Mrs. Atkinson has spent the last 15 years managing complex technical, policy, and inter-agency coordination efforts to help citizens and governments navigate disaster and development related government programs and unlock their potential for economic, community, and infrastructure development. After starting her career doing overseas development work in governmental transparency, master planning, and local government capacity building she came to New Orleans initially as a disaster relief volunteer before joining FEMA in February 2006. She provided disaster relief and recovery services under the FEMA Individual Assistance Program, External Affairs, and the Command Staff in Louisiana, then joined the private sector assisting municipalities, school boards, and other public entities in ensuring they increased their FEMA Public Assistance eligibility and navigating the bureaucracy of compliance.
At CSRS she has helped increase funding and manage over $5 billion in recovery funds. Mrs. Atkinson oversaw operations for the company’s disaster recovery programs for the City of New Orleans, Recovery School District, Orleans Parish School Board, the Regional Transit Authority, St. Bernard Parish, and others. Now a Practice Lead for FEMA Programs, she has led CSRS’ efforts to help five clients establish their recovery programs in response to the August 2016 Baton Rouge area flooding. As CSRS’ resident expert in FEMA Public Assistance Program and Grants Management, and an advocate for local and state entities, Mrs. Atkinson helps public entities bringing disrupted infrastructure services back on line to harness available federal funding quickly.