Capitol Ideas Presents

The CSG Capitol Ideas Presents series brings to life one article per issue of Capitol Ideas magazine allowing state elected and appointed officials to continue the conversation in real time during a virtual session. Registration is free.

CSG Capitol Ideas Presents: A Year of Recovery

Thursday, May 6 | 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET

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The rapid spread of COVID-19 in 2020 brought with it unprecedented issues, and states had to take extraordinary steps to mitigate the spread of the virus while protecting communities, economies and public and private industries. It would be hard to identify an aspect of life inside or outside of state capitols that was left untouched. Health care, elections, education, employment security, corrections, taxation, drug development and discovery, long-term care, childcare, transportation and emergency response were just a few of the issue areas upended by the pandemic. As our states came to life to respond to the coronavirus, emergency managers and state health officials were some of the leading responders in managing this crisis. In the second edition of CSG Capitol Ideas Presents, join the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in conversation with emergency managers and state health officials as they discuss state response to COVID-19, lessons learned and how their industries are more important than ever.

Trina Sheets
Executive Director, National Emergency Management Association (NEMA)
  • Trina Sheets is the executive director for the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), an affiliate organization of the Council of State Governments. NEMA represents the State Directors of Emergency Management in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.
  • She joined NEMA in 1993 and was named its executive director in 1995.
  • In her role as executive director, Sheets serves as the conduit between the federal government and the state emergency management agencies by building relationships and sharing information between NEMA and other emergency management and homeland security stakeholders in order to develop a unified voice among practitioners that serves to advance the nation’s ability to prepare, mitigate, respond and recover from disasters and emergencies.
  • Sheets is a 2009 recipient of the NEMA President’s Award, which goes to an outstanding contributor who represents the principles and practices for which the association stands.
  • She is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University where she holds a bachelor of arts in public relations as well as a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense & Security.
Sheets will be joined on the panel by:
  • Erica Bornemann, director, Vermont Division of Emergency Management
  • Andrew Phelps, director, Oregon Office of Emergency Management
  • Brian Hastings, director, Alabama Emergency Management Agenc
James Blumenstock
Senior Vice President, Pandemic Response and Recovery
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
  • James Blumenstock is the senior vice president for Pandemic Response and Recovery for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO).
  • He is responsible for the coordination and oversight of all ASTHO COVID-19 pandemic related activities, including recovery and community resilience phases, ensuring an aggressive and sustained strategic and integrated whole-of-ASTHO response to this historic public health incident.
  • Prior to this appointment in August 2020, he served as the chief program officer for health security at ASTHO for almost 15 years. His portfolio included the program areas of infectious diseases, immunization services, environmental health, and emergency preparedness and response.
  • Blumenstock also serves as a member of the ASTHO Executive Leadership Team responsible for enterprise-wide strategic planning, administrative services, member support and public health advocacy.
  • Throughout his career, Blumenstock has served as the deputy commissioner of health for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.
  • He is the 2004 recipient of the STHO Noble J. Swearingen Award for excellence in public health administration and the Dennis J. Sullivan award, the highest honor bestowed by the NJ Public Health Association for dedicated and outstanding service and contribution to the cause of public health. He is also a scholar of the UNC Public Health Leadership Institute, completed the Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Executive Leaders Program, currently holds a faculty appointment to the Georgetown University School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine, and held an elected office serving his community for 12 years.
  • He received his bachelor of science in environmental science from Rutgers University and a master of arts in health sciences administration from Jersey City State College.

Blumenstock will be joined on the panel by:

  • Lee Norman, Secretary, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Pam Pontones MA, Deputy Health Commissioner and State Epidemiologist, Indiana

Capitol Ideas Presents: Perspectives on the State/Federal Relationship

View the Recorded Session

In Federalist Paper No. 45, James Madison argues that the state and federal governments exist in a symbiotic relationship — both are necessary to promote the happiness and well-being of citizens. But just as the world has greatly changed since the age of Madison, the relationship between state and federal governments continues to change, evolve and transform.
Join The Council of State Governments national leadership in a conversation about the state of the federal/state relationship and the important role of state government in the current era of federalism. CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins will moderate a discussion between CSG National Chair Wisconsin Sen. Joan Ballweg, CSG National Chair-Elect Washington Sen. Sam Hunt and CSG National Immediate Past Chair New Hampshire Sen. Lou D’Allesandro and CSG National Vice Chair North Carolina Rep. Julia Howard.