Climate Assessment and Impacts specialization at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The focus of her Ph.D. program is increasing the capacity for municipal climate adaptation planning in the Missouri River Basin.

Edmundo Werna

Currently the International Labour Organization's (ILO) focal point man for Habitat III, Dr. Edmundo Werna has worked for over 35 years on different aspects of urban development, with particular attention to labor and municipal management. Joined the ILO in 2004, after coordinating the private sector, environment and urban development agendas of UNDP's UN Volunteers Programme. One of his current initiatives at the ILO is a partnership with United Cities and Local Governments, which pays particular attention to intermediary towns including rural-urban relations. Before joining the UN system, undertook consultancies for several organizations, including WHO, European Commission, the World Bank, UN-Habitat, UNCDF/UNDP, UNRISD, ILO and local governments. He has a PhD in development planning from the University of London (UK), MPhil in development studies from the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex (UK), and a Bachelor’s degree in urbanism and architecture from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil). Werna’s academic experience entailed research and lecturing in British, Brazilian and Italian universities and at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in the US. He published eight books in the UK and USA, plus many chapters in edited books and several articles in scientific journals. He is currently a member of the editorial board of the journals Habitat International and International Journal of Sustainable Urban Development.

Nicholas You

A senior policy adviser at UN-Habitat from 1994 to 2010, Nicholas You was the manager of operations for the Habitat II Secretariat from 1994 through the completion of the Istanbul sessions in 1996. Before retiring from UN-Habitat, he rallied stakeholders to create the World Urban Campaign and served as its inaugural chair (2010-14). He is currently chair of the Media and Communications Constituency Group of the newly formed General Assembly of Partners, formed to promote worldwide readiness for Habitat III. He also is the director of Global Partners and Programs of the Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation, now the world’s leading competition for city innovations. You was also a key adviser in the creation of Citiscope, and is currently a member of its board of directors. You is a veteran urban specialist and thought leader on sustainable development. He was appointed in 1994 to be the manager of operations for the second United Nations Conference for Human Settlements (Habitat II) and is acknowledged as the leading authority on the reporting of best practices for cities and public authorities. He is the founder and immediate former chairman of the UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign Steering Committee, the Assurance Group for Urban Infrastructure of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and is currently the chair of the Urban Strategy and Innovation Council for GDF-Suez. He also serves as member of the board of Citiscope, the Huairou Commission and the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities, and is a fellow of the Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation in China and of the Centre for Liveable Cities in Singapore. He regularly advises governments, cities, technology companies and civil society organizations on urban sustainability and urban innovation. He works as a strategic planning and governance adviser to many governments and metropolitan authorities worldwide.

Facilitators and Moderators

Marcus Chaffee

Marcus Chaffee is a partner at CoCreative Labs, an Omaha-based company specializing providing facilitation and consulting services in inclusive decision-making and authentic community engagement for government, private, and non-profit organizations.   He has worked in a variety of sectors, including education, economic development, public policy, agriculture, and public health to spur collaborative relationships for positive and sustainable change.  He holds a B.A. in Urban & Economic Affairs from Valparaiso University and a M.A. in Multicultural and Bilingual Education from Universidad Alcalá de Henares in Madrid, Spain.  Additionally, he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.   He now resides in Omaha, Nebraska.

Stuart Chittenden

Stuart Chittenden is a partner at David Day Associates, where he consults on brand strategy. Chittenden also is the founder of the conversation consultancy, Squishtalks, conceived in the belief that conversation helps us to live better and well, as individuals, professionals and communities. Formerly a UK lawyer, Chittenden earned a Master’s diploma in Organizational Learning and Development and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the UK. A former Board President of Omaha Public Library, his poetry has been published in The Antigonish Review, Euphony Journal, the Tulane Review and elsewhere.

Dan Gilbert

Dan Gilbert works locally and globally to design, execute, and evaluate innovative processes and activities. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating healthy homes for children. Dan also leads and facilitates workshops on creativity, innovation, and design thinking for non-profit and learning organizations of all sizes. He has served as a Special Assistant to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha launching and supporting innovative and strategic collaborations among students, faculty, and staff. Dan has taught multiple courses at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education and coached faculty and students on using innovative pedagogies. He has worked with schools, museums, high-tech start-ups and taught ESL in the United States and Japan. He holds a Master’s Degree in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford.

