Keynote Speakers
The IABSE NY Annual Meeting Scientific Committee is pleased to announce the following Keynote Speakers who will be presenting at the Congress:

Opening Keynotes

Janette Sadik-Khan

Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution

If you can change the street, you can change the world. Streetfight discusses the transformative power of streets and shows how reclaiming space for people to walk, bike and take public transportation sets cities on a path toward a more sustainable future. 

Janette Sadik-Khan is one of the world’s foremost authorities on transportation and urban transformation. She served as New York City’s transportation commissioner from 2007 to 2013 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, overseeing historic changes to the city’s streets—closing Broadway to cars in Times Square, building nearly 400 miles of bike lanes and seven rapid bus lines, launching the largest bike share program in North America and creating more than 60 plazas citywide. A founding principal with Bloomberg Associates, she works with mayors around the world to reimagine and redesign their cities. She chairs the National Association of Transportation Officials, implementing new, people-focused street design standards, including the Global Street Design Guide, which has been adopted by 93 cities and organizations around the world. She is the author of Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution.

Edward Glaeser

City Triumphs; City Perils.

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992. He regularly teaches microeconomics theory, and occasionally urban and public economics. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He has published dozens of papers on cities economic growth, law, and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992. His books include Cities, Agglomeration, and Spatial Equilibrium (Oxford University Press, 2008), Rethinking Federal Housing Policy (American Enterprise Institute Press, 2008), and Triumph of the City (Penguin Press, 2011).


Special Session Keynotes

Jonathan F.P. Rose

Tomorrow’s Affordable Housing

Jonathan F.P. Rose’s business, public policy and not-for-profit work all focus on creating more environmentally, socially and economically resilient cities. In 1989, Mr. Rose founded Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, a multi-disciplinary real estate development, planning, and investment firm, which creates real estate and planning models to address the challenges of the 21st century. Jonathan has lead the firm’s vision, program and growth, developing award winning new projects, investment funds and city plans to model solutions to the issues of housing, economic development and the environment. Mr. Rose’s book on how to create resilient cities, The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life, was published by Harper Wave in 2016, and won the 2017 PROSE Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work by a Trade Publisher.

Ian Firth

The 200 Year Bridge

Ian Firth is one of the world’s leading bridge designers and is a well–known advocate of elegance in bridge design. He is experienced in the management and direction of bridge design and construction projects worldwide, and has also been responsible for the design, analysis and assessment of stadia and other complex structures. He has been advisor to jury panels for bridge design competitions and is a regular speaker on the subject of bridges. Ian joined Flint & Neill from Bristol University in 1979 and became Partner in 1990. When Flint & Neill joined the COWI Group in 2008, Ian became Chief Operating Officer. Flint & Neill rebranded as COWI in January 2017. Ian has been an independent structural engineering consultant since January 2018, and is visiting Professor in conceptual and creative structural design at the University of Warwick. He was the 2017 President of The Institution of Structural Engineers, is Chairman of the British Group of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering and Trustee of US–based bridge-building charity Bridges to Prosperity.


Closing Keynotes

Veronica Cedillos

The IABSE Foundation and GeoHazards International

Veronica Cedillos is a licensed civil engineer whose primary focus has been to reduce the impacts of natural hazards. She has led and been involved in numerous efforts to implement or promote seismic and tsunami risk reduction in communities throughout the world, including major projects in Armenia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, and the United States. Ms. Cedillos was recently named President of GeoHazards International. In her early years at GeoHazards International, Ms. Cedillos led major projects in Haiti, Indonesia, and Peru. In Haiti, she managed efforts in 3 northern cities targeting seismic and tsunami safety. In Indonesia, she led an interdisciplinary effort to investigate tsunami risk mitigation options and develop recommendations for Padang. In Peru, she led an effort to reduce earthquake risk in rural communities; this pilot project in the Andes engaged villagers in strengthening their school and trained local masons in safer adobe construction methods. Ms. Cedillos has been a major contributor or editor on several technical reports that guide practicing engineers to design buildings that withstand natural hazards such as earthquakes.


Vince Beiser

The Deadly Global War for Sand

Award-winning journalist Vince Beiser will discuss the most important and yet most overlooked commodity in the world: sand. This humble natural resource is what our cities are made of: Every concrete building, every paved road, every window, every computer screen, every silicon chip, and much more is made from sand. And incredibly, we are starting to run out of it….

Vince Beiser is an award-winning journalist and author of The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization. Hailed as “stunning” (NPR), “impassioned and alarming,” (Washington Post) and “a must read” (Senator John McCain), the book is a finalist for a 2019 PEN America award. In his 20-plus years in journalism, Vince has reported from over 100 countries, states, provinces, kingdoms, occupied territories, liberated areas, no man’s lands and disaster zones. He has exposed conditions in California’s harshest prisons, trained with troops bound for Iraq, ridden with the first responders to disasters in Haiti and Nepal, inspected the radioactive ruins of the Fukushima nuclear reactor, and hunted down other stories from around the world for publications including Wired, The Atlantic, Harper’s, The Guardian, The Nation, Mother Jones, Playboy, Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.