Education

  • BS, Civil Engineering, cum laude, Memphis State University
  • MS, Civil Engineering, Mississippi State University
  • PhD, Civil Engineering, University of Memphis

Professional certifications

  • Registered Professional Engineer, Tennessee
  • Diplomate, Water Resource Engineer
  • Diplomate, Navigation Engineer

Memberships and citations

  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Sigma Xi
  • World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • Department of the Army, Superior Civilian Service Award for excellence in leadership
  • Fellow, US Section PIANC

Contact

    • o: (202) 289-2060
    • f: (202) 289-8683
    • sknight@dawsonassociates.com
Sandra is an expert in federal disaster reduction, flood risk management and marine transportation policies and programs, having spent more than 30 years administering these and other policies at three federal agencies.

Sandra gained her expertise in federal mitigation risk-related policies, emergency management and environmental and historic preservation compliance from her experience as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

Sandra led FEMA’s mitigation programs supporting the National Flood Insurance Act and the Stafford Act.  Her duties included development and administration of policies regarding floodplain mapping, floodplain management, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs, environmental and historic preservation and mitigation support to disaster response.  Her team led the nation in developing hazard resilient building practices and had oversight over the National Dam Safety Program.

At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Sandra was the Director of Policy, Planning and Evaluation for NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.  There she was responsible for the development of corporate policies and planning strategies to ensure scientific excellence and improved performance of NOAA research.

Sandra spent most of her career, over 26 years, as a hydraulic engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, MS where she finished her service in 2007 as the Technical Director for Navigation Research.  Additionally, she served in a temporary capacity when asked by Corps Senior leadership to lead the Corps’ Business Technical Division in the Mississippi Valley during the months following Hurricane Katrina, which was followed by an assignment to Corps HQ where she led the development of the Corps’ asset management strategy.