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Featured Speakers

Felipe Gonzalez

Former Spanish Prime Minister (1982 - 1996)

Felipe Gonzalez is one of the key political figures in the history of Spain in the second half of the twentieth century. A leading player in the democratic transition, he was the third president of the Spanish government since its reinstatement in the late 1970s and has been the longest-time president (four legislatures in thirteen and a half years).

The modernization of Spain and its complete integration into the European concert took place in its years of government, between 1982 and 1996. Although he is currently retired from the political profession, the former president remains active in various current focuses at European and Latin American level.

Born in Seville in 1942, he is the father of three children and grandfather of eight grandchildren. He was married from 1969 to 2008 to Carmen Romero López and is currently married to Mar García-Vaquero Vela in second marriages since 2012. Fond of the good table, he loves cooking and photography. His devotion to nature and the cultivation of bonsai is known, although not so much another of his passions: the design of jewelry and furniture. He relaxes with a game of billiards, a good book or working and carving stones, as well as being recognized as a hard-working reader and flamenco enthusiast. With curiosity intact, he continues to keep alive his eagerness to know everything.

Felipe González, página web oficial del expresidente del Gobierno español (

Felipe Gonzalez

Jennifer Symonds, D.O.

Fire & Aviation Management Medical Officer
Fire Medical Qualifications Program Manager
USDA Forest Service
Dr. Symonds graduated from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1994. She completed a residency in Family Medicine and holds a board certification in Urgent Care Medicine. She had worked in Urgent Care Centers practicing Urgent Care Medicine and Occupational Medicine until 2013 when she accepted the position of Medical Officer for the USDA Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management. Dr. Symonds oversees the medical qualification of all Forest Service fire staff that have fitness qualifications. Dr. Symonds was part of the implementation working group that created, in conjunction with the National Park Service, the Interagency EMS Program (NPS and FS). She is a member of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s Emergency Medical Committee that provides national leadership and establishes standards that support rapid delivery of high-quality emergency medical services on national interagency wildland fire incidents. In 2020 with the advent of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, she became a member of the Federal Wildfire Fire Management Board’s Medical and Public Health Advisory Team putting out guidance on how agencies should attempt to prevent and mitigate COVID-19 in the fire environment and camps.

Sidney Dekker, PhD

Professor and Director of the Safety Science Innovation Lab at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia
Sidney Dekker (PhD Ohio State University, USA, 1996) is Professor and Director of the Safety Science Innovation Lab at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and Professor at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University in the Netherlands.

Sidney has lived and worked in seven countries across four continents and won worldwide acclaim for his groundbreaking work in human factors and safety. He coined the term ‘Safety Differently’ in 2012, which has since turned into a global movement for change. It encourages organizations to declutter their bureaucracy and provide people freedom-in-a-frame to make things go well—and to offer compassion, restoration and learning when they don’t.

An avid piano player and pilot, he has been flying the Boeing 737 for an airline on the side. Sidney is bestselling author of, most recently: Compliance Capitalism; Foundations of Safety Science; The Safety Anarchist; The End of Heaven; Just Culture; Safety Differently; The Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’; Second Victim; Drift into Failure; and Patient Safety. He has co-directed the documentaries ‘Safety Differently,’ 2017; ‘Just Culture,’ 2018, ‘The Complexity of Failure,’ 2018, and ‘Doing Safety Differently,’ 2019. His work has over 13,300 citations and an h-index of 50.

More at

Cathelijne Stoof, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Creator and leader of PyroLife Innovative Training Network on integrated fire management
Board of Directors International Association of Wildland Fire

Dr. Cathelijne Stoof is specialized in pyrogeography – the interdisciplinary study of the distribution and functioning of wildland fire. She is the national delegate of The Netherlands to the EU Expert Group of Forest Fires, an active science communicator, and founder and leader of the newly funded Innovative Training Network PyroLife, that trains 15 PhD candidates to become the our new generation of integrated fire management experts. PyroLife fosters knowledge transfer from southern Europe to temperate Europe, and from cross-risk approaches including water management to fire. It thereby combines how the North solves community problems with fire knowledge from the European South, with a strong focus on diversity in terms of interdisciplinarity, science-practice links, geography and gender. With this, PyroLife trains early career researchers people to understand fire, deal with uncertainty, communicate risks, and stimulate knowledge exchange to improve awareness and preparedness for current and future fire challenges.  

Link to PyroLife:

C. Stoof

Dan Cable, PhD

Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School

Dan Cable is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School. Dan’s research and teaching focus on employee engagement, change, organizational culture, and leadership mindset. Dan is Shortlisted for the 2019 Thinkers50 Talent Award, and selected for the 2018 Thinkers50 Radar List. The Academy of Management has twice honored Dan with “Best article” awards, and The Academy of Management Perspectives ranked Dan in the “Top 25 most influential management scholars.”

