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Houston Mayor Names Chief Recovery Officer
by Garrett Bryce
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner today appointed Marvin Odum, former president of Shell Oil Company, as the city's Chief Recovery Officer for Hurricane Harvey.

Odum began his career with Shell in 1982, as an engineer, before retiring after having served as president and as upstream director of Royal Dutch Shell's subsidiary companies in the Americas.

Odum will serve without salary from the city, according to Turner. Turner stated that Odum has “extensive experience in large-scale crisis management.”

“He will coordinate our private and public sector efforts to rebuild Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and at the same time, he will advise to me on future steps that the city needs to take to better position itself for future storms,” Turner said. Listen (26:57)

Turner stressed the need to focus on recovery efforts as well as mitigation steps the city must take.

“I'm not looking for a report,” Turner said. “We have a whole lot of reports. What I'm asking Marvin to do is to push us forward to be a part of the rebuilding process, to push us to do more, at all levels, public and private sector, to push us to make this city more resilient, more hardened, more prepared on a multiple of levels.”

Turner noted mitigation efforts, including the coastal spine to prevent storm surge, to widen bayous and reduce flooding, and other projects to protect the city.

“What we cannot do, is ask homebuilders to rebuild their homes in the same space, and we don't do anything else to protect them,” he said. “That would be a waste.”

Odum stated he was a native Houstonian, and thanked the mayor and city for their efforts so far in responding to the storm.

He discussed learning from past storms, such as Katrina.

“We're going to start from the very best of that, and do even better than has been done before,” Odum said.

He noted the urgency of the situation, and efforts of “world-class coordination” to help Houston rebuild.

Turner noted that it was important to keep focus on not only recovery, but improving the city for future events.

“The goal is not to continue the do the same thing expecting the same result,” Turner said.

To view a video of the news conference, Click Here

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