Mid-Atlantic
via Old Dominion University

NC - Whitehead to Lead ODU Climate Program

Jessica Whitehead, formerly chief resilience officer for North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, is now the Joan P. Brock Endowed executive director of the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience, or ICAR, at Old Dominion University, the university announced Thursday.

No decision has been made on Whitehead’s replacement in the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, a part of the Department of Public Safety, Bridget Munger, communications director, told Coastal Review Monday. Gov. Roy Cooper established the office after Hurricane Florence in 2018 to streamline recovery programming and assistance.

Launched in 2019, the institute at Old Dominion offers an interdisciplinary, research-based approach to address pressing issues for the regional coastal communities, according to the university based in Norfolk, Virginia. President John R. Broderick leads the program to study sea level rise and coastal resilience.

“The creation of the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience marked the culmination of a decade of work and the fulfillment of a vision shared with my late friend and colleague, Dr. Larry Atkinson, with whom I initiated the University’s coastal resiliency effort,” Broderick said in a statement. “The appointment of Dr. Whitehead as the Joan P. Brock Endowed executive director enables us to build upon Larry’s legacy of helping communities threatened by sea level rise by fostering research, leveraging resources, building connections and leading efforts to turn world-class science into global practice.”

The institute has partnered with the city of Norfolk, which will allow Whitehead to collaborate with city staff and leadership to use Norfolk as a testbed for resilience policies, strategies and technologies.

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