First Executive Director of the First Resilience Authority

First Executive Director of the First Resilience Authority

By making use of enabling legislation passed into law by the Maryland General Assembly, the Charles County Board of Commissioners introduced a local ordinance to establish a nonprofit organization as a government instrumentality capable of financing and contracting for climate change-related projects, both in the public and private sectors. This is the first such entity of its kind in the state of Maryland, and perhaps the entire country.

As an innovative and unique government instrumentality and nonprofit organization, the Resilience Authority of Charles County has the ability to respond more rapidly to the challenges of climate change in a manner that provides the opportunity to "Bounce Forward" (as defined by the Kresge Foundation) to address environmental justice issues in underserved communities and prioritize efforts based on principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. In March, I will be attending the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) mini series course on Inclusive Public Engagement.

Over the next year, I will work with the Resilience Authority's Board of Directors to develop a five year strategic plan; establish collaborative Partnerships with local, state, and federal government agencies, non-profits, corporations, educational institutions, and philanthropic organizations; identify and understand financing opportunities and strategies while developing Standard Operating Procedures for procurements, grant funding and private/public partnership opportunities.

Moreover, the Resilience Authority will serve as the public engagement body for climate change resiliency efforts. For example, the Resilience Authority will be the body responsible for engaging the public and updating the Charles County Commissioners on the forthcoming Charles County Climate Action Plan. The Resilience Authority will also use the forthcoming UMCES Climate Resilience Report Card for Charles County in directing its efforts, public outreach, and identifying projects.

With respect to current on-the-ground projects, the Resilience Authority is working with Charles County on a county-wide Residential Stormwater Drainage Improvement Project that prioritizes underserved neighborhoods identified as vulnerable based on the CDC's Social Vulnerability Index. This project came about as a result of Charles County Government receiving hundreds of drainage related complaints over the last few years from residents. 2018 was the wettest year on record with more than 60 inches of rain that fell in Charles County, which is about 20 inches more than average annual rainfall totals for this area. The increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is expected to continue, and even worsen in the future, primarily due to climate change, and the Residential Stormwater Drainage Improvement Project seeks to address these drainage issues, neighborhood by neighborhood, in a holistic manner that will result in drainage systems able to handle current and the projected increases in precipitation and storm events. In addition, this year (and subject to the Resilience Board approval), I am working with the Charles County Climate Resilience and Sustainability Officer and Maryland State Forestry to develop a Resilience Authority Arbor Day event that involves tree planting in identified Environmental Justice Urban Heat Zones, and establishing annual tree planting events in Urban Heat Zones not only as an environmental justice adaptation and resilience measure (which addresses heat, stormwater absorption, and water resources), but also to further education about climate change and the use of natural solutions in efforts to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Overall, the Resilience Authority Board has identified three focus areas of climate resilience projects: Stormwater, Water Resources, and Agricultural Best Management Practices/Healthy Soils. I will keep everyone updated on additional projects as we identify them!


Key Personnel

Stacy Schaefer
Executive Director Resilience Authority of Charles County


  • Start: 2023-01-23
  • Finish: 
  • Duration: Ongoing