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New Orleans City Councilman James Gray Touts City as "Best" Location for New U.N. Affiliated International Resilience Center

October 24, 2017

The first United Nations-Affiliated Center of Excellence for Public-Private Partnerships in Western Hemisphere will locate in New Orleans to Promote Resilience Initiatives Worldwide

District "E" Councilmember James Gray
NEW ORLEANS- District "E" Councilmember James Gray will introduce at the Thursday, October 26, 2017, City Council Meeting a resolution in support of the International Resilience Center that is being established as a 501c3 non-profit headquartered in the City of New Orleans. The center, affiliated with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe International Center of Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships, will work to generate standards and best practices in disaster response and resiliency while striving to increase the ability of communities to better withstand, and recover more quickly from adverse events.

"The International Resilience Center will help us continue to build a modern and thriving economy in New Orleans-positioning our city as the global epicenter of the $75 billion per year resilience industry, and may create significant opportunities for both established and disadvantaged businesses in the City," said Councilmember Gray. "The Center's establishment will attract leading domestic and international researchers, practitioners, and new investment in the field of disaster resilience.  It will also enable local companies to access commercial opportunities in foreign markets through our unique knowledge of disaster recovery and resiliency."

Gray continued: "From floods and hurricanes to tornadoes and oil spills, New Orleans has endured numerous disasters and come back stronger and better prepared to handle the next obstacle. New Orleans has experienced unprecedented growth and development due to the relentless efforts of its community and leadership. Given its unwavering spirit, New Orleans will be the perfect location for the International Resilience Center as it works to explore public-private sector engagement on disaster resilience, mitigation and sustainability efforts," Gray said.   

Louisiana native David Dodd is Chairman and President of the International Resilience Center and has almost three decades of experience in disaster recovery and economic development.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to help export a valuable Louisiana product - disaster resilience," Dodd said.  "The current path is unsustainable.  The massive destruction we've witnessed this year alone demonstrates the need to begin thinking differently in how to deal with disasters. The answer is to combine the best qualities of both public and private sectors. The Intentional Resilience Center will connect experts from around the world to develop, document, and innovate in improving community resilience, helping secure New Orleans' rightful place as the hub of the worldwide resilience industry."

Dodd supported recovery efforts in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Oil Spill, and the 2016 floods. He also supported economic recovery efforts in New Jersey following Superstorm Sandy, Oklahoma after devastating tornadoes and floods, and developed an international reputation in disaster recovery advising Japan, Mexico, and Australia on economic recovery.  

The International Resilience Center has garnered support from the U.S. State Department, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Councilmember Jason Williams, Councilmember Stacy Head, Councilmember Susan Guidry, Councilmember LaToya Cantrell, Councilmember Nadine Ramsey, Councilmember Jared Brossett, and members of Louisiana's Congressional delegation.  

Staff and Advisory Board members of the International Resilience Center include:

  • David Dodd, CEcD/FM, President and CEO
  • Kristin Johnson, VP and Chief Operating Officer
  • David Baxter, Washington D.C., Senior Advisor
  • Dino Paternostro, CEcD, New Orleans
  • Rod Brown, Canberra, Australia
  • Caitlin Cain, New Orleans
  • Chris Feduccia, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Alessandra Jerollerman, Ph.D., New Orleans
  • Laura Olson, Ph.D., Washington, D.C.
  • Jagat Singh, Ahmedabad, India
  • Sam Tabuchi, Tokyo, Japan
  • Maria Usik, Minsk, Belarus

More information can be found at


Media Contacts:
Rachel Clayton or Maria Mercedes Tio
Office of Councilman James A. Gray II, District E
1300 Perdido Street - Room 2W60
504.658.1050 (office),

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