The National Summit on Homeland Security Law

Gathering in remembrance. Uniting in vigilance.


The National Summit on Homeland Security Law is held each year near or on April 19th, the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The 5th Annual Summit will take place on April 18th and 19th, 2019.  On the first day, Thursday, April 18th, the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) will host a three-quarter day regional meeting, open to all Summit participants.  Included on the agenda will be presentations and panel discussions on catastrophic environmental releases focusing on each phase of environmental releases, including mitigation and preparedness, release response and recovery. We will review case studies of recent environmental events and recent developments in preparedness and response strategies including environmental insurance. The meeting will be followed by a reception at the law school open to all Summit participants. 

On Friday, April 19, we will hold a full day summit – featuring speeches, panel presentations and discussion facilitated by legal experts actively moderating panels of federal, state, municipal, volunteer response group and insurance leaders.  Discussion will focus on the Stafford Act and related state authority governing disaster preparedness, response and recovery. In this context, panel participants will address counterterrorism and preparedness requirements, including cybersecurity issues, risk management and insurance coverage, as well as response and recovery processes, illustrating necessary interagency coordination with multijurisdictional event scenarios.  Specific focus will be given to recent lessons learned and ongoing efforts to improve disaster preparedness and response capabilities with the most current information and policy developments. 


April 18, 2019

Conference Compilation, The American College of Environmental Lawyers, In Collaboration with

The Judge Alfred P. Murrah Center for Homeland Security Law & Policy 2019 National Summit on Homeland Security Law, “Environmental Issues in Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery,” April 18, 2019.

To request a copy of this conference compilation, please contact Mary Ellen Ternes at


April 19, 2019

Conference Compilation, The Murrah Center for Homeland Security Law & Policy 2019 National Summit, “What You Need to Know About Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery,” April 19, 2019.

To request a copy of this conference compilation, please contact Mary Ellen Ternes


SUMMIT ITINERARY: Approved for 14 hours of CLE credit. REGISTER TODAY!


10:00 a.m. – 10:30 am           Registration & Welcome:  The National Contingency Plan

Welcome by ACOEL Fellow Mary Ellen Ternes, Earth & Water Law, and ACOEL President Allan Gates, Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard


10:30 a.m. – 12:00p.m.          Panel: It’s an Environmental Disaster! Case Study: Pipeline Break

On March 29, 2013, ExxonMobil’s Pegasus Pipeline ruptured in a residential subdivision in Mayflower, Arkansas. The pipeline conveyed Canadian Wabasca heavy crude from the Athabasca oil sands and released about 3,190 barrels of oil. This panel provides a facilitated presentation of the release event and response efforts pursuant to the National Contingency Plan and State of Arkansas authorities, with focus on response technology and field procedures, with additional Oklahoma perspective following the Incident Command Structure (ICS) adopted by Oklahoma’s State Emergency Operations Plan, including interagency coordination at the ICS/Emergency Operations Center (EOC) interface.

Moderator:     Allan Gates, Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard

Speakers:        Allen Dodson, former Faulkner County Judge; Tammie Hynum, ADEQ; Paul Nony, Ph.D., CTEH; Loree Boyanton, ODEQ.


12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.           Luncheon Presentation:  Foreseeability: Extreme Weather Events

Failure to prepare and mitigate the effects of a predicted disaster could be devastating yet preparedness does not always receive proper focus. In at least one recent case, alleged failure to properly prepare has resulted in criminal indictments and massive tort claims. Setting the stage with Hurricane Harvey’s Arkema, Inc., the Chemical Safety Board final report, and status of the civil and criminal lawsuits, our luncheon presentation by Lindene Patton, internationally recognized expert in the legal implications of attribution science, will discuss how advances in the science are changing the best practice standards and related legal obligations of constructors, advisors, owners and operators of facilities to anticipate and plan for extreme weather events, focusing on whether statutory compliance is enough considering history of how the law has responded to similar changes in science.

Moderator:     Mary Ellen Ternes, Earth & Water Law

Speaker:          Lindene Patton, Earth & Water Law


1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.             Panel: Environmental Disaster Preparedness – Are You Ready?

Federal environmental statutes impose many emergency preparedness requirements upon regulated entities, including spill plans, risk management plans for hazardous air pollutants, emergency response plans for hazardous waste, as well as counter-terrorism planning for high-risk facilities and infrastructure, to name just a few. But beyond these federal requirements, states and municipalities implement and enforce their own disaster preparedness measures. Of course, consequences from environmental incidents vary greatly depending on scale, size, location and who and what is affected.  The potential damage to the environment and to public health can be catastrophic, which forces companies to evaluate and mitigate this risk.  This panel reviews preparedness requirements, implications of recent events and expanded views on foreseeability, as well as tailored insurance solutions for such risk of damage.

Moderator:     Thomas Burack, Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green

Speakers:        Mary Ellen Ternes, Earth & Water Law; Clifton Hoyle, ODEQ; Professor Shannon Roesler, OCU School of Law; Tracy Keeley, Oklahoma Insurance Department; Thomas M. Jones, Cozen O’Conner; Tom Williams, Allianz; Chris Browning, OCWUT; Kaylee Davis-Maddy, Doerner Saunders.


3:30 – p.m. – 5:00 p.m.           Panel: Environmental Disaster Recovery – Help Please?

Following an environmental disaster, where can you turn for help? What resources are available to you, what exemptions apply, can you be held legally liable for alleged damages due to remediation activities or is there a “safe harbor” if you are following the instructions of the EPA’s On-Scene Coordinator, how helpful is the “Act of God” defense, and will your insurance cover the event? This panel reviews exemptions, the scope of legal liability, available defenses and risk management strategies.

Moderator:     Allan Gates, Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard

Speakers:        Tom Burack, Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green; Jeff Civins, Haynes and Boone; Kevin Murray, Holland & Hart; Lindene Patton and Mary Ellen Ternes, Earth & Water Law.


5:30 – 7:00 p.m.                      Reception



9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.           Welcome & Introduction: The Stafford Act

Welcome by Dean Emeritus Valerie K. Couch, OCU School of Law and Mary Ellen Ternes, Earth & Water Law, with remarks by FEMA Regional Administrator Tony Robinson and Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management Director Mark Gower.


10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.          Keynote Address by Congresswoman Kendra Horn


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.         Panel: National Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation

FEMA implements the National Preparedness Goals ensuring prevention and protection, along with hazard mitigation working with state and municipal emergency management agencies and volunteer resources, while infrastructure entities and the insurance community play critical roles in disaster preparedness. This panel will illustrate how all these pieces fit together.

Moderator:      Mary Ellen Ternes, Earth & Water Law

Panelists:         Randy Meshell, FEMA; Alden Graybill, OEM; ODHS Deputy Director Johnny Vaughn; Tim Lovell, VOAD; Oklahoma City Emergency Management Director Frank Barnes; Laura Finley, Western Farmers; Chris Browning, Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust; Tracy Keeley, Oklahoma Insurance Department; Thomas M. Jones, Cozen O’Conner; Richard Reitburger, AXIS; and Joanne Quintal, Aon.


12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.           Luncheon Presentation: The Disaster Response Community and April 19, 1995

Speakers:        Oklahoma Emergency Management Association President Rob Hill, and Oklahoma Water Resources Board Water Quality Scientist Dereck R. Smithee, retired.


1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.             Panel: Emerging Cyber Threats and Cybersecurity Insurance

Cyber attacks are increasing and have become a global concern as many systems and devices that operate critical infrastructure are now connected through the worldwide web commonly known as the IoT.  Public and private companies have become more vulnerable to cyber attacks as established IT security controls are failing to protect the operational systems.  Many companies are not moving quickly enough to new technologies, often because of cost and time constraints.  As a result, cyber attacks are deemed to be one of the greatest threats in America to public and private companies.  This panel will address emerging cyber threats, implications of such threats and attacks, and cyber insurance designed to mitigate losses from a variety of cyber attacks.

Moderator:      Thomas M. Jones, Cozen O’Conner

Speakers:        Sandy Coats and Anthony Hendricks, Crowe & Dunlevy; Isaac Porche, RAND; Drew Walter, AXIS; and Chris Mee, Aon.


3:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m.                Panel: Response & Recovery

FEMA also implements the National Disaster Response and Recovery Frameworks, working with state and municipal emergency management agencies and the volunteer community, while infrastructure entities and insurance are critical to recovery efforts. This panel will illustrate how all these pieces fit together using relevant disaster scenarios while contrasting with different state experiences.

Moderator:      Kevin Murray, Holland & Hart

Panelists:         Randy Meshell, FEMA; Alden Graybill, OEM; Deputy Director Vaughn; Debi Wagner, VOAD; Frank Barnes, OKC OEM; Laura Finley, Western Farmers; Chris Browning, OCWUT; Tom Burack, Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green, former Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services; Tracy Keeley, OID; Thomas M. Jones, Cozen O’Conner; Richard Reitburger, AXIS; and Joanne Quintal, Aon.



