Bernard D. Ussher, CFM
Professional Engineer experienced in Hazard Mitigation, Public Assistance and Economic Development
Bernard Ussher has 30 years experience encompassing infrastructure planning, project management, business operations and marketing in such diverse fields as the economic development for foreign and US government entities, marketing and management in the private sector and hazard mitigation for the US government and local communities in Louisiana.
With an engineering degree from University College Dublin in Ireland and an MBA from the Sloan School at MIT, Mr. Ussher career is characterized by financial and engineering modeling combined with business development to a wide variety of target clients. He now resides in Lafayette, LA..
In the field of Hazard Mitigation, Mr. Ussher was most recently deeply involved with the Louisiana Pilot Planning Grant Program (PPGP). While at FEMA in 2005-2008, he was instrumental in helping guide the administration of this new test program for hazard mitigation. What the planning pilot program sought to do was to help Louisiana communities develop more robust mitigation grant applications capable of passing the eligibility requirements of the hazard mitigation grant program (HMGP).
Mr. Ussher has had direct hands on involvement with numerous local communities where he assisted them in identifying and scoping suitable projects for mitigation. Many of these projects were later selected for funding under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Mr. Ussher had developed a demonstrable capability in such mitigation aspects as benefit cost analysis (BCA), “Rep Loss” properties, and hurricane/tornado wind hardening of public buildings.
In prior years Mr. Ussher was the lead mitigation planner for FEMA in Louisiana.
Post the Katrina and Rita disasters, Mr. Ussher was assigned to an emergency task force (HMTAP) to assist Louisiana cities and parishes gain FEMA approval for their mitigation plans. Mr. Ussher personally worked on the crosswalks for 30+ parishes and was part of the team that eventually brought approval for all 64 parishes in Louisiana. In the process, Mr. Ussher had significant dealing with Louisiana State mitigation officials and directly helped both cities and parishes gain approval for their plans – some 78 in total.
Mr. Ussher has experience in floodplain management (NFIP), benefit cost analysis (BCA) and the nuances of getting approval from the State and FEMA under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
Early in his career in economic development, Mr. Ussher secured over $250M in high tech manufacturing and software investment to Ireland. This effort formed the initial building block of a now thriving electronics and software industry that today constitutes $11 billion within the ever growing Irish high tech economy. In subsequent assignments, Mr. Ussher assisted the governments of China, the Netherlands and the State of Massachusetts via private equity investment funds and the World Bank to help bolster and grow their electronics industries.
Mr. Ussher is a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) and belongs to such organizations as ASFPM and LFMA. His most recent assignment is with FEMA Public Assistance, assisting local communities in submitting claims for damages and expenses incurred by the 2011 Spring flooding of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers.
In 2008, he was selected to become a founding board member of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association (NFMA) http://nhma.info/ where is currently co-chair of the Membership Committee.