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Jo Ann Howard named ASFPM’s 2019 Goddard-White Award Winner

by | Jun 25, 2019 | ASFPM, News & Views

L-R: Past ASFPM Chair Maria Cox Lamm, Jo Ann Howard and ASFPM Executive
Director Chad Berginnis. Photo by John Hays.

The Goddard-White Award is named in honor of the huge contributions
made to floodplain management by Gilbert White and Jim Goddard.
ASFPM presents this to individuals who have had a national impact carrying
forward the goals and objectives of their work. It is an indication of esteem
the association holds for the two namesakes, as well as the recipients, and is
ASFPM’s highest award.
And this year’s winner, Jo Ann Howard, most definitely has had a significant impact on
national flood policy over her long career.

She was
appointed by President Bill Clinton
as the NFIP Federal Insurance Administrator from 1998-2001, and managed more
than $500 billion in flood insurance for the NFIP in thousands of communities
across America.

Howard
made major contributions during her time at FEMA. With her initiative and
vision, FIA began the ONLY comprehensive analysis of the NFIP through a
multi-year study that was completed by a number of researchers. This effort
produced 14 reports on various aspects of the NFIP to evaluate strengths and
weaknesses of the program so adjustments could be made. She authored a chapter
titled, “Building for Disaster Resistance” in the American Bar Association’s
2018 publication, “Homeland Security
and Emergency Management—A Legal Guide for State and Local Governments,” with
Ernest Abbott, former general counsel at FEMA.

She was
a member of the Governor’s Commission for Disaster Recovery and Renewal in 2010
following Hurricane Ike, and recently was a member of the National Academies of
Science Study Panel that issued its report that examined urban flooding in the
United States.

Prior
to her tenure at FEMA, she served as a gubernatorial appointee to head the
Texas Department of Insurance as chief insurance regulator and as a member of
the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Howard received a law
degree from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, a master’s in
public administration from East Texas State University, and a BS in education
from Abilene Christian University.

Today
this woman is president of Austin’s H2O Partners, a firm consulting on all
things flood—including flood insurance, hazard mitigation planning, training
and outreach, disaster protection and recovery, among many other areas.
Throughout her career, she has advocated for sound flood-risk management, wise
development in flood-risk areas, and planning to result in sustainable and safe
communities.

Howard
has been a leader and mentor for many of us in this profession and has long
supported ASFPM activities, including serving as an ASFPM Foundation trustee,
where she heads the Fellows Program. It was an honor to bestow this award to
such an accomplished and deserving woman.

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