California is investing $2.8 Billion in wildfire resilience over three years – one of the largest investments to prevent catastrophic wildfire ever. Deputy Secretary Morse will discuss the current State of California’s wildfire crisis and how this novel investment in wildfire resilience is helping both communities and ecosystems better withstand fire and lay the ground work to restore natural fire regimes throughout the State.
Jessica Morse is the Deputy Secretary for Forest and Wildland Resilience at the California Natural Resources Agency. She is coordinating California’s approach to wildfire resilience including increasing the pace and scale of forest restoration and vegetation treatment. Jessica was the architect of the Governor’s $1.5 billion wildfire resilience strategy and developed the joint forest stewardship strategy between California the US Forest Service signed in 2020.
Prior to joining Governor Newsom’s administration, Jessica spent nearly ten years in National Security working for the Defense Department, State Department and the US Agency for International Development. Her assignments included a year and a half in Baghdad, Iraq, as well as tours in India, Myanmar, and US Pacific Command. Throughout her career she designed and executed innovative strategies across agencies and governments, including a strategy using renewable energy technology transfer as a catalyst for US defense engagement with India.
Jessica is a 5th generation Northern Californian. She and her family still own their original homestead forestland in the Sierra foothills. Jessica is an outdoor enthusiast and can be found backpacking, skiing and fishing throughout the Sierra. She hiked 500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Ms. Morse holds a Masters of Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Principia College. In 2018, Morse ran for U.S. Congress in California’s 4th Congressional District.
A video of the talk will be available on this page about a week after the event.