Gov. Rick Snyder appoints field experts to oversee long-term solutions for Flint water system

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today named a group of medical and field experts to the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee to set in place long-term solutions to Flint’s water system.

The 17 member committee, housed within the Michigan State Police, will be asked to make recommendations regarding the health and welfare of people exposed to lead, study Flint’s water infrastructure and determine potential upgrades, review Flint Water Task Force recommendations, and establish ways to improve communication between local and state government.

“Flint residents deserve clean, safe drinking water, and I am confident that the expertise represented on this committee will be a tremendous asset as we continue to address the water crisis in Flint,” Snyder said. “I am grateful to these appointees for their willingness to serve on this important committee.”  

Karen Weaver is the mayor of the city of Flint. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Tougaloo College, a master’s degree from Long Island University, and a doctorate from Michigan State University.

Jamie Curtis is the chairman of the Genesee County Board of Commissioners. He earned a millwright apprenticeship certificate from Mott College. Curtis is a representative of Genesee County who shall be submitted by the Genesee County Board of Commissioners.

Marc Edwards is a professor at Virginia Tech with numerous awards and honors for his work. He earned a bachelor’s degree in bio-physics from SUNY Buffalo, and both a master’s and doctorate of science in environmental engineering from the University of Washington. Edwards will represent subject matter experts.

Mona Hanna-Attisha is the director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Medical Center and an assistant professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in resource ecology and management/environmental health from the University of Michigan, a doctorate from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and a master’s from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Hanna-Attisha will represent subject matter experts. 

Natasha Henderson is the city administrator and chief administrator officer for the city of Flint. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff, and a master’s in business administration from Texas A&M University – Texarkana. Henderson is a representative of the city of Flint who shall be submitted by the mayor of the city of Flint.

Jim Koski retired as the Saginaw county drain commissioner, a role in which he had served from 1977 to 1980 and again in 1996 to 2011. He is a representative of Genesee County who shall be submitted by the Genesee County Board of Commissioners.

Lawrence Reynolds is president and CEO of the Mott Children’s Health Center. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wayne State University and a doctorate from Howard University College of Medicine. Reynolds will represent subject matter experts.

Laura Sullivan is a professor of mechanical engineering at Kettering University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in premedical engineering from Arizona State University, and both a master’s degree and a doctorate in materials science and engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Sullivan is a representative of the city of Flint who shall be submitted by the mayor of the city of Flint.

Mark Valacak is the health officer of the Genesee County Health Department and an instructor at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s of public health degree from the University of Michigan. Valacak is a representative of Genesee County who shall be submitted by the Genesee County Board of Commissioners.

One additional member will be named at a later date.

The following members will also serve on the Coordinating Committee:

  • Harvey Hollins, director of Office of Urban Initiatives within the Executive Office of the Governor;
  • Captain Chris Kelenske , deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security within the Michigan Department of State Police;
  • Keith Creagh, director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or his or her designee;
  • Nick Lyon, director of the Department of Health and Human Services, or his or her designee;
  • Mike Zimmer, director of the Department or Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or his or her designee;
  • Nick Khouri, state treasurer, or his or her designee;
  • Brian Whiston, superintendent of public instruction, or his or her designee;


Members will serve three-year terms expiring Dec. 31, 2018. Their appointments are not subject to the advice and consent from the Senate.

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