Michael Berkowitz

Michael Berkowitz

Executive Director, University of Miami, Climate Resilience Academy


In August 2023 Michael Berkowitz was appointed founding executive director of the University of Miami’s Climate Resilience Academy. He also serves as the Eric T. Levin Chair in Climate Resilience. The Academy is a functional unit that supports the UM Schools and Colleges in interdisciplinary, problem-driven research and education to train the next generation of resilience practitioners and deliver solutions to climate change impacts and other environmental stressors, in partnership with industry, government, universities, and other stakeholders.

Additionally, he currently serves as a senior Advisor to Resilient Cities Catalyst,  as well as on the Deltares international advisory board, FEMA’s National Advisory Commission and the World Resource Institute's Ross Center Cities Prize Advisory Council.

Previously Michael was a Founding Principal at Resilient Cities Catalyst, a global non-profit dedicated to helping cities tackle their toughest challenges. Building on the pioneering legacy of 100RC, and in partnership with a community of urban resilience actors, RCC is helping cities and communities implement complex solutions, build the capacities and partnerships needed to understand, prioritize and concretely address their risks and chronic stresses.

From 2013-2019 Michael served as the Founder and President of 100 Resilient Cities at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he  built an international organization focused on helping cities build resilience to the physical, social, and economic challenges. The cities in the 100RC network created 80 holistic resilience strategies, which have outlined over 4,000 concrete actions and initiatives, resulting in more than 150 collaborations between private sector and public sector to address city challenges, including $230 million of pledged support from platform partners and more than $25 billion leveraged from national, philanthropic, and private sources to implement resilience projects.

From 2005-2013, Michael worked at Deutsche Bank, where he had several roles globally. The last of which was as the Global Head of Operational Risk Management. In that role he oversaw the firm’s capital planning, served as a primary regulatory contact, and coordinated the myriad of related management efforts group-wide. He also served as Chief Operating Officer of Corporate Security, Business Continuity and Operational Risk Management, where he had responsibility for budgeting, operations, and global coordination across the group's six workstreams.

From 1998-2005, he served as Deputy Commissioner at the Office of Emergency Management in New York City, where he worked on major planning initiatives, including the New York City Coastal Storm, Biological Terrorism and Transit Strike contingency plans. He led an initiative to create OEM’s Public-Private Emergency Planning Initiative and its Ready New York citizen preparedness campaign. He also responded to incidents including the 1999 outbreak of West Nile Fever, Tropical Storm Floyd, major flooding in Southern Queens (1999), the crashes of SwissAir 111 and American Airlines 587, the 2003 Northeast blackout, as well as the 2001 anthrax incidents and the World Trade Center disaster.