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East Central Florida: Security in a Changing Climate
October 29

East Central Florida: Security in a Changing Climate

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10:30 am - 12:00 pm. Time zone: America/New_York

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East Central Florida and the Treasure Coast are home to key assets to U.S. national security, such as Patrick Space Force Base, NASA, and the Navy’s Air Warfare Center. Acute shocks from threats like flooding, heat waves, and rising seas can harmfully impact military readiness at these installations. Coordinated partnerships between the public and private sectors are key to making bases and adjacent communities resilient to climate-related threats.

Join the American Security Project and the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy, for a panel discussion on military base resilience to climate change related threats and local resilience and mitigation efforts. Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL) will provide initial remarks that will be followed by the panel. Panelists include Vice Admiral Kevin Green, USN (Ret.)Brevard County Commissioner Bryan Lober, City of Orlando Commissioner Tony Ortiz, and Space Florida’s Vice President of Government & External Relations, Dale Ketcham. Our panelists will discuss the nature of the threats to local national security installations as well as the federal programs available for local communities to improve climate change preparedness and offset the cost of resilience projects.

Thank you to our partners.



Event Details:

This in-person event is open to the public and N-95 rated masks will be provided at the door. 

Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress

Address: 3260 University Blvd #105, Winter Park, FL 32792

October 29, 2021, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

About the Speakers & Panelists

Congressman Mike Waltz represents Florida’s 6th congressional district, which includes Flagler and Volusia counties as well as portions of Lake and St. Johns counties. Mike is a proud Florida native, a Colonel in the National Guard, a combat-decorated Green Beret, former White House and Pentagon policy advisor, small business owner and a proud father.

Mike was born in Boynton Beach, FL and grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. He was raised by a hard-working single mother and is the son and grandson of Navy Chiefs.

Mike has served his country his entire life. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute, has served over 24 years in the U.S. Army, and is presently serving in the National Guard. After being commissioned as an Army lieutenant, Mike graduated Ranger School and was then selected for the elite Green Berets, serving worldwide as a decorated Special Forces officer with multiple combat tours in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa. For his actions in combat, Mike was awarded 4 Bronze Stars and 2 with valor. He is the first Green Beret to be elected to Congress.

During his time in Afghanistan, Mike led the teams searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Berghdal. Mike was one of the first to call into question then-President Obama’s labeling of Berghdal as a hero and has continued to lead call for justice on behalf of all the service-members Berghdal’s desertion put in harm’s way.

Mike’s servant leadership continued in the Pentagon as a defense policy director for Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates. Mike then went on to serve in the White House as Vice President Dick Cheney’s counterterrorism advisor, where he saw the difficult decisions the President and his Cabinet must make to protect our national security firsthand. Mike’s position in the White House was unique, as he advised the Bush administration on policy he actually carried out in the military.

In 2020, Mike was promoted to the rank of Colonel in a ceremony overseen by Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, a fellow graduate of the Virginia Military Institute.

His experiences as a soldier and a policy advisor inspired him to write his own book, “Warrior Diplomat: A Green Beret’s Battles from Washington to Afghanistan,” the proceeds of which continue to benefit the Green Beret Foundation.

Following his time in the White House, Mike then co-founded a small business which grew to over 400 employees and was listed on the Inc. 500, a ranking index of the fastest-growing private companies in the America.

As an Army veteran and National Guardsman, Mike knows how to accomplish a mission for his country. This is the warrior attitude he’s brought with him to Washington when he was first sworn in to represent Florida’s 6th congressional district in 2019.

Mike is determined to be part of the new generation of leadership in Congress: servant leaders who lead by example with their values and deliver results. His commitment is the same now as it was in combat: to serve with everything he has, without regard for his own self and with a sense of duty.

Mike is the father of a teenage girl, Anderson and is engaged to Dr. Julia Nesheiwat, a combat veteran who served in the Trump administration as Homeland Security Advisor to the President. He lives in St. Johns County.


Vice Admiral Kevin Green, USN (Ret) served more than thirty years as a naval officer, completing his Navy career as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans, and Policy at the grade of vice admiral. As DCNO, he coordinated global naval operations, strategic planning, information operations and policy development; and managed service relationships with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the National Security Council staff, the US military services, other federal agencies, and allied navies. As a flag officer he commanded Naval Forces U.S. Southern Command, the ABRAHAM LINCOLN Carrier Group, and Naval Training Center Great Lakes, Illinois. He served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Atlantic Fleet Headquarters, the Bureau of Naval Personnel, and commanded Destroyer Squadron 23 and the guided missile frigate USS TAYLOR. Kevin graduated from the United States Naval Academy and the National War College and received an M.S. in Applied Science from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Kevin retired from IBM Corporation in 2015, where he led IBM’s Department of Defense and Intelligence Community business across the armed services, joint commands, defense agencies, and the national intelligence agencies. He is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, the U.S Naval Institute, the Surface Navy Association and the American College of National Security Leaders. He serves on the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees and as a director of the Air Force Retired Officers Community.


Commissioner Bryan Lober is the County Commissioner for Florida’s Second District, containing the towns of Merritt Island, Cocoa, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach. Bryan and his wife, Rebecca, have lived in Brevard County since 2011. Since adopting their one-eyed rescue dog, Winks, Bryan and his family decided to make their forever home in Brevard County.

As Commissioner, Bryan sits on the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, which is committed to reducing the carbon footprint, understanding the risks and vulnerabilities of utilizing emergency management, and increasing efforts towards sustainability on a regional scale. To develop regional resilience, the council has identified 3 pillars: health + equity, build infrastructure + national environment, and economic resilience.

Bryan is the only attorney serving on the Board of County Commissioners. He served as the 2016 – 2017 President of the Brevard County Bar Association – the youngest individual, on record, to have served in such capacity in the organization’s 64+ year history.



Born in Manatí, Puerto Rico, Honorable Antonio “Tony” Ortiz is the first and only Puerto Rican elected official to hold a position as Commissioner of the City of Orlando. Having been raised in a home of public servants inspired commissioner Ortiz to develop a genuine sense of commitment for his community. At the age of eighteen, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and for nine consecutive years he served his country in active and reserve military duty. Honorable Ortiz is a proud veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Graduated from the University of Central Florida, commissioner Ortiz has also dedicated part of his professional career to the accounting and banking industries.

Prior to being elected, commissioner Ortiz served for 14 years as police officer for the Orlando Police Department. During his tenure in this department, he successfully played important roles for various tactical units, including: Special Task Forces, Gangs Unit, Uniform Drug Unit and the SWAT Team. His efforts and commitment to maintain a safe community for every citizen, led Honorable Ortiz to continue academic courses and obtain greater knowledge in the area of law and order.  He became a crime prevention expert in specialty areas of crimes against the elderly and disabled citizen, and crime prevention through environmental design.

In his desire to maintain the public informed about their rights and responsibilities, he created a communications platform to develop direct contact with the community and in 2005 he wrote and hosted the television segment: “Behind the Badge” for the Orlando Police Department and the City of Orlando. From 2004 – 2007 commissioner Ortiz served as a Liaison Officer between the Government, the Community and the Police Department. This experience revealed new angles of need among the community he served.

Currently, as President of the Florida League of Cities, he is leading a statewide initiative, “Building Stronger Cities: Organizing, Empowering and Delivering,” to help every resident learn the ways of government so they will know what to expect from legislators and learn that legislation should be based upon the needs of the people. By being more informed and more engaged, residents will feel more empowered to protect their cities and their right to make local decisions.


Dale Ketcham serves as Space Florida’s Vice President Government & External Relations. In this role, Ketcham utilizes existing and developing networks to advantage the State of Florida as the recognized leader in the exploration, national security and commercial space marketplace through innovation, collaboration, and influence.

Dale spent 40 years at the Cape working with major contractors, 8(a)’s, the U.S. Congress, Enterprise Florida and the University of Central Florida.

After receiving his degree in philosophy from the University of Florida, Dale returned to Cocoa Beach. He worked for Rockwell International on the Shuttle Program for 10 years, then spent four years as District Director for then Congressman Jim Bacchus, who represented the Cape area on the Space Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dale then returned to the private sector, becoming Director of Business Development for AJT & Associates, a private engineering firm working with NASA, the U.S. Navy and Air Force as well as at airports around the country.

Immediately prior to Space Florida, Dale worked for the University of Central Florida (UCF) as Director of the Spaceport Research & Technology Institute (SRTI) and as the Director of Space and Defense Programs with Enterprise Florida, the State of Florida’s economic development agency.