Public / Private Partnerships-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Public / Private Partnerships-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Public Private Partnerships – What's In It For Me?

Monday May 23, 10:30 am; Bldg 23, tent

Michael Cummings, Private Sector Liaison within the Office of the Regional Administrator under the External Affairs Division with FEMA Region IX

Summary: An initial presentation by FEMA’s new Regional Private Sector Liaison on a High-level overview on the new federal private sector collaboration initiative along with an brief update on current activities at the State and Regional levels - followed by a panel discussion highlighting best-practice case studies in the area of emerging technology applications during disasters.

About the Speaker: Michael Cummings currently serves as the Private Sector Liaison within the Office of the Regional Administrator under the External Affairs Division with FEMA Region IX. Region IX includes Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, as well as the territories of American Samoa and Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. In this new role, Mr. Cummings works closely with the other Private Sector Liaison’s in the other nine FEMA regions and FEMA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Prior to his appointment with FEMA, Mr. Cummings served as a Senior Planner and Private Sector Liaison Officer with the City and County of San Francisco's Department of Emergency Management. Prior to his work with the City and County of San Francisco, he was the principal of his own consulting firm providing business continuity and disaster recovery consulting services to global clients for over two decades. It is this unique combination of successful work in both the public and private sectors that allows Mr. Cummings to offer a unique perspective and proven ability to unify these two sectors together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


  • Federal – Michael Cummings (FEMA)
  • State – Doug Wisman (CalEMA)
  • County – Jim Turner (NEW CCSF Private Sector Liaison!)
  • Corporate – Catherine Nelson (Cisco)
  • Academia - Martin Griss (CMUSV)
    Prof. Martin Griss is director of Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, and director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Disaster Management Initiative. He leads research in context-aware mobile computing and emergency communications, building on his research experience in software engineering, component-based software development, sensor-enabled context-aware mobile computing, and software agents. He is an amateur radio enthusiast (KJ6MIN) and has CERT training. He has nearly 40 years of extensive academic and industrial research and management experience as associate professor at the University of Utah, director of Hewlett-Packard Laboratories software technology lab, and professor at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley. He wrote a highly respected book on software reuse, and multiple book chapters, patents and papers. He has a deep understanding of how context-aware mobile applications should be designed and implemented, the implications for (message based) networking in restricted situations and their use for semantically augmented situation awareness gathering and analysis. He served on the ACM SIGSOFT Executive committee and a member of a joint IEEE/ACM taskforce on accreditation criteria and model curricula for a professional B.S. in Software Engineering. He served on the international OMG UML 1.0 semantics standardization committee and taskforce. He most recently served as general chair for the MobiCASE conference on mobile applications and services. He received his BS in Physics (summa cum laude) from the Technion, Israel and his PhD in Physics, U of Illinois.
  • NGO – Peter Ohtaki (CRA)
    Peter Ohtaki is Executive Director of the California Resiliency Alliance (CRA), a public-private partnership to strengthen our state’s capacity to prevent, protect, respond and recover from natural disasters, pandemic flu or terrorism. Outside of the CRA, he serves on the Menlo Park City Council, and was previously elected to the Board of Directors for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. He graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.