The Hoover Institution hosts California Wildfires - Crisis to Opportunity  Exploring the intersection of risks, incentives, and consequences on Thursday, May 19 from 2 - 4PM PT.

While in any given year the average Californian may be unlikely to experience direct wildfire loss, they are now likely to experience wildfire-caused disruptions of the insurance market. This webinar will explore elements disrupting the fire insurance market, pathways to achieve positive opportunities for change, and the consequences of inaction. Our panelