Coastal States Organization Staff
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.
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Mike Molnar is CSO’s Deputy Director. Mike serves as the expert resource on state coastal management programs by supporting CSO work with states and territories, NOAA and other partners. Prior to joining CSO, Mike led the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program as Program Manager for fourteen years. Past work also includes fiscal policy analysis for the Indiana Legislature, and environmental program analysis and evaluation for the Florida Legislature. Mike holds a B.S. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Master of Public Affairs focused on Environmental Policy, Science, and Law from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Federal Affairs Director
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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.
Resilience Specialist and Legal Advisor
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John Ryan-Henry is CSO’s Resilience Specialist and Legal Advisor. 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.
Senior Operations Manager
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Norma Longhi is CSO’s Senior Operations Manager. Norma oversees and manages all aspects of general office operations and other tasks in furtherance of goals of staff and CSO members. 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.
2021 Knauss Fellow
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Cadijah Walcott is CSO’s 2021 Knauss Fellow as the Coastal Hazards and Mitigation Specialist with Federal Emergency Management Agency and Coastal States Organization. Prior to joining CSO, Cadijah worked as a Transportation Engineer (Hydraulics/Water Resources Track) for Maryland’s Department of Transportation in the State Highway Administration, where she worked on hydrologic and hydraulic studies for structures over streams and rivers, including hydraulic modeling of bridges and culverts and flooding evaluation. Cadijah holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and certificates in Global Studies and GIS from the University of Pittsburgh, an A.S. in Engineering from Community College of Baltimore County, and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). As a graduate student at UMD, Cadijah focused on water resources and disaster resilience and completed her thesis on the development of a comprehensive hydrologic model of the Tiber Branch Watershed in Ellicott City, Maryland.
2021 Knauss Fellow
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Matt Smith is a 2021 NOAA Sea Grant Knauss Fellow and Coastal Resource Specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute of Water Resources and Coastal States Organization. Matt is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University and NSF graduate fellow in the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN). Prior to joining CSO, Matt led several cross-city collaborative projects focused on understanding the influence of regional climate and urban development on coastal water quality and nutrient cycling. Past work also includes performance analysis of nutrient removal in coastal urban wetlands and a national analysis of urban water quality patterns using machine learning at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). Matt holds an M.S. in Biology from Florida International University and a B.S. in Biology from York College of Pennsylvania.