The Skirvin Hotel

Skirvin Hotel, 1 Park Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 – (405) 272.3040.

To receive the discounted rate, please call the reservation line at 1-800-HILTONS and mention the OCU Law Annual Homeland Security Summit Room Block (or group code OCULAW), or use the link below to easily book online within the block of rooms:

The Colcord Hotel

The Colcord Hotel, 15 N Robinson Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 – (405) 601.4300

Please contact the Colcord Hotel to book a room at a discounted rate with the link below.


Guests may park in the north lots, or use any of the purple or blue lots shown on the map at this link: Parking Map. For those needing handicap access, they can enter through the west doors on the plaza and be directed to McLaughlin Hall.



Frank Barnes serves as the Emergency Management Director for the City of Oklahoma City.  During the last eleven years, he has been involved in twelve local major incidents resulting in either a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration or a Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration.  He holds a Masters Degree in Emergency Services Management from Columbia Southern University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada-Reno.  He is a graduate of FEMA’s National Emergency Management Academy. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®) through the International Association of Emergency Managers.

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Loree Boyanton is the Assistant Division Director of ODEQ’s Environmental Complaints and Local Services Division.  She has a B.S. in Environmental Science from ECU and an Associates in Emergency Management from Rose State College.  Employed with DEQ for 22 years, Loree began her career as an ECLS Field Inspector investigating environmental complaints, inspecting permitted facilities, and providing technical assistance and oversight for private water and sewer systems.  She has served as the Agency’s Primary Emergency Response Coordinator and continues to act as an Agency liaison to the State Emergency Operations Center.

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Chris Browning is currently the Utilities Director for the City of Oklahoma City, serving a population of approximately 1.4 million. With more than thirty years of experience as a utility executive, he has managed large organizations with annual budgets totaling over $600 million and capital improvement programs up to $2.5 billion. He is experienced in developing and implementing programs to effectively manage resources to minimize the impacts of large–scale service disruptions related to natural and man-made disasters.

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Thomas Burack is a Shareholder in Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green, PA in Manchester, New Hampshire and provides legal and consulting support on environmental remediation, restoration, and compliance; brownfields; emergency and disaster planning and response; energy; organizational and strategic leadership. Tom served for 10 years as Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, and in that capacity led the agency’s efforts to build a multi-disciplinary response team as well as statewide efforts to leverage resiliency and adaptation planning to better equip homeowners, businesses, and communities to face extreme weather events. Tom is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and Co-Chair of ACOEL’s Disaster Planning and Response Task Force.

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Jeff Civins is senior counsel at Haynes and Boone, LLP, in Austin.  Jeff has practiced all aspects of environmental law since 1975, assisting clients in compliance matters, transactions, and litigation.  As an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law, Jeff has been teaching a seminar on Environmental Litigation each spring since 1992. Jeff is a Fellow and a Regent of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, and Co-Chair of ACOEL’s Disaster Planning and Response Task Force.

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Sanford Coats is a trial lawyer and chair of Crowe & Dunlevy’s Criminal Defense, Compliance & Investigations Practice Group. Coats’ expertise includes government investigations and the representation of corporate and individual clients in all areas of criminal and civil law. Coats formerly served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, a position to which he was appointed by President Barack Obama. Prior to that appointment, Coats was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of that office.  Coats now represents clients in federal and state courts facing criminal charges, internal investigations and grand jury investigations, as well as in commercial litigation.

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Kaylee Davis-Maddy is an accomplished lawyer with Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson specializing in the commercial, healthcare, environmental and water law sectors. Although primarily a litigator, Kaylee’s practice is full service—assisting her clients and their needs that span the employment, commercial, real property, regulatory and administrative fields. Her environmental practice focuses on interacting with state and federal agencies to provide her clients with the outcomes they desire. Kaylee is also an accomplished water attorney, regularly assisting clients in asserting, obtaining and protecting their water rights in court or at state agencies. Her clients include small and large municipalities, corporations, landowners and family farmers.

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Allen Dodson was County Judge of Faulkner County, Arkansas during and after two disasters – the March 29, 2013, rupture of the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, AR, and the April 27, 2014, long track EF4 tornado that struck the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia.  As the County’s Chief Executive Officer, he was integrally involved in the response and recovery phases of both incidents and those efforts predominated his time in office.  Mr. Dodson is the former Faulkner County Civil Attorney, and currently serves as the Lonoke County Civil Attorney.

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Laura J. Finley is a staff attorney at Western Farmers Electric Cooperative focusing on environmental and regulatory compliance as well as HR and contract issues.  Previously, Mrs. Finley served as Supervising Attorney for the Air Quality Division at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.  Over her career, Laura has taught both graduate and law school classes as an adjunct and recently co-authored an update to a Thompson Reuters Treatise on the Successful Partnering between Inside and Outside Counsel.  Born in Enid, Oklahoma, Mrs. Finley received her B.S. in Biology from UCO, and J.D. from Oklahoma City University School of Law, where she was an editor on the Law Review.

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Allan Gates is an equity member and General Counsel of Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard, a 90 attorney law firm with offices in Arkansas and Texas.  He has a wide variety of experience in environmental law and litigation, representing industrial, governmental, and NGO clients.  He is a Fellow and current President of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and an Elected Life Member of the American Law Institute.  He is active in a number of civic and charitable organizations.

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Mark Gower was appointed Director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management in January 2019 after serving as the State Chief Information Security Officer and CyberCommand Director at the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) since 2013. Mark has more than 20 years’ experience in cybersecurity, business continuity, disaster recovery, and emergency preparedness and response, including serving as the Information Security Officer and Emergency Preparedness and Response Director for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services prior to joining OMES.

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Alden Graybill is the Recovery and Mitigation Division Manager for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. He has also served as the Deputy State Coordinating Officer for the last eight Oklahoma declared disasters. Alden started his career in Emergency Management more than 12 years ago as an intern for Stillwater Emergency Management while completing his degree in political science with a minor in Emergency Management. He joined OEM in 2009 as the WebEOC Administrator and worked dozens of State Emergency Operations Center activations before moving to the Recovery and Mitigation Division in 2014.


Anthony Hendricks is a legal problem solver and litigator at Crowe & Dunlevy, one of Oklahoma’s largest and oldest law firms. Anthony also serves as a Cybersecurity Policy Fellow at New America. Anthony provides guidance to clients facing sensitive criminal, cybersecurity, banking regulatory, internal investigation, and environmental compliance issues. He also advises clients on privacy and data protection laws including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, coaches clients on developing data breach response plans, and represents clients facing enforcement actions related to cyber laws.

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Rob Hill is the current Oklahoma Emergency Management Association President, where he is beginning his second term. Rob also serve as the emergency management director for the City of Stillwater, as well as a volunteer firefighter for the City of Perkins, and a reserve police officer for the City of Stillwater where he is a technical assistant to the Special Operations team, Crisis Negotiations Team and supports the Drug Interdiction team with surveillance and covert communications. Formerly, Rob served as the Stillwater emergency management technician for 13 years and also as an emergency management volunteer when it was still called Civil Defense.

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Kendra S. Horn is the congresswoman to the U.S. House of Representatives for the 5th District of Oklahoma. She studied law at SMU’s Deadman School of Law and practiced as an attorney until accepting a role as the press secretary to United States Congressman Brad Carson (OK-02). After her time on the Hill, Congresswoman Horn worked in the aeronautics industry before returning to Oklahoma and founding Women Lead Oklahoma. Most recently, she was the executive director of Sally’s List, a nonpartisan nonprofit that trains and supports women who run for political office. She currently serves on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, where she serves on the Energy Subcommittee and as Chairwoman of the Space Committee, and also on the House Armed Services, where she serves on the Readiness Subcommittee and as Vice Chairwoman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee.


Clifton Hoyle manages the Chemical Reporting and Preparedness section within ODEQ’s Land Protection Division. He has served as Chairman of the Oklahoma Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Commission since August of 2015 and is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM).  He has a B.S. from OSU and a Master of Arts in Administration from OU. Having served the State of Oklahoma for nearly 15 years, Clifton has experience with solid waste, tire recycling, hazardous waste, remediation, SARA Title III and emergency preparedness.  His other duties include being the Agency Continuity of Operations Coordinator, Public Participation Officer for permit meetings, and an Agency liaison to the state emergency operations center.

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Tammie J. Hynum is currently the Sr. Manager of the Tire Accountability Program in the Office of Land Resources at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).   Since 1990, Ms. Hynum has served in many capacities within ADEQ such as a Hazardous Waste Inspector, Hazardous Waste Inspector Supervisor, Branch Manager, Division Chief, Sr. Manager, and Sr. Operations Manager for the Waste Program areas. Prior to working at ADEQ, Ms. Hynum was employed by Burns and Roe at the Pine Bluff Arsenal BZ Demilitarization Facility where she was in charge of the Quality Assurance and Quality Control of the on-site laboratory and maintained a Chemical Personnel Reliability Program security clearance.