Dan’s newest book is Exceptional, published September 2020. Alive at Work: The Neuroscience of Helping Your People Love What They Do appeared in 2018, and his first book was Change to Strange. He also has edited two books and published more than 50 articles in top scientific journals. His most recent research was published in Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, the Academy of Management Journal, and Administrative Science Quarterly. This research recently has been featured in the Economist, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, New York Times, and Business Week.

Dan’s clients include Amazon, BMW, Capital One, Deloitte, EY, Estee Lauder, Facebook, HSBC, Ikea, MetLife, NBC Universal, O2, Porsche Consulting, Prudential, PwC, Rabobank, Randstad, Roche, Sanofi, Siemens, and Twitter.


Joe Buffone

Director General of Emergency Management Australia (EMA)
Joe has been with EMA since December 2016 and has held multiple roles within the organisation. As Director General, Joe is responsible for overseeing Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre, Coordination of Australian Government Disaster Assistance (non-financial), Physical Security for Australian Holders of High Office, Major Events Security and Commonwealth Disaster Recovery funding. Joe has more than 30 years’ experience in security and disaster management and has held a number of key senior positions.

Joe was the lead for two major national projects:
  • National Project Director for Emergency Alert –National Telephone Warning System Project post Black Saturday. $60m nationally led from concept to operationalization in 7 months.
  • Development of the road map for the Next Generation National Fire danger Rating System.

Joe has had direct involvement in coordinating and responding to major emergencies in Australia and internationally, at the Strategic, Operational and Tactical levels. Some examples are; Leading the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre 2020, Black Summer 2019-20, Far North Queensland Floods 2018-19, Cyclone Debbie 2017, Tasmanian Bushfires 2016, Wye River Bushfires 2016, Nepal Earth Quake 2015, Somerton Building Waste Fire 2015, Hazelwood Mine Fire 2014. NSW Bushfires 2014, 2011 Victorian Floods, 2009 Black Saturday Fires in Victoria. Joe has also served in the Australian Defence Force.

Academic Qualifications: Masters of Business, Graduate Diploma in Disaster Management, Diploma in Security Management.


Keynote Panel: Recovery and revitalization of Indigenous (wild)fire futures

Moderator: Amy Cardinal Christianson

Amy Cardinal Christianson is a Métis woman from the Cardinal/ Laboucane families of Treaty 8 territory. She is a Fire Research Scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, where her research program focuses on Indigenous fire stewardship, wildfire evacuations, and wildfire mitigation.

Brady Highway

Brady Highway belongs to the Asinīskāwitiniwak – the people of the rock. He is a father of two children, a Cree translator and life-long student of the land. Having grown up on the Churchill River in northern Saskatchewan, Brady learned how to respectfully interact with the environment and has been working in the field of environmental protection for over 25 years. Starting as a wildland firefighter, he moved to Yoho National Park to become the youngest Park Warden in Canada at the age of 18 and continued specialized work in wildfire management. He has held several positions including Initial Attack Crew Leader, Regional Duty Officer, Visitor Safety and Fire Operations Coordinator which offered many unique opportunities to work with Indigenous communities in their own traditional territories. After attending over 250 prescribed, wildland, and structural fires, he now leads a project on behalf of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative developing a national strategy for Indigenous Guardians entering this critical function of resource management. Brady’s passion and commitment to protect the land enters every aspect of his life, instilling values of respect and humility to his children, nieces and nephews who will be left to look after the land into the future.

Margo Robbins

Margo Robbins is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Cultural Fire Management Council (CFMC). She is one of the key planners and organizers of the Cultural Burn Training Exchange (TREX) that takes place on the Yurok Reservation twice a year. She is also a co-lead and advisor for the Indigenous People’s Burn Network.

Margo comes from the traditional Yurok village of Morek, and is an enrolled member of the Yurok Tribe. She gathers and prepares traditional food and medicine, is a basket weaver and regalia maker.

She is the Indian Education Director for the Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School district, a mom, and a grandma.

Bhiamie Williamson

Bhiamie Williamson

Research Associate and PhD Candidate, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University

Bhiamie Williamson is an Indigenous man from the Euahlayi people in north-west New South Wales, Australia. In 2014, Bhiamie graduated from the Australian National University (ANU) and in 2017 from the Masters of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Bhiamie also holds graduate certificates in Indigenous Governance from the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona and Indigenous Trauma Care and Recovery Practice from the University of Wollongong. Bhiamie’s research areas include Indigenous land management, cultural burning, Indigenous peoples and disaster recovery and Indigenous men and masculinities.