Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode


Aug 10, 2021

Welcome to RIMScast. Your host is Justin Smulison, Business Content Manager at RIMS, the Risk and Insurance Management Society.


Joining Justin Smulison today is Dr. Shanna McClain, the Global Partnerships Manager and Resilience Advisor for NASA Earth Sciences Division. Her work involves defining NASA’s role in resilience through the development of EO-focused approaches in fragile and crisis-affected areas and identifying strategic partnerships that can improve linkages between science and policy. Dr. McClain also serves as a Visiting Scientist with the Environmental Law Institute, where she helps lead programming on migration and displacement and performs research and policy analysis on issues related to environmental conflict and peacebuilding.


In this conversation, Dr. McClain discusses her risk work with NASA; the interconnection between climate risk and COVID-19; how they are moving the needle with equity, diversity, and inclusion; how her risk lens has developed over the last two years; social and environmental responsibility; earth science; water shortages; and more.


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About RIMS’s Global Membership.

[:12] About the RIMS buyer’s guide.

[:47] About today’s episode with Dr. Shanna McClain.

[1:02] Is your ERM program award-worthy? RIMS is accepting nominations for the ERM Global Award of Distinction!

[1:36] RIMS current virtual offerings.

[2:48] More about today’s episode with Dr. Shanna McClain!

[3:20] Justin welcomes Dr. Shanna McClain to RIMScast.

[3:35] Dr. McClain speaks about her work and what she does in her various roles at NASA.

[7:55] What brought Dr. McClain to work at NASA? And what were some of the challenges that she encountered along the way as a female scientist?

[11:06] Dr. McClain speaks about the committee at NASA she is involved in that is helping to promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and ability.

[12:40] How COVID-19 and climate change are interconnected and how they impact Dr. McClain’s work at NASA.

[16:11] How McClain’s risk lens has evolved over the last two years.

[19:03] About upcoming RIMS virtual workshops, the RIMS mobile app, Spencer’s Risk Manager on Campus Program, and the RIMS Canada Conference 2021.

[21:09] Dr. McClain explains her role as the Co-chair to the IFRC/GRC/RCCC Anticipation Hub’s Working Group on Earth Observations and as Co-Chair to the Environmental Peacebuilding Association’s Interest Group on Water.

[23:32] About the Anticipation Hub’s mission and vision.

[24:12] If there are terrible droughts and water shortages, could they potentially lead to conflict and wars?

[28:00] In your experience, how important is social and environmental responsibility for organizations?

[32:01] Do new companies have an easier time weaving in environmental responsibility into their startup funding?

[34:32] If Dr. McClain had to team up with one of these two fictional characters, which would she choose?

[35:17] Who’s cooler: Hans Solo or Buzz Lightyear?

[35:51] Goals that Dr. Shanna McClain wants to reach as a risk manager.

[38:23] Justin thanks Dr. Shanna McClain for joining RIMScast and shares some of the links to look out for in this episode’s show notes!


Mentioned in this Episode:

RIMS Events, Education, and Services:

RIMS Canada Conference 2021: Register for early bird rates!

RIMS ERM Conference 2021 will be held Nov. 11th & 12th in NYC

RIMS ERM Global Award of Distinction 2021 — Nominate a program by Aug. 13th!


RIMS Buyers Guide

RIMS Advocacy

Dr. Shanna McClain’s July 29th, 2021 Address — RIMS Webinar

Upcoming Webinars:

Aug. 12, 2021 | “One Year Later: Developing, Defining and Quantifying Your Risk Appetite” | Sponsored by Resolver

August 26, 2021 | “Increased Dependencies on Third Parties: Addressing Cloud, Vendor, and Business Partner Relationships and Risk” | Sponsored by HITRUST

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

“What Could a CRO Do for Your Business?” | Sponsored by Riskonnect

“Hard Reality: A Look at Rising Rates in Property & Excess Casualty” — Sponsored by AXA XL

“Property Valuation Deep Dive” | Sponsored by TÜV SÜD

“Property Loss Control Engineering” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers 

Virtual Workshops:

RIMS-CRMP Exam Prep Virtual Workshops (August 2021) — Gain an edge with the RIMS-CRMP; the only internationally accredited risk management certification!

RIMS Virtual Workshops: Claims Management — Register now for Aug. 23‒24th or Nov. 8‒9th

Registration for the VIRTUAL Spencer & Gallagher Golf Tournament is now open! Visit for more information and to register through August 15th, 2021 (You choose the golf course and team all while continuing to support the Spencer Educational Foundation!)

Spencer’s Risk Manager on Campus Program — Volunteer Today!

Related RIMScast Episodes:

“Water Risks with Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands”

“Climate Change, Business Interruption, and the 2021 Hurricane Season”

“Combating Water Scarcity with AquaShares Founder James Workman”

“Sustainability, ERM, and Construction with Kyle Van Hoeven”

“Severe Weather and Insurance Strategies with Vince Morgan”

“Dr. Daniel Kaniewski on FEMA Resilience”

“Climate Risk with Author, Jeff Nesbit”

Download any episode of RIMScast.

RIMS Publications, Content, and Links:

RIMS Membership — Whether you are a new member or need to transition, be a part of the global risk management community!

RIMS Virtual Workshops

Upcoming RIMS Webinars

On-Demand Webinars

RIMS Advisory Services — Ask a Peer

Risk Management Magazine

Risk Management Monitor

RIMS Coronavirus Information Center

RIMS Risk Leaders Series — New interview with RIMS 2021 Risk Manager of the Year, Michael Harrington!

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Stories — New interview featuring guests, Charles Vu and Steve Pottle!

Spencer Educational Foundation


Want to Learn More?

Keep up with the podcast on and listen on iTunes.

Have a question or suggestion? Email:


Join the Conversation!

Follow @RIMSorg on Facebook and Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Follow up with Our Guest:

Dr. Shanna McClain’s LinkedIn