Monday, October 21, 2019

Governors in Detroit to talk infrastructure + cybersecurity

Detroit is hosting a series of high-profile meetings that revolve around infrastructure and cybersecurity. The first of these meetings happened this past Thursday and Friday when the National Governors Association met at the Westin Book-Cadillac (1114 Washington Blvd.) downtown.

During this meeting in Detroit, Governors from across the United States as well as infrastructure policy and technology experts discussed emerging trends and best practices for securing vital infrastructure against man-made and natural threats. This is the second of four National Governors Association stakeholder summits in support of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s 2019-20 NGA Chair’s Initiative.

“While no public policy can prevent all disasters, governors and leaders across America can show real leadership, and work together to find innovative new ways to withstand disasters better, and to respond and recover more quickly,” Governor. Hogan said. “Throughout this bipartisan summit, we discussed the most effective measures that governors can take to fulfill our most important responsibility: protecting our states and our citizens.”

Governors Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Bill Lee of Tennessee joined Governor Hogan in Detroit for this meeting.They were joined by other state officials as well as executives of energy, transportation and water companies. This group explored ways to reduce threats of cyberattacks and to deal with challenges posed by extreme weather.

“As the climate changes, we must continue the work to mitigate the effects of natural disasters on our infrastructure and our communities,” explained Governor Whitmer. “Michigan is home to tough, innovative people who are stepping up and helping prepare our state for the future, whether it’s by joining in on efforts to combat climate change or keeping us safe from cyberattacks. I’m proud to work together with my fellow governors and leaders from across the country who are taking bold steps to protect us from harm.”

Climate change, the nation’s governors discovered, poses a threat to America’s critical infrastructure. Energy systems, water and stormwater facilities, and the transportation sector are all vulnerable to increasingly large and more frequent storms.

“Infrastructure connects everyone in our states,” stated Governor Lee. “From roads, to water, to electricity, to cybersecurity, we need a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to addressing these many challenges. Thanks to my colleagues Governor Hogan and Governor Whitmer for hosting this event and helping us continue to find ways to help our states solve our most pressing infrastructure needs.”

This summit was the second of four planned U.S. convenings in support of Governor Hogan’s NGA Chair’s Initiative, Infrastructure: Foundation for Success. He was joined by fellow governors and experts in Boston this past September to study measures to relieve traffic congestion. He also a study tour in Australia later that month to explore innovative funding models.

The next high-profile meeting regarding infrastructure to happen in Detroit will be the North American International Cyber Summit, which happens Monday, October 28. This will be followed by the U.S. Army Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence Symposium that will meet November 20-21. Both of these events will happen at the TCF Center (1 Washington Blvd.) downtown.

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