RISE 2019 Conference

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

Christine Nieves


Emerge Puerto Rico


havidan rodriguez photo

Christine Nieves is the Co-founder and President of Emerge Puerto Rico - an initiative focused on rooting cutting-edge Climate Change leadership and education in wholistic Indigenous and African wisdom. She is also a Bridge Fellow at TNTP where she is working to learn how the education field can better prepare for the growing instances of natural and human-made disasters affecting students, schools, and communities. Previously she co-founded Proyecto Apoyo Mutuo Mariana, a mutual aid disaster relief effort where the people served where the same people serving. PAM’s mission was to transform the community of Mariana into a transgenerational catalytic sustainable village by developing and practicing community-level hurricane preparedness plans and building social and physical infrastructure to withstand uncertainty and future natural disasters. While attending the University of Pennsylvania as an undergrad she hosted and produced a TV show for Telemundo Philadelphia. She then pursued her masters in evidence-based social intervention at Oxford. Christine worked at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where she funded disruptive innovations in health and then turned her knowledge into an undergraduate class at Florida State University. At FSU she was the first Latina and youngest Entrepreneur in Residence to be part of the Council of Entrepreneurship. Born in England and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico she now resides in the mountainous region of Mariana, at the border of Yabucoa and Humacao where Hurricane Maria first made landfall.