Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, announced that Michael Berkowitz has been appointed to the role of Managing Director for the Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, a multi-year effort to build urban resilience worldwide.
Berkowitz comes to the Foundation from Deutsche Bank, most recently serving as the Deputy Global Head of Operational Risk Management (ORM), overseeing the firm's operational risk capital planning efforts, serving as a primary regulatory contact and connecting the firm's operational risk management efforts. Since joining the bank in 2005, Berkowitz has held multiple other positions, including Chief Operating Officer of Corporate Security, Business Continuity and Operational Risk Management, Global Head of Protective Intelligence, and other management positions based in New York, Mumbai and Singapore. Previously, he was the Deputy Commissioner at the Office of Emergency Management for New York City.
"Michael's expertise and leadership in both the public and private sectors, particularly in urban settings, will be integral to the success of the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge," Dr. Rodin said. "His background in urban planning, risk management and resilience thinking will be an outstanding addition to The Rockefeller Foundation as we continue to strengthen our commitment to building urban resilience in cities around the world."
While at the Office of Emergency Management in New York City, Berkowitz worked on major planning initiatives, including the New York City Coastal Storm, Biological Terrorism and Transit Strike contingency plans. At OEM, he led an initiative to create the Public-Private Emergency Planning Initiative and the city's Ready New York citizen preparedness campaign. During that tenure, he also responded to incidents including the 1999 outbreak of West Nile Fever, Tropical Storm Floyd, major flooding in Southern Queens (1999), the crashes of SwissAir 111 and American Airlines 587, the 2003 Northeast Blackout, as well as the 2001 anthrax incidents and the World Trade Center disaster. Earlier in his career, Berkowitz was the Editor of Emergency Preparedness News, a Washington, D.C.-based newsletter for emergency management professionals.
"The Rockefeller Foundation pioneered the field of urban planning, and has a remarkable history in fostering resilience thinking and action in cities around the world. I am thrilled to lead the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge team, and to catalyze efforts to help cities globally become more resilient and equitable places," Berkowitz said.
Mr. Berkowitz will officially begin his post at the Foundation in August, and will be based in New York.