WiRē Center Board of Directors

Hannah Brenkert Smith

Hannah Brenkert-Smith

University of Colorado, Boulder – Institute of Behavioral Science

Hannah Brenkert-Smith is a research associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Institute of Behavioral Science. Her research examines social-environmental interactions in the face of environmental change, particularly in the American West. Over the past 20 years, her work has focused primarily on household and community response to wildfire risk. In recent years, her work has prioritized collaborative research practices that yield actionable data and insights for those working at the forefront of wildfire risk mitigation in the wildland-urban interface. She earned her PhD in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was an Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results (STAR) fellow, a science and technology policy fellow at the National Academy of Sciences, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Climate Science and Applications Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Learn more about Hannah’s research.

Lilia Falk

Lilia Falk

West Region Wildfire Council

Lilia Falk is the Director of Finance, Agreements and Human Resources at the West Region Wildfire Council (WRWC), a collaborative, interagency organization that works to promote wildfire preparedness, prevention, and mitigation education across six Colorado counties. Since 2011, Lilia has worked with WRWC staff and partners across the region and state to further programs, and leverage resources that lead to increased community wildfire adaptation. She is also the current Treasurer of Fire Adapted Colorado and has served as a Director for the Montrose Fire Protection District since 2014. Prior to joining the WRWC, Lilia worked in emergency management for the Westminster Fire Department. Lilia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography with an emphasis in natural hazards from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Learn more about Lilia’s work.

Man wearing baseball cap smiling at camera, appears to be floating on a river and wearing a life vest.

Jamie Gomez

West Region Wildfire Council

Jamie Gomez is the Executive Director of the West Region Wildfire Council (WRWC), a collaborative, interagency organization that works to promote wildfire preparedness, prevention, and mitigation education across six Colorado counties. Jamie first began working with WRWC in 2013. He has a diverse background in natural resource science and management and has worked in several capacities to assist landowners and managers develop and implement projects that serve to improve conditions while meeting landowner goals. Jamie received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Biology from Fort Lewis College and maintains a sincere interest in wildfire ecology and natural resource conservation.

Learn more about Jamie’s work.

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Charles Herrick

Dr. Herrick is retired Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Stratus Consulting. He has consulted extensively with a wide range of U.S. government and international agencies, providing analytical input and strategic direction on issues including climate change adaptation, acid rain, sustainable fisheries management, science and public policy, public right-to-know, and control of invasive species. A leading expert in program evaluation, he designed program theories of change and other evaluation frameworks to characterize a variety of program delivery mechanisms, outcomes, and impacts for major foundations, government agencies, and nonprofit service-delivery organizations. As a consultant to municipal and water sector research foundations, he partnered with municipal and utility executives and managers to address topics including watershed management, organizational cultural change to support sustainable operations, emergency response planning, balancing public RTK with protection of critical infrastructure information, and implementation and evaluation of environmental regulatory tools and programs. Throughout his consulting career, Dr. Herrick maintained active association with academia, teaching regularly and publishing frequently in the peer reviewed and refereed literature. He is active in non-profit board service and was appointed by Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to serve on the Citizen’s Advisory Commission to the Chesapeake Bay Program, where he was recently elected to the role Chair.

Hollis Hope

Hollis Hope

Hollis Hope is an expert in nonprofit governance and has recently served on the Board of Directors for the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. She brings her expertise in management of nonprofit organizations to support WiRē Center administrative policy development including the transition to employees in 2022.