Thomas M. Jones has a national practice representing insurers in complex claim disputes and litigated matters.  Thomas serves as Vice-Chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Global Insurance Department.

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Tracy Keeley is the Education Field Representative for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. She oversees the agency’s education programs in Driver’s Education, Business, and Personal Financial Literacy for Oklahoma Schools, and provide community outreach to the northeast and southeast regions of the state. As a field representative, she participates in community hazard mitigation and disaster recovery efforts. Ms. Keeley has eighteen years of experience as an educator and holds a Master of Library and Information Science Degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Education Degree in School Administration from Northeastern State University.


Tim Lovell has been the Executive Director of the Disaster Resilience Network, formerly called Tulsa Partners, since 2004. He was recruited by the City of Tulsa Project Impact office in 2000, and later that year helped create this nonprofit to support that office and other resilience endeavors. Mr. Lovell is also the Community Preparedness Committee Chair for the Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, of which his nonprofit organization is a member. He serves on the Advisory Committee for the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program and was a founding board member and past secretary of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association.

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Chris Mee is Assistant Vice President and Team Leader for Aon’s Cyber Solutions Group – Professional Risk Solutions. He is a broker and team leader for the Cyber Solutions broking team in Chicago. His responsibilities include the design, development, and implementation of Cyber Liability, Miscellaneous Professional Liability, and Technology Liability insurance programs.  Chris has been with the Cyber Solutions team since 2015.  Prior to joining Cyber Solutions, Chris spent time working within Aon’s Logistics Practice. Chris works with clients across all industry sectors and is also a member of the Cyber Solutions policy committee, where his specific focus is on E&O coverage.


Randy Meshell serves FEMA as a Federal Preparedness Coordinator and Division Director for the National Preparedness Division. Mr. Meshell supports the FEMA Region 6 Administrator with the management and supervision of the Region’s National Preparedness Division.  The Division is responsible for the implementation of numerous federal preparedness programs designed to build capabilities and enhance capacities for a more prepared Region.  Mr. Meshell is also responsible for helping the nation achieve its all-hazards preparedness priorities by overseeing the strengthened coordination of preparedness efforts among federal, state, local, and tribal governments, the private sector, and citizen partners within FEMA Region 6.


Kevin R Murray is a partner at Holland and Hart, LLP, with substantial experience involving the acquisition, disposition, and repurposing of billions of dollars of corporate and real property assets, as well as associated environmental compliance and remedial disaster recovery and planning. Deep expertise with environmental regulation and remediation. Known for innovative and unique resolutions to complex contamination issues, especially involving multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency matters in the mining, real estate, energy, petroleum, and manufacturing industries. Successfully transformed thousands of acres of environmentally impacted property. Kevin is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and a Member of ACOEL’s Disaster Planning and Response Task Force.

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Paul Nony, Ph.D., is the Director of Toxicology and Occupational Health at CTEH, an environmental consulting firm headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He received his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Toxicology and spent two years in a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Since joining CTEH in 2003, he has responded to hundreds of emergency situations involving the release of chemicals to the environment. During emergency responses, Dr. Nony leads teams of scientists who characterize and communicate the extent of chemical hazards and other safety impacts to workers, communities, and the environment while assisting industry, agency, and community stakeholders alike to make decisions during disaster recovery.

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Lindene Patton is a partner with Earth &Water Law, LLC, with partners in D.C., Georgia, Oklahoma and California. She is a strategic advisor with deep experience in large loss litigation strategy/recovery; climate attribution; risk management; product development; corporate advocacy; compliance; real property data and analytics; specialty risks (professional liability, D&O, nuclear liability schema, cybersecurity liability, environment); sustainability and resilience. Her specialized expertise combines business, science, technology and the law to assess and solve complex risk management and litigation issues.

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Isaac Porche is a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation and program director for the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC) Acquisition and Development Program (ADP). His areas of expertise include acquisition, homeland security, cybersecurity network, and communication technology, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); information assurance, big data, and cloud computing.  He has led research projects for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. At the Institute of Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University, Isaac serves as an adjunct instructor, where he teaches a graduate class titled Policy and Technology of Cyberwar.

