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Sustainable Florida Forum – UCF-Orlando

February 7, 2020 @ 8:00 am5:00 pm

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We are excited announce our next Forum will be held on the campus of the University of Central Florida in Orlando on Friday, February 7, 2020. With resiliency becoming the framework for discussing how best we can create a more sustainable future for our state, we are prepating an incredible day for sustainable professionals across the region! This forum is co-hosted by Sustainability Initiatives team at the University of Central Florida where we will be inviting students and faculty to join us for the conversation.

We will follow our usual format with a light continental breakfast beginning at 8:00 am, morning presentations including a regional panel, a lunch, and tour of the Gold LEED-certified Global Building on campus, our usual Mastermind Sessions and Report Out and conclude with social networking 4-5 pm.

For planning purposes, we will have continental breakfast available at 8:00 AM, program begins at 8:30 AM, Lunch at Noon and reception around 4 pm.


Dr. Julia Nesheiwat was recently appointed as Florida’s first Chief Resilience Officer by Governor Ron DeSantis.  She is responsible for preparing the state for the environmental, physical, and economic impacts of climate change.  Dr. Nesheiwat has over 20 years of national security, energy and environmental experience focused on water and natural resources as a senior executive in federal cabinet-level agencies, academia, and as a combat veteran. She has served in a variety of positions, including former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State building the first Energy Resources Bureau, working closely with the Oceans, Environment and Science Bureau and serving as Chief of Staff to Special Envoys and the Under Secretary for Economic, Energy, Environment affairs. Dr. Nesheiwat’s PhD dissertation from Tokyo Tech, “Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Energy Technology & Resiliency” focused on post-disaster reconstruction of coastal towns and urban resiliency. Dr. Nesheiwat also served on the Global Advisory Council for sustainability and clean energy at the World Economic Forum (WEF), an IAF Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and is a well-known advocate on climate, energy-water nexus, and critical infrastructure protection (CI), initiatives. She previously served as a visiting professor at the Naval Post Graduate School on Energy & Environmental Security and Lecturer at University of California San Diego & Stanford University. Dr. Nesheiwat is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer with combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Dr. Nesheiwat received her PhD in Science and Engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and her Bachelors of Arts from Stetson University. She was raised in Lake County, Florida.

Chris Castro, Director, Office of Sustainability & Resilience, City of Orlando,will facilitate a regional panel of resiliency professionals focused on the central Florida landscape. Recently, Chris was honored by Governing Magazine as a Public Official of the Year. Chris will moderate a regional panel featuring some great parnters including:

  • Jenifer Rupert, Resilience Coordinator, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council
  • Duane Andrade, CFO, Solar & Energy Loan Fund (SELF)
  • Rod Braun, Climate Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy
  • Rachel Allen, Director of Peace & Justice Institute, Valencia College

Mr. David Norvell is our co-host and is charged with driving and implementing the university sustainability strategy, putting the University of Central Florida at the forefront of the sustainability movement. A 1993 Alumnus, David began his career at UCF in 2001 as the university Energy Manager. In the last decade, he has served as Director of the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management where he spearheaded the sustainability program, saving the university more than $14M in energy efficiency projects, before joining the administration. From 2011-2015, he served as the Assistant Vice President for Facilities tasked with the reconstruction of the university’s largest department, the Department of Facilities Operations. In 2015, David was appointed Assistant Vice President of Sustainability Initiatives where his true passion lies. David’s leadership sets a precedence in the State of Florida and reaffirms our administration’s commitment to climate neutrality.


 Jim Bacchus will be our featured luncheon speaker.

Former Congressman Jim Bacchus is now the Distinguished University Professor of Global Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity of the University of Central Florida. He was a founding judge and was twice the Chairman – the chief judge – of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization. He is a former Member of the Congress of the United States, from Florida, and he served on the High-Level Advisory Panel to the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Professor Bacchus is the author of the books Trade and Freedom (London: Cameron May, 2004) and The Willing World: Shaping and Sharing a Sustainable Global Prosperity (London: Cambridge University Press, 2018). He is engaged in numerous innovative and  collaborative efforts worldwide to achieve all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals on the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations.


A mastermind group is a peer-to-peer mentoring concept used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members.  The concept was coined in 1925 by author Napoleon Hill in his book, The Law of Success, and described further in his 1937 book, Think and Grow Rich.  The idea of a mastermind is two or more people coming together in harmony to solve a problem.

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February 7, 2020
8:00 am5:00 pm


Sustainable Florida


UCF Global Collaboration Building
4356 Scorpus St
Orlando,FL32816United States
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