2012 Higher Education Risk Management Conference - Speakers Biography
Andrew R. Sachs
Vice President for Disaster Services
Andrew Sachs is currently the Vice President for Disaster Services at Witt Associates, a public safety and crisis management consulting firm headquartered in Washington, DC, where he is leading the company’s highly-successful disaster services business line, both domestically and internationally. In this capacity, he has managed multiple teams of personnel ranging in size from 2 to 200 to successfully meet client objectives. During his time as a senior executive with Witt Associates, he has managed billions of dollars of funding on behalf of his clients, facilitated the implementation of thousands of projects, and has been responsible for overseeing contracts that have generated nearly 85% of the company’s revenues since 2005. Mr. Sachs has become a trusted advisor to Governors and their staffs, local elected officials, Members of Congress, senior company executives, and others, supporting their efforts at the state, national, and corporate levels to address complex public policy and operational challenges, including the economic and physical recovery from disasters of all kinds, both natural and man-made.
Most recently, Mr. Sachs helped to lead efforts in the Gulf region to establish a recovery infrastructure for BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including the establishment and management of a governmental claims process and the development of a Gulf Coast Recovery Planning effort designed to identify and prioritize recovery needs. He also helped lead a focused team to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, providing support to both USAID and the United Nations, and provided support to the Clinton Foundation for the establishment of a logistics and management system to handle and track donated goods.
Since 2005, Mr. Sachs has been overseeing the Witt Associates recovery team in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. He helped design and implement the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), an entity established to identify and coordinate overall recovery efforts, establish priorities, receive and distribute appropriated relief funds, and provide a single voice for the State on recovery issues. Mr. Sachs also led the team in 2008 that helped the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) manage the recovery from the catastrophic Midwest Floods of 2008, which today stands as the nation’s fifth largest disaster measured by FEMA obligations. While in Iowa, Mr. Sachs was a trusted advisor to the Governor, designed and helped lead the Rebuild Iowa Office (RIO) to develop a statewide long-term recovery plan and coordinate recovery efforts statewide, managed the State’s crisis communications effort, and oversaw the teams helping to the state to obtain and maximize funding under the Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation programs.
Previously, Mr. Sachs served as the Director of Economic Development in Brewer, Maine, where he was responsible for attracting new business and creating jobs. He also held several leadership positions at FEMA, including Chief of Program Outreach and Special Assistant to the Associate Director of the Response and Recovery Directorate. Prior to his time working at FEMA, Mr. Sachs held positions with the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, where he organized international trade missions to the developing world to promote economic growth and opportunity for U.S. companies.
Mr. Sachs holds a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in business and government relations from The George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Bates College. He graduated from both programs with Honors.