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Organizational Overview

The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance is a network of policymakers, public and private sector practitioners, academics, and NGO and business leaders designed to build climate change preparedness capacity in New Jersey.

Organizations and Individuals may participate in some or all activities of the Alliance. Opportunities to participate may include acting as expert reviewers on technical documents, serving on the Advisory Committee, participating in workshops, and signing onto recommendations for public policy. Participation in one aspect of Alliance activities does not imply support for other products or activities developed under the umbrella of the Alliance. Opportunities to participate are periodically noted on the alliance website; however, if you or your organization wish to learn more, contact us.

The Alliance is facilitated by Rutgers University. It is guided by an Advisory Committee which includes a Chairperson, two Honorary Chairpersons, and a Steering Committee.

The role of the Advisory Committee is to:

  1. Provide expert advice regarding activities and topics related to meeting the mission of the Alliance;
  2. Establish the annual Strategic Workplan for the Alliance;
  3. Advise Rutgers on its overall facilitation of the Alliance;
  4. Review materials pertaining to public policy recommendations prior to public release;
  5. Assist in fundraising for Alliance strategic activities;
  6. Take the lead in development and management of specific “anchor” projects that relate to the Alliance Strategic Workplan and that generate specific work products of the Alliance;
  7. Meet quarterly to plan and review Alliance activities and progress towards the Strategic Workplan; and
  8. Establish committees or workgroups on specific topics as needed.

The Steering Committee is a subset of the full Advisory Committee; its role is to:

  1. Assist the Rutgers University facilitators with operational decisions related to Alliance activities such as assessing what Alliance products necessitate full Advisory committee review;
  2. Review applications for funding of Alliance activities including grant and contract proposals as identified by the Steering Committee;
  3. Advise Rutgers University on operational issues related to maintenance of the Alliance website: http://www.sas.rutgers.edu/cms/njadapt;
  4. Assist the Rutgers University facilitators with developing the quarterly agenda for meetings of the full Advisory Committee; and
  5. Develop and assist with implementation of a communications plan for the Alliance.

The Alliance Chairperson and the Rutgers University facilitators serve as “spokespersons” for the Alliance. As the facilitator of the Alliance, Rutgers will maintain the Alliance website, coordinate project activities of the Alliance, provide quarterly updates to the Advisory Committee, seek opportunities to fundraise for Alliance activities, and maintain operational and organizational elements of the Alliance. The Chairperson convenes the Advisory Committee on a quarterly basis and serves to ensure overall progress in implementation of the mission of the Alliance.

Principles of Engagement
As a network, the Alliance brings together various individuals and organizations with the common purpose of preparing New Jersey for impacts of climate change. To achieve the common goals of the Alliance, all committees agree to work collaboratively and to operate in accordance with the following principles of engagement:

  1. Committee members are free to use the information received via Committee deliberations, but neither the identify nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any participant, may be revealed;
  2. Committee members will not distribute or publish any materials disclosed by other committee members at committee meetings without prior approval of the member providing the information;
  3. Base recommendations and decisions on consensus;
  4. Treat all participants with respect;
  5.  Allow fellow members flexibility to explore and consider potential positions without prejudice or recrimination;
  6.  Keep an open mind;
  7.  Attend meetings personally rather than send a representative to the maximum extent possible.
  8.  Stick to the agenda;
  9.  Honor time limits and deadlines; and
  10.  Practice email courtesy; i.e., use email for administrative or information purposes rather than iterative dialogues

 Rutgers University faculty and staff facilitate the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance and similarly follow these Principles of Engagement in its facilitative role.  

Strategic Workplan and Operations
The Advisory Committee will develop an annual Strategic Workplan to guide development of projects, fundraising, decision-making, and priorities. The Workplan will include clear tasks, deliverables and schedules and the Rutgers University facilitators will report progress at quarterly meetings of the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee may, at any time, develop committees or workgroups to focus on specific tasks and activities related to the Strategic Workplan. Additionally, the Alliance will maintain a Technical Resource Group and Sector-specific Resource Groups. The Technical Resource Group includes members of public and private institutions of higher education, as well as technical subject area experts from the private sector and NGO communities who may participate in Alliance projects and who may serve as signatory reviewers on some materials developed through the Alliance. Sector-specific Resource Groups may include members of the business community who deliberate on vulnerability assessments related to specific sectors and who may serve as signatory reviewers on some materials developed through the Alliance.

The Alliance hosts a variety of meetings, some of which are open to the general public. Symposia and stakeholder meetings of the Alliance are open to the public. Quarterly meetings of the Advisory Committee are limited to Advisory Committee members and invited guests.  Deliberative workshops and work sessions of ad hoc committees are limited to invited participants and committee members.