February 2010


Dr. Sandra K. Knight is currently the new Deputy Assistant Administrator for Mitigation for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, DC. At FEMA, she is a member of the Senior Executive Service and provides leadership, oversight and supervision for the development and administration of regulations, policies and procedures for risk reduction, risk analysis, environmental planning and historic preservation, as well as, regional and disaster support in FEMA's Mitigation Directorate. Her portfolio includes floodplain mapping and management, hazard mitigation assistance grants, building sciences, mitigation planning, dam safety, earthquake hazards reduction, and the development of risk assessment methodologies for natural hazards.

Prior to joining FEMA, Dr. Knight was the Director of Policy, Planning and Evaluation for the Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She was responsible for the development of corporate policies and planning strategies, to ensure scientific excellence, transparent operations, and improved performance of NOAA's research portfolio.

Dr. Knight came to NOAA from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss., where she was the Technical Director for navigation research and responsible for directing and planning strategic, multidisciplinary research which supported sustainable development and management of the nation's waterways infrastructure. During her last year with the Corps, she was on special assignment to the Corps Headquarters as the team lead for asset management, establishing accountability and life-cycle guidance for over $200 billion of the nation's real property assets. Following the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, she stepped in to provide leadership support to the Mississippi Valley Division Corps of Engineers as Chief, Business Technical Division, serving as lead engineer for the Valley.

Sandra received her doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Memphis in 1996 where she completed her dissertation on physical forces produced by moving vessels and the effects on waterway bed and bank stability, sediment transport, and vessel maneuverability. Dr. Knight has authored or co-authored over 35 technical papers and reports on various aspects of hydraulic engineering. She served on the executive committee of the International Navigation Association (PIANC) as chair of the inland waterways commission (INCOM) from 2004-2007 and served as the US Representative from 1998-2004. She was recently elected Fellow and serves as Commissioner to the US Section PIANC. She currently co-chairs with the USACE, the Research and Development Interagency Action team for the Committee for Marine Transportation Systems and represents FEMA on the Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force. She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, the Women's Aquatic Network, the International Navigation Association, and Sigma Xi.

She is a registered professional engineer in the state of Tennessee and has been a Diplomate since March 2007.