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Regional Strategies for 21st Century Infrastructure Innovation, Community Resilience, and Equitable Growth

Regional Strategies for 21st Century Infrastructure Innovation, Community Resilience, and Equitable Growth

Wednesday, May 12 at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET

To promote post-COVID long-term economic recovery and climate resilience, now is the time to build smart sustainability and innovation into America's infrastructure systems. But how? Recognizing that infrastructure challenges differ in communities across the country, the key is to go regional and scale up community innovation to move the US infrastructure system from 19th-century creakiness to 21st-century performance. The Milken Institute is pleased to host this important conversation with our partner, the Kinder Institute, to highlight regional leaders in the public and private sector that are pioneering resilient infrastructure solutions across geographies and infrastructure modes, from broadband to smart buildings


Henry Cisneros
Executive Chairman, CityView

Henry Cisneros is chairman of American Triple I Partners, LLC, a New York-based investor, owner, developer, and manager of infrastructure assets and infrastructure-focused companies. He is also chairman of CityView, which works with urban builders to create homes priced for average families. Previously, Cisneros was president and chief operating officer of Univision Communications. A former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development under President Bill Clinton, Cisneros was credited with initiating the revitalization of public-housing developments and formulating policies that helped achieve the nation's highest homeownership rate. Earlier, he founded Cisneros Asset Management Co. and was a four-term mayor of San Antonio, Texas. Cisneros is a member of the board of Univision and the advisory board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is an officer of Habitat for Humanity. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in urban and regional planning from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University and a doctorate in public administration from George Washington.

Thomas Kucharsk
President and CEO, Invest Buffalo Niagara

Thomas Kucharski has served as the President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara since 2000. Under his leadership, IBN has grown from a startup initiative to an innovative regional economic development organization that has directly secured more than 450 project wins representing over $4.4 billion in investment and more than 42,000 jobs created and retained for the region. He was named by his peers to the position of Chair of the International Economic Development Council for 2021. During his 36 years of leadership, he was voted the Economic Developer of the Year in VA, FL, PA and most recently in NY in 2014.

Lynn Scarlett
Chief External Affairs Officer, The Nature Conservancy

Lynn Scarlett is Chief External Affairs Officer at The Nature Conservancy. In this role, she influences climate and conservation policy in the United States and the 79 countries and territories in which TNC operates; with our Corporate Engagement team, advances private-sector partnerships to support sustainability and enhance ambitious actions to address climate change; and oversees NatureVest, our impact-investing team. Prior to her role at the Conservancy, Lynn was the Deputy Secretary/Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior, where she also served as Acting Secretary of the Interior in 2006. Lynn is author or co-author of publications on climate change adaptation; ecosystem services; large landscape conservation; and science and decision making. She was a co-convening lead author of the 2014 National Climate Assessment. She chaired the Science Advisory Board of NOAA from 2014-2020 and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Sustainability Roundtable.

Zach Conine
State Treasurer, Nevada

Zach Conine currently serves as Nevada’s 23rd State Treasurer. Elected on November 6th, 2018, Zach knows that responsible financial management is the key to ensuring long-term growth for the State. Additionally, Zach is responsible for Nevada College Savings Plans and administration of numerous scholarship programs and other services that help Nevadans plan, save, and pay for post-secondary education. Zach also serves as a member of the State Board of Finance, the Executive Branch Audit Committee, and the Board of Trustees of the College Savings Plans of Nevada, of which he serves as chair. Over the course of his career, Zach has been committed to creating economic opportunities for local businesses and working families. As co-founder of a consulting business, he has helped dozens of small and medium sized businesses expand, increase efficiencies, and decrease expenses. In doing so, he assisted in the creation and preservation of more than 3,000 jobs in Nevada. Zach graduated with a B.A. from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and holds a J.D. from the UNLV's William S. Boyd School of Law. Click here to read more.

Quentin Hart
Mayor of Waterloo, Iowa

Now serving his third term, Quentin Hart is the first African American to serve as Mayor of Waterloo, Iowa. Hart took the office in January 2016. He served three terms as Ward 4 Councilman from 2008 through 2015 including an appointment as first African American Mayor Pro-Tem for the City of Waterloo. Previously, Mayor Hart provided leadership for multicultural initiatives and promoting awareness and appreciation for diversity on campus and in the community as Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs for Hawkeye Community College. He received his MAE in Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs from the University of Northern Iowa and has a BA in Sociology from Minnesota State and a Liberal Arts Degree from Iowa Central Community College. Hart serves with the US Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, Accelerator for America Advisory Board, National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE), and President of the Iowa League of Cities. He servers numerous regional and state organizations and appointments. A complete list of committees, boards, and appointments can be found at

Milken Institute Virtual Forums

In light of the global pandemic, the Milken Institute has expanded our convening ability to include a wide variety of virtual engagement opportunities. Our Virtual Forums gather our global community of thought leaders and issue-area experts to tackle a wide range of critical issues, many stemming from the impacts of COVID-19, such as vaccine development and distribution, loneliness and social isolation, remote learning, retirement security, and more. Each Virtual Forum is broadcast to a curated group of invited participants that are able to interact with the expert panel through moderated audience Q&A, while also being livestreamed to a global audience via the Milken Institute website and social media.

In Collaboration With

The International Economic Development Council
The Kinder Institute for Urban Research