RISE 2019 Conference

Transforming University Engagement In Pre- and Post-Disaster Environments: Lessons from Puerto Rico

Anne Fenton

Deputy Secretary

City University of New York Board of Trustees


Throughout her 18-year career in government, Anne Fenton has demonstrated an understanding for strong preparedness, response, and recovery plans. Ms. Fenton is currently the Deputy Secretary of the Board of Trustees at CUNY were she manages the New York Stands with Puerto Rico Program. The program offers CUNY students a unique, service and learning opportunity to support the Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative. Over 500 CUNY students have completed 2-3 week service projects working with non-profit organizations aiding in the reconstruction and revitalization efforts of communities across the island of Puerto Rico. Prior to CUNY, Anne was a member of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) Executive Team managing Communications, Constituent Affairs, Governmental Affairs, Research and MWBE/Civil Rights Programs. She worked closely with program directors including housing, real estate acquisition, small business and infrastructure to advance GOSR’s mission of rebuilding a stronger and more sustainable New York. At Battery Park City Authority, Ms. Fenton developed and implemented Battery Park City’s Emergency Management Plan for disaster response including: pre-emergency preparations, evacuation procedures and post emergency business continuity. During her time at the Authority, she managed Hurricane Irene and Sandy preparation, response and recovery efforts. Following 9/11, (February 2002), Ms. Fenton served as Program Manager for Health and Safety, and the Governmental Affairs Coordinator for the Uniformed Firefighter’s Association. She managed the development and distribution of the Cornell University Traumatic Stress, Workplace Conditions and Well-being Study - documenting firefighting training, equipment, health and emergency response pre and post disaster events. Ms. Fenton wrote testimony for union officials for city, state and national hearings on key FDNY initiatives including health and safety, training, and Homeland Security/terrorism preparedness.