Kim Roth Howe

Kim Howe is a partner at Co-Creative Labs, providing group facilitation and consulting for public, private, and non-profit organizations pursuing inclusive decision-making and authentic community engagement. A recent transplant from Chicago to Omaha, Ms. Howe has over 15 years experience in adult education, grassroots community organizing, and non-profit leadership in diverse urban settings, with expertise in stakeholder-driven project and program design and implementation across linguistic, cultural, and economic differences. She teaches participatory methods and intercultural communication courses within UNO’s International Studies Department and previously taught at the University of Illinois Chicago and Chicago City Colleges. Ms. Howe currently serves on the board of inCOMMON Community Development.

Milo Mumgaard

Before his recent appointment as the Executive Director of Legal Aid of Nebraska, Milo Mumgaard served as Senior Policy Aide for Sustainability for Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler from 2009–2015. In this position, Mumgaard provided legal and policy counsel on multiple efforts to lower carbon emissions and adapt to as well as mitigate impacts of climate change in the City of Lincoln. These efforts included initiatives in energy, water, waste, and transportation, including energy efficiency programs assisting over 3,000 homeowners, new solar and wind renewable energy installations and policy, municipal operations energy upgrades, neighborhood-based educational campaigns, new transportation options, and expanded local food initiatives. Mumgaard participated in state and regional initiatives to identify impacts of climate change on municipal operations and policy responses, working closely with regional climate scientists, and drafted numerous commentaries and articles on the role of today’s modern city in responding to climate change.

Todd Swirczek

A native of Omaha, Todd Swirczek received his bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska–Omaha. He received a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Colorado at Denver, after which he worked for a consulting firm in Denver and then the City of Houston Planning Department for several years.  Like many of his friends who had moved away from Omaha, the desire to be a part of a reurbanization effort in the city drew him back to the area.  Swirczek is currently an adjunct professor at UNO as well as a City Planner who enjoys working on various projects for the City of Omaha Planning Department, including mixed use districts and urban infill projects.

Editor, Urban Thinkers Campus Report

Mary Ferdig, President and CEO, Sustainability Leadership Institute

Rapporteurs and Volunteers

Brandon Beck, Undergraduate Student, UNL
Del Bharath, PhD student, UNO School of Public Administration
Byungwoo Shine Cho, PhD student and instructor, UNO School of Public Administration
Robert Cronkleton, Political Science & Government Student, Creighton University
Katja Duerig, Environmental Studies Student, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Edward Engles, Graduate Student, UNO School of Public Administration
Garret Fox, Undergraduate Student, Creighton University
Christian Janousek, PhD, Part-time Instructor, UNO School of Public Administration
Jasmine Mausbach, Environmental Studies Student, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
David Rice, Undergraduate Student, Creighton University
Ian Santos–Meeker, Undergraduate Student, Creighton University
Evan Schweitz, Transit Planner, Metro Omaha, and Graduate Student, UNO School of Public Administration
Jessica Sheldon, Undergraduate Student, Creighton University
Joshua Shirk, PhD student, UNO School of Public Administration
Daniel Wuebben, Assistant Professor, Goodrich Scholarship Program, UNO

Steering Committee

Robert Blair, University of Nebraska–Omaha, School of Public Administration and College of Public Affairs and Community Service
Katie Torpy Carroll, Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities
Sharon Kuska, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
Jay Leighter, Creighton University Communication Studies
Camilo Restrepo Ochoa, Harvard Graduate School of Design and URBAM (Centro de Estudios Urbanos y Ambientales) at Escuela de Administración, Finanzas & Technología (EAFIT)
Jim Powell, University of Alaska Southeast School of Management
W. Cecil Steward, Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities
Diane Wanek, Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities
Nicholas You, UN–Habitat, World Urban Campaign, Guangzhou Institute, and Citistates