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DeSantis Appointee to Prepare State for Rising Seas

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Dr. Julia Nesheiwat as Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer. It’s the first time a high-level official will help Fla. prepare for the expected environmental, physical and economic impacts of climate change on rising sea levels.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Dr. Julia Nesheiwat as Florida’s first Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) and tasked her with preparing Florida for the environmental, physical and economic impacts of sea level rise.

The CRO reports to the Executive Office of the Governor and will work in partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. They will also work with local communities and stakeholders.

“Developing resilience goals for the state will help to protect our coastal communities and fortify Florida’s pathway to continued prosperity,” says DeSantis. “Dr. Nesheiwat’s more than 20 years’ experience operating at the highest levels of government and academia focusing on renewable energy, environmental and critical infrastructure issues make her an excellent choice for this position. She has a proven track record of public, private and military service that will serve Florida well.”

“As a Floridian from Lake County, I know how important this issue is for the people of Florida,” says Nesheiwat. “With 1,350 miles of largely low-lying coastline, the impacts from climate change and sea level rise present a significant challenge; but with Governor DeSantis’ leadership and vision, Florida will be a leader for the entire country on how best to confront these issues.”

“With this appointment of Dr. Julia Nesheiwat as Florida’s first Chief Resilience Officer, Governor DeSantis stands above all other governors in his leadership and commitment to ensure the Everglades and Florida’s water resources are protected,” adds Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation. “Governor DeSantis made a wise choice. Dr. Nesheiwat is a proven resiliency leader in critical areas where the public, private and academic sectors intersect. Her years of environmental experience, with an emphasis on water and natural resources, will serve the people of Florida well.”

Dr. Julia Nesheiwat’s biography
Nesheiwat has over 20 years of renewable energy and environmental experience focused on water and natural resources as a senior executive in federal cabinet-level agencies, academia and as a combat veteran. She has served in a variety of positions, including as former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State building the first Energy Resources Bureau working closely with the Oceans, Environment and Science Bureau and serving as Chief of Staff to Special Envoys and Under Secretary for Energy, Environment and Sustainability.

Nesheiwat’s PhD dissertation from Tokyo Tech, “Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Energy Technology & Resiliency” focused on post-disaster reconstruction of coastal towns and urban resiliency. She managed the resiliency and energy working group on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Advisory Council and is an advocate on energy and environmental programs and critical infrastructure protection (CI), power sector sustainability and innovation projects. She previously served as a visiting professor at the Naval Post Graduate School on Energy & Environmental Security and Lecturer at University of California San Diego & Stanford University.

Nesheiwat is also a former U.S. Army intelligence officer with combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Raised in Lake County, Florida, she received her PhD in 2014 from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in National Energy Security in 2007 from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1997 from Stetson University.

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