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Joanne Quintal is a Managing Director at Aon Commercial Risk Solutions.  She has over 30 years Property broking experience placing large, complex programs.  Her deep knowledge of the global marketplace enabled the development of comprehensive, competitive placements. As of the first of this year, Joanne joined Aon’s Cyber Solutions Team as the Property/Business Interruption Leader to support the need for first-party coverage in this new and emerging area of risk.

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Richard Reitburger is the Vice President – Engineering Manager at AXIS Insurance based in the New York City office.  At AXIS he is responsible for all risk control activities for all AXIS underwriting units company-wide.  He is also a Fellow in the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and Past President of the NJ Chapter SFPE.

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Tony Robinson serves as Regional Administrator for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 6 office located in Denton, Texas. As Regional Administrator, Mr. Robinson is responsible for the direction and leadership of FEMA’s efforts in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and 68 federally-recognized Tribal Nations. He served on FEMA’s National Response Teams from 1995 to 2007 and completed the National Defense University Capstone Program in February 2016. Mr. Robinson began his federal career in 1985 with the Department of the Army at the Fort Belvoir Research and Development Center.

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Shannon Roesler is the Robert S. Kerr, Jr. Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Law at the Oklahoma City University School of Law. She teaches Environmental Law, Land Use, Legislation, Property, and Torts. Her scholarship, which has been published by the Georgetown Law Journal, the Washington Law Review, the U.C. Davis Law Review, and other journals, focuses on issues of environmental justice, environmental governance, climate change litigation, and science communication and the law. She is also a board member of the Environmental Law Collaborative, a group of environmental law scholars working collaboratively to address legal and institutional solutions to environmental problems.

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Derek R. Smithee worked in water quality for the State of Oklahoma for 33 years and as Water Quality Program’s Director for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board for 21 years before retiring in 2017. In this capacity, he oversaw surface and groundwater monitoring, lakes mapping and assessment, and Water Quality Standards. He was working at the OWRB in 1995 during the bombing of the Murrah Building and was intimately involved in the agencies response and relocation.  He received his B.S. from Oklahoma State University in 1984 and his M.S. from the University of Oklahoma.


Mary Ellen Ternes is a partner with Earth & Water Law, LLC, with partners in D.C., Georgia, Oklahoma and California. First an EPA On-Scene Coordinator for emergency response and removal actions, then permitting and compliance for high-risk chemical process plants, as an environmental lawyer Mary Ellen provides strategies and solutions for complex compliance, enforcement defense, permitting and litigation matters involving high-risk industrial activities, disaster response, commercial “brownfield” development, and business transactions. She is a Fellow and Regent of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and a Member of ACOEL’s Disaster Planning and Response Task Force, as well as a Life Member and Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

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Johnny Vaughn joined Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS)  in 2011 as the Regional Response Coordinator and was promoted to Deputy Director in 2016. Prior to that Johnny served 26 years with the Norman Fire Department where he became Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director in 2002. He currently serves as the OKOHS liaison to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, is a member of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association and the Oklahoma Fire Chiefs Association and is a current member of the Regional Advisory Council for FEMA Region 6.

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Debi Wagner is the Deputy Director of Emergency Management for the City of Moore, Oklahoma.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Alfred University and a Master of Science in Fire and Emergency Management Administration from Oklahoma State University.  Debi is a member of the International Association of Emergency Managers and is Deputy Sector Chief of Emergency Services for the Infragard Oklahoma Members Alliance.  She is a credentialed Type III Liaison Officer, a Public Information Officer trainee, and a member of the Oklahoma Incident Management Team.  Debi is a licensed EMT and previously served as State Coordinator for the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps.

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Tom Williams has over eighteen years of experience in the environmental industry, including management, underwriting and consulting.  He is currently the Regional Practice Leader for Environmental Impairment Liability (EIL) in North America at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty® (AGCS).  He is responsible for building the EIL line of business and growing brand presence in the United States, Canada, and Mexico by offering underwriting coverage solutions addressing pollution legal liability, contractors’ pollution liability as well as pollution excess in various segments of business including, construction, energy, manufacturing, and real estate.

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Drew Walter is Senior Vice President, Head of Cyber and Technology Underwriting Delivery at AXIS Insurance, the insurance business segment of AXIS Capital.  Based in New York City, Drew oversees the underwriting of Cyber, Technology E&O, Miscellaneous Professional Liability, and Multimedia Liability products on a nationwide basis through a highly experienced team of underwriters.

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Summit events will take place at the School of Law unless otherwise noted in the schedule:

Oklahoma City University School of Law
800 N. Harvey Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 208.6400

Events are open to all registered members of the public.