The Little Think Tank

The Little Think Tank is a group of academic and public policy experts focusing on resilient recovery action for American communities. Convened during the 2020 Covid-19 shutdown, TLTT’s seven members review, curate, and develop transformative solutions for today’s public, private and community leaders. Their cumulative, multi-disciplinary experience brings together the best of leading edge research and practice


Sue Kieffer, PhD

Susan Kieffer is an Emerita Professor of Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she held the Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. and Center for Advanced Study Chairs. Her research work encompasses mineral thermodynamics, meteorite impacts, river floods and volcanic eruptions. She is a  member of the National Academy of Sciences. She has authored the popular science book The Dynamics of Disaster and hosts the blog GeologyInMotion.com. Her involvement with sustainability and resilience issues, through teaching and committee work, spans three decades.

Arrietta Chakos

Arrietta Chakos

Arrietta Chakos is an urban resilience policy advisor, supporting community-driven resilience action. She is a member of the Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program at the National Academies of Science. As a past member of the Resilient America Roundtable at the National Academies, she supports national level resilience and disaster recovery initiatives.

Monica Schoch-Spana, PhD

Monica Schoch-Spana is a medical anthropologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security @JHSPH_CHS working in public health to advance community resilience to epidemics and disasters. She is a senior scientist at John Hopkins University @JohnsHopkins

Abby Hall

Abby Hall U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Office of Community Revitalization

Abby Hall is a Senior Advisor on Local and Regional Planning for U.S. EPA’s Office of Community Revitalization and is based in Portland, Oregon.  Abby works on programs that provide land use planning and urban design assistance to communities. Abby also manages a partnership with FEMA on disaster recovery and resilience planning. Abby earned a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Stanford University.

Professor Kevin Heaslip

Kevin Heaslip is Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech.  He serves on the National Academies of Sciences Resilience America Roundtable.


Steve Moddemeyer

Steve Moddemeyer is a Principal at CollinsWoerman an architecture and planning firm based in Seattle and Spokane, WA. Steve advises clients on integrated strategies for land use, sustainability and resilience.

Co-founder Emerita Sherrie Forest

Sherrie Forest is a co-founder of The Little Think Tank and is now focused on community-based resilience work in Detroit, MI.  She obtained her M.S. in biological oceanography from the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, and has a B.A. in English from Pepperdine University.