Coastal States Organization Staff
- 202 800-0633
Derek Brockbank is Executive Director of Coastal States Organization (CSO), which represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories, and Commonwealths on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes issues. With two decades of experience in Washington DC on coastal adaptation policy and organizational development, Derek is connecting state coastal management programs with federal agencies and resources in order to address the greatest coastal challenges facing society. Derek previously served as Executive Director for the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) where he led the strategic planning and outreach, government affairs, and development goals of the nation’s leading organization advocating for beach and coastal restoration. Prior to starting with ASBPA, Derek worked as campaign director for a coalition effort to restore the Mississippi River Delta and Coastal Louisiana, and was part of a gulf-wide campaign to pass the RESTORE Act, securing billions of dollars for Gulf Coast restoration. This followed up on his work with National Wildlife Federation on climate adaption. Derek grew up in New York City and got his coastal education from an early age playing on the beaches of Long Island, and kayaking and fishing in Peconic Bay.
Research, Science, and Program Director
Vidya Balasubramanyam is CSO’s Research, Science, and Program Director. In her role, she will be leading CSO’s programmatic efforts working closely with coastal managers and programs across the nation. She brings on-point experience in project management, climate adaptation and resilience, DEIJ work, and a good understanding of Great Lakes and Atlantic Coast issues. Previously, she worked with the Illinois Coastal Program as the Hazards Coordinator leading efforts relating to community resilience and adaptation planning, nature based shoreline management, and regional sediment management. Prior to that, she worked at the New Hampshire Coastal Program as a NOAA Coastal Management Fellow dabbling in projects on advancing living shorelines in coastal New England. Vidya is passionate about more intentionally addressing social justice issues through coastal management work. In her free time, Vidya enjoys learning contemporary styles of dance and urban sketching.
Federal Affairs Director
- 202 800-0747
Rachel Keylon is CSO’s Federal Affairs Director. In this role she drives CSO’s legislative strategy and also leads CSO’s communications efforts. Prior to joining CSO, Rachel worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where she focused on strategic planning, performance management, budget formulation, legislative policy, and communications. Past work includes coordinating federal interagency collaboration on ocean research and education at the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, as well as policy and legislative affairs for several ocean and coastal non-profits and on Capitol Hill. Rachel holds a B.A. in Biology from Occidental College and a M.S. in Zoology and a graduate certificate in Ocean Policy from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is also currently pursuing a J.D. in the evening program at American University Washington College of Law.
Director of Operations
- 202 800-0580
Norma Longhi is CSO’s Operations Director. She manages all aspects of administrative, financial, general operational functions, and grants management in furtherance of CSO’s vision and mission. Prior to joining CSO, Norma worked as a Policy and Development Fellow for Voices for Progress where she provided support to senior staff in various capacities. Norma holds a B.A. in Legal Studies and a Master of Public Administration from University of Central Florida. Norma is originally from Brazil, passionate about environmental issues, and an animal lover.
2022 Knauss Fellow
- 202 800-0748
Roberto Porro is CSO’s 2022 Knauss Fellow as the Coastal Hazards and Mitigation Specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Coastal States Organization. Prior to joining CSO, Roberto served as the Coastal Program Manager at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center, where he developed FEMA-certified training and conducted research related to coastal hazards planning. Roberto previously served as a Civil Engineer Corps Officer and as a civilian engineer for the U.S. Navy, managing construction and facilities programs in San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Originally from West Palm Beach, FL, Roberto holds a B.S. in Ocean Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a M.A in Urban Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Disaster Management from the University of Hawaii. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Urban Planning at the University of Hawaii, focusing on adaptation planning in coastal communities.
- 202 800-0663
John Ryan-Henry is a Policy Analyst for CSO. He supports CSO’s mission through legal and policy analysis of coastal issues including hazard resilience, climate adaptation, flood risk management, beneficial use of dredged materials, maritime commerce, and offshore development. He joined CSO in 2018 after working jointly with CSO and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources as a 2017 Knauss Coastal Policy Fellow. A Rhode Island native, John has a J.D. from the Roger Williams University School of Law and a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. As a law student, he worked on coastal zone management issues with the NOAA General Counsel’s office and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, and on regional ocean planning with SeaPlan in Boston. He is admitted to the bar in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
CSSF Managing Director
- 919 450-8803
Lisa Schiavinato is the Managing Director for the Coastal States Stewardship Foundation (CSSF). As Managing Director, Lisa oversees the administration, management, legal, contracting, and budgeting for CSSF and the Regional Ocean Partnerships that are fiscally sponsored by CSSF. Lisa brings a broad range of experience to this role. She has expertise in ocean and coastal law and policy, program management, grant management, and nonprofit leadership. Prior to joining CSSF, Lisa worked with Sea Grant programs in Louisiana, North Carolina, and California and with nonprofit organizations across Southern California. Lisa holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of South Florida and a law degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Lisa is based in California, but she was raised in the Sunshine State of Florida where her fascination for all things ocean and coastal began.
Digital Coast Fellow
Annika Tomson is CSO’s 2022-2024 NOAA Digital Coast Fellow in a joint appointment between the Association of State Floodplain Managers and Coastal States Organization. Her work at CSO focuses on managed retreat, in particular, planning and management of acquired land. Prior to CSO, Annika attended the University of Michigan where they studied environmental policy and planning; her research focused on Great Lakes community coastal resilience and the relationships between local governments and state and federal agencies. Originally from upstate New York, Annika holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Cornell University and a M.S. in Environment and Sustainability from the University of Michigan.