LaJuana S. Wilcher
Secretary of Kentucky’s Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Senior Director for The Business and Technology Group
Director, Professional Education and Outreach
The Polis Center
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
LaJuana S. Wilcher
Ms. Wilcher is secretary of Kentucky's Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. A biologist
and lawyer, she returned to Kentucky in 2002 after 19 years of federal service and private
practice in Washington, D.C. As the U.S.EPA's Assistant Administrator for Water(1989-1993),
she directed initiatives in Eastern/Central Europe, the Wider Caribbean Basin, the Mexico
Border, and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.
She traveled with Congressional leaders to Poland and Hungary to meet local government officials and was a
featured speaker in a symposium on environmental problems in Eastern/Central Europe. She was
the senior official on the U.S. delegation at the International Conference on Water and the
Environment in Dublin(1992) and served as the rapporteur of the Water Resources Workgroup.
She was the keynote speaker at the International Conference on Ecological Engineering in
Sweden(1991), a featured speaker for a Toronto conference on global environmental
issues(1991), and addressed border issues at the U.S./Mexico Environmental Infrastructure
In private practice, she attended the "Partners for Peace" project in Israel(1994),
with representatives of business, government and NGOs from the U.S., Israel, West Bank and
Gaza. She has spoken on international environmental issues at the Government Institutes
Conference of European Environmental Laws and Regulations.
Cheryl is currently Senior Director of Communications, Research and Strategic Planning for The Business and Technology Group (BITS) for the Financial Services Roundtable. BITS is a non-profit industry consortium of the 100 largest financial institutions of the United States. She was recently named as Co-chair of the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Education for Sustainable Development working group of the Commission on Education and Communications.
For close to 20 years, Cheryl served as National Director of the two most widely used environment education programs in North America for K-12 educators, Project Learning Tree and Project WILD, receiving numerous awards for her leadership. She currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board to the National Conservation Learning Summit, held near Washington, DC in November of 2005, and will help to guide the Summit's five-year Implementation Plan for a New Conservation Agenda. She is also a member of the World Conservation Union's Commission on Education and Communication, and a Special Advisor to the IUCN's Steering Committee for the Commission on Education and Communication.
Cheryl is author, editor and designer of a wide variety of publications including books, articles, educational materials, and monographs. Her most recent book, co-authored with her husband, Bob Samples, is /Coming Home: Community, Creativity and Consciousness/ (Personhood Press, 2004). She has been listed for many years in the /Marquis Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the West. / Cheryl has taught at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels; has given hundreds of public presentations and scores of keynote addresses; and has facilitated a wide variety of civic, business and educational meetings on a range of topics from developing community leadership to improving educational systems.
Kevin is the Director of the Professional GIS Education Program for The Polis Center at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and an Adjunct Faculty member at the Department of Geography at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. The Professional GIS Education program, created and developed through his leadership, currently offers more than two dozen technical and theoretical courses in Indianapolis as well as on-site at client locations throughout the country. The program, recognized as a resource for its wide variety of standard courses as well as for customized education, has supported the needs of hundreds of organizations including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Library of Medicine, and many state and local government, private sector, academic, and not-for-profit entities.
In addition to his management responsibilities, Kevin has also developed and taught a multitude of GIS courses through the Polis Center Education Program and through the Continuing Education Program, Geography Department, and School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Instructional experience includes over 17 years of ESRI, Intergraph, and AutoDesk education in introductory through advanced applications including the ArcGIS product and many of its extensions. He is currently an ESRI authorized instructor for the ArcGIS I and II, Migrating to ArcGIS, ArcView 3.x Introductory and Advanced, and ArcView GIS Spatial Analyst courses. Kevin has also delivered dozens of presentations on GIS related topics at conferences and other forums around the world.
His involvement with FEMA’s HAZUS-MH program includes ongoing participation as a FEMA lead instructor for introductory through advanced courses. Kevin also designed and developed the Introduction to ArcGIS for HAZUS-MH Users course and has updated the HAZUS-Multihazards Basic and Advanced HAZUS Flood courses that are now taught as part of the FEMA HAZUS-MH core curriculum. He delivers all HAZUS-MH training in the State of Indiana through an agreement with the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency which has led to over 300 trained users to date. He has delivered HAZUS-MH training in Texas, California, Massachusetts, and at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmittsburg, Maryland. Kevin is also a FEMA authorized consultant for the earthquake and flood hazards under the FEMA Private Sector Initiative.
In addition to serving as an educator, Kevin has managed and supported over 300 spatial technologies projects since joining The Polis Center in 1990. His responsibilities in these projects have included design, development, testing, implementation, and analysis of complex GIS applications, models, and databases.
Kevin has served on a variety of committees that address cartographic and GIS related issues. These include the Indiana Geographic Information Systems Initiative (INGISI) Steering Committee, Standards Committee, and Web Committee. Kevin currently chairs the Education Committee for INGISI that addresses the educational needs of all sectors of GIS users throughout Indiana. In addition he serves on the Midwest HAZUS Users Group Steering Committee.