As part of its Local Leaders Global Impact Series, now in its 7th year, Northeastern University–Charlotte is bringing Resilience expert , Dr. Stephen Flynn, to Charlotte on Halloween, Wednesday, October 31, to talk about the scary aftermath of man-made and natural disasters. From terrorist attacks to hurricanes, America needs to be better prepared.
Professor Flynn is the founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University. He served in the Coast Guard on active duty for 20 years, to include assignments in the White House Military Office during the George H. W Bush Administration and as a director for Global Issues on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration.
A best-selling author, Dr. Flynn’s book, The Edge of Disaster, is his impassioned rationale for making resilience to disaster our top national priority.
“As a country, we’ve become increasingly vulnerable to disaster by recklessly neglecting the critical infrastructure that provides our water, food, health care, electricity, and transportation,” says Dr. Flynn. “Turbulence has become the hallmark of the 21st Century – we are facing more frequent and costly disruptions. Living as we do in a hyper-connected world, we must accelerate our efforts to build a more resilient nation.”
Recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on protecting critical infrastructure and supply chains, he has led teams in conducting post-disaster infrastructure resilience assessments, including: Superstorm Sandy (2013), Boston’s “Snowmaggedon” (2015), South Carolina Hurricane Joaquin Flooding (2015) and Fort McMurray and Great Smoky Wildfires (2016).
The breakfast discussion is particularly timely, coming in the wake of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Flynn will touch on how a new Opportunity Zones Program could provide private capital to assist with post-storm recovery. The program provides tax incentives for qualified investors to re-invest capital gains into low-income communities throughout the state, and across the country. Low-income census tracks are areas where the poverty rate is 20 percent or greater and/or family income is less than 80% of the area’s median income. According to the N.C. Department of Commerce website, NC has 252 Opportunity Zones. The federal law allows each state to designate up to 25 percent of its total low-income census tracts as zone candidates. North Carolina has just over 1,000 of these tracts, so only 252 census tracts could be selected as Opportunity Zones.
“With our City’s social mobility challenges top of mind, Dr. Flynn’s solutions-oriented message of resilience and recovery is timely and one that will resonate within our community,” said Dr. Cheryl Richards, CEO and Regional Dean of Northeastern University-Charlotte.
The October 31 event at Northeastern University Charlotte’s Uptown Campus, located at 101 N. Tryon, begins at 7:30AM with networking/light breakfast followed by the program at 8AM. While free to attend, space is limited so attendees must register in advance here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Northeastern University is a top-tier private research university that provides high-demand graduate programs aligned with the needs of industry in region and around the globe. The Charlotte campus, the University’s first expansion outside of Boston, opened in October 2011. Since then, it has grown from eight master’s degrees to more than 50 bachelors and graduate degrees, as well as certificate programs. The Northeastern network also includes campuses and hubs in Seattle, Silicon Valley/San Francisco, and Toronto.