Lara Robertson, AICP joins CDR Emergency Management as Director of Recovery Operations and has over 25 years of experience managing CDBG-DR and FEMA community recovery and redevelopment initiatives—from concept to completion. Lara’s expertise includes planning and implementation of disaster response and recovery initiatives, and executive management of diverse, legacy-scale programs in conformance with federal, state, and local laws.
As a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Lara was responsible for managing Road Home Program—the largest CDBG-DR housing and elevation program in U.S. history—which assisted over 131,000 homeowners with more than $10 billion in funds and resulted in the elevation of over 11,000 homes. In addition, the Road Home Program restored over 8,500 rental units, with an additional $418 million in CDBG-DR funding.
Prior to joining CDR EM, Lara was the Senior Vice President for Plexos Group, L.L.C., and has also served as the Director for the State of Louisiana Office of Community Development Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU)— the state agency responsible for the administration of $13.4 billion in CDBG funding allocated to the state for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and $1 billion for Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Lara was directly responsible for the management and compliance of over $11 billion in federally funded programs while working with HUD and FEMA officials to obtain the flexibility needed to effectively address recovery needs, streamline recovery processes, and achieve close out.
Lara has also worked as a CDBG project manager for Kriss Lowry and Associates, Inc. for 10 years, and served as a local government advisor for the Governor’s Office in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
During her career, Lara has provided management and SME support for over $24 billion in CDBG-DR and HMGP programs, covering 14 disasters for 10 grantees.