2017 Stanford CEE Symposium Speaker Biographies


Mr Tony Bennett

Ontario Power Generation
Director of Dam and Public Safety
Ontario, Canada

Tony Bennett is the director of dam and public safety for Ontario Power Generation and serves on a number of committees and panels in Canada that are related to dam safety. His expertise is in dams and reservoir operations. He is the past president of the Engineering Institute of Canada, chair of the International Commission on Large Dams Committee on Public Safety Around Dams, and chair of the Canadian Dam Association Working Group on Public Safety Around Dams. He is a member of the Government of Ontario advisory panel that is developing regulations and technical guidelines for dam safety. Mr. Bennett recently completed an 8-year term with the Canadian Dam Association and served as its president during 2006–2008. He graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering degree and is a registered professional engineer in Ontario, Canada.


Professor Dennis Mileti

Professor Emeritus
University of Colorado

Dennis S. Mileti is professor emeritus at the University of Colorado Boulder where he served as Director of the Natural Hazards Center from 1994-2003. He is the author of over 100 publications most of which discuss societal aspects of hazards and disasters. His book Disasters by Design summarized knowledge in all fields of science and engineering regarding natural hazards and disasters, and made recommendations for shifts in national policies and programs. Dennis has had the opportunity to work on a variety of exciting hazards-related projects over the years including providing oversight to the U.S. Army Corps’ investigation of why the levees failed during Hurricane Katrina and ensuing societal impacts for which he was awarded the U.S. Army’s Civilian Medal of Honor; and he designed and oversaw NIST’s congressional study of evacuation of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. He has chaired the Committee on Disasters in the National Research Council of the National Academies, and the Board of Visitors to FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute. Dennis also served as a California Seismic Safety Commissioner, and he has worked as a consultant in the private, public, and legal sectors in matters related to emergency management and public risk communication.


Mr. Steve Verigin

Senior Vice President, GEI Consultants, Inc.
(formerly Chief of the California Division of Safety of Dams)

Steve Verigin, P.E., G.E. serves as Senior Vice President and West Region Manager of GEI Consultants, Inc. Mr. Verigin worked for many years with the California Division of Safety of Dams and served for x years as the Division Chief. He has also served as the President of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. He has more than 30 years of experience managing major water resources engineering programs with an emphasis on design and construction. Since joining GEI in 2006, he has helped expand its existing dams and levees practice throughout the United States. Verigin is a registered professional engineer in California and Hawaii. Prior to joining GEI in 2006 he worked at numerous engineering and management levels for the California DWR, most recently as deputy director and acting chief deputy director where he provided policy direction for the divisions of Flood Management and Safety of Dams and ran the day-to-day operations of the 2,500 employee agency.