Katie Harkins Skakel (CFM) is a planning consultant with 25 years experience in land use planning, floodplain management, mitigation, climate adaptation and resiliency planning. Katie has worked extensively across the US, including the Adirondacks and Appalachian Regions, New England states, the Great Midwest Floods of 1993, and the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Special projects in floodplain management and mitigation include technical leadership in Hurricane Sandy Mitigation efforts. Working with communities in New York, Katie provided technical guidance on substantial damage properties, the Community Rating System, remapping, Haz US and coastal construction and sustainable design. Katie’s extensive work as a Regional Planner in Massachusetts and as a FEMA Specialist provided communities with a unique experienced task-orientated planner that could work with communities devastated by floods and other natural disasters.
Katie serves as a Board Member on the Natural Hazards Mitigation Association (NHMA). She is passionate about sharing technical training on consensus building to stop the disaster cycle. Through her training with Transition Town Planning, the Oregon Natural Step, and Transformational Resilience (TR), Katie hopes to increase the collective conversation about how to create a resilient community, which integrates green design practices, and lessons learned from Ecological Adaptation Principles and planning for a whole community approach. This past year, Katie worked as a Senior Hazard Mitigation Planner for Tetra Tech providing technical analysis on New York Rising Projects, King County, Wa, City and County of Los Angeles Floodplain Plan, and Cook County, Ill (the largest Multi- Hazard Mitigation Plan undertaken nationally (of 130 communities)).
Katie’s ability to work compassionately and provide clear technical information to community leaders has proved to be a great asset in rebuilding and/or relocated communities in Alaska. Katie received her Bachelor of Science from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY which included semesters in Kenya, East Africa and Appalachia. Katie has graduate course work in environmental law and land use planning from Tufts University and University of Massachusetts as well as non-degree graduate course work – site planning and review from Portland State University. Katie managed a program for the Ford Foundation through the Overseas Development Network (ODN) where she gained insights into several organizational NGO’s working in Appalachia about what it means to empower communities. Katie continues to work on regional planning issues and non-profits such as the Gorge Grown Food Network to bring a sustainable food system to the area she calls home; the Columbia River Gorge.