Damon P. Coppola, MEM, ARM
Founder and Principal
Damon Coppola is an emergency and risk management global thought leader. He has guided the development of programs and policy from the most local communities to the national government level in countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific, as well as for regional and international organizations including the United Nations and the World Bank. He also provides programmatic and planning assistance to major private-sector clients, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions, including enterprise risk management and private sector involvement in disasters.
Mr. Coppola is a recognized specialist in emergency management training and education, having developed and co-developed higher education and professional training programs for the FEMA Emergency Management Institute and for the Department of Homeland Security National Training and Education Division. In addition to this work, Mr. Coppola serves as an adjunct faculty member at Loma Linda University in California where he teaches various courses on risk and emergency management, homeland security, and disaster risk reduction.
Mr. Coppola has authored and co-authored more than a dozen academic and professional emergency management textbooks that are currently in use at over 200 colleges and universities. Several of these books have been deemed "essential texts" by the FEMA Higher Education Program. His joint effort Introduction to Emergency Management was named the most influential emergency management textbook by the FEMA Emergency Management Institute.
Mr. Coppola holds a Master of Engineering Management (MEM) in Crisis, Emergency, and Risk Management from the George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science, and was awarded the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) professional certification by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.
Caroline Brassard, Ph.D.
Senior Managing Associate
Caroline Brassard is adjunct assistant professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY SPP) at the National University of Singapore, where she has been affiliated since 2002. Prior to joining the LKY SPP, Dr. Brassard worked as an economist for the Government of Ontario in Canada and conducted research and long term consultancy work on poverty reduction strategies for several international non-governmental organizations in developing countries (including United Nations Children’s Fund in Madagascar, CARE in Bangladesh and Save the Children in Vietnam).
Dr. Brassard continues to consult with various international organizations, and provides training and education on aid governance, research methods, economic development policy, poverty alleviation strategies and empirical analysis for public policy. Her research focuses on development policy lessons from natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific and disaster governance in urbanizing contexts. She has extensive fieldwork experience in Vietnam, Indonesia, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Dr. Brassard's latest edited book “Natural Disaster Management in the Asia-Pacific” (with David Giles and Arn Howitt) was published by Springer in 2015. Other recent publications appeared in the Asian Journal of Social Science and the Global Risk Report 2014.
Dr. Brassard holds a PhD in Economics from the University of London. Her current work focuses on the challenges of coordinating poverty eradication and disaster risk reduction in Bhutan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. She served as a Singapore Red Cross Council member from 2011 to 2017.
Betsy J. Millett
Betsy Millett first began working in the field of Emergency Management in 2010 as a contractor, bringing her six years of experience with the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer and specifically her job as a Non Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) Officer, to support the development of state and local training plans. From 2014-2017 she lived in Japan where she spearheaded the development and execution of a NEO program for military families stationed abroad. This included advising on a new instruction for base-wide use, exercise planning, and quarterly training with families.
During the surge in COVID-19 cases in New York City, Ms. Millett worked on a FEMA Technical Assistance Contract with New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM). Her activation as a Resolution Center Coordinator included support at the Hotel Command Center in the NYCEM Emergency Operations Center (EOC). She provided Public Assistance (PA) program support for multiple program areas, including fraud prevention, dispute resolution, cost validation, social services for healthcare workers, client liaison, and more.
Ms. Millett holds a B.A from The George Washington University and a graduate certificate in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University. She currently lives in Vienna, Virginia.
Tawnne O'Connor, RN, MSN
Tawnne O’Connor has over 12 years of experience in leadership, management and clinical expertise with the Navy Nurse Corps and Federal Government. Throughout her career the goal has been to improve the quality of patient care by assisting organizations to establish a consistent approach to management, quality, safety, and treatment. Mrs. O’Connor’s strengths stems from her diverse background.
Ms. O’Connor served five years as a nurse in the United States Navy. During this time, she served as project lead for Yokosuka Naval Hospital and Naval Medical Center San Diego’s 2009 and 2011 Joint Commission Certification. She developed standards of care and practice, directed safety management and quality improvement activities, and managed and resolved human resources, employee and department safety and risk management issues. Mrs. O’Connor also established standards of practice, training, and certification of a forensic nurse program (SANE) for evidentiary exams in cases involving sexual assault treated at Yokosuka Naval Hospital.
As the clinic nurse manager at the United States Embassy, Singapore, Ms. O’Connor supervised and coordinated medical evacuations for 46 embassies and consulates in South East Asia. In response to the Zika virus outbreak in the Republic of Singapore, she worked closely with the staff of Naval Medical Research, Asia to develop training and policies for the Embassy and American civilians. She also established and implemented emergency preparedness training and procedures with the Department of State and Republic of Singapore Civil Defense Force.
Mrs. O’Connor holds a MSN from George Washington University and is currently pursuing a certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner from the same. She currently resides in Washington, DC.