The CSFI Team

Meet the Professionals Working Hard to Fix Flood Insurance



Michael Hecht

President and CEO
Greater New Orleans, Inc.
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Michael Hecht is President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc., the economic development agency for southeast Louisiana. GNO, Inc.’s mission is to create a region where our kids can stay and prosper. Under Michael’s leadership, GNO, Inc. was recently named a “Top Economic Development Organization in the United States” (one of 11 of 2,300) by Site Selection magazine.

Before coming to GNO, Inc. Michael led the quarter-billion dollar Katrina Small Business Recovery Program for the State. Previous to coming home to Louisiana, Michael worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City, running the post-9/11 small business program.

Michael’s entrepreneurial experience includes co-founding a conglomerate of restaurant ventures, including “Foreign Cinema,” named Restaurant of the Year 2000 in San Francisco. He began his career as a strategic management consultant in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

Michael holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and an undergraduate degree from Yale.

Recently Michael has been recognized as “One of the Ten People Who Made a Difference in the South,” “One of the 20 Business “Icons” of the Tricentennial,” and “One of the Top 50 Economic Developers in North America.”

With family roots in Louisiana back to the 1830s, Michael now lives in New Orleans with his wife, Marlene, an ESL professor at Delgado, and his two sons, Dexter and Kaj (“Kī”).

Caitlin Berni

Berni Consulting
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Caitlin Berni is a partner in Berni Consulting, a local public affairs and consulting firm based in New Orleans. She leads public affairs campaigns for corporate, nonprofit, and advocacy clients both in New Orleans and nationally. She brings a deep understanding of the intersection of policy, politics, and press to her clients.

Prior to joining Berni Consulting, Caitlin served as the Senior Vice President of Policy and Communications at Greater New Orleans, Inc., the regional economic development organization for Southeast Louisiana. At GNO, Inc., Caitlin launched and ran the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance, a national organization committed to flood insurance affordability and sustainability. She continues to work on this issue on behalf of GNO, Inc. in her new capacity.  Before GNO, Inc., Caitlin worked on Capitol Hill for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and the House Ways and Means Committee.

Caitlin is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where she received a bachelor of arts in political science. She is a graduate of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute and Tulane’s Early Childhood Policy Leadership Institute.

Jasmine Brown DeRousselle

Vice President of Policy
Greater New Orleans, Inc.
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Jasmine Brown DeRousselle is the Vice President of Policy at GNO, Inc. She is primarily responsible for leading GNO, Inc.’s policy initiatives, both at the state and federal level. Jasmine also provides oversight to a number of GNO, Inc.’s programmatic initiatives, with a specific focus on economic mobility, coastal restoration and resilience, and music business. Previously, as Public Policy Manager, she established and led several initiatives, including, but not limited to the HBCU Startup Internship Program, which was designed to increase the pipeline of Black startup founders in the GNO region. Prior to joining GNO, Inc., she was a commercial litigator at a civil defense firm in the GNO region. She has also worked as a Consultant for Deloitte and Touche, LLP in Los Angeles, California, where she conducted corporate audits and compliance exercises for Fortune 500 corporations. Additionally, she has worked for the National Urban League (New York, NY), JP Morgan Private Bank (New Orleans, LA), and Elvin Ross Studios (Los Angeles, CA). She earned a Juris Doctor from Louisiana State University and is a cum laude graduate of Loyola University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Peter Waggonner

Public Policy Manager
Greater New Orleans, Inc.
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Peter Waggonner is a Public Policy Manager at GNO, Inc.  His portfolio encompasses infrastructure, insurance, energy, and the environment at local, state, and federal levels.  He co-manages CSFI and GNO, Inc.’s resilience work, after previous experience addressing quality of life issues and directing constituent services for a New Orleans City Council District.  He has previously served in government administration for country’s largest metropolitan planning organization and in nonprofit administration for a business improvement district in California.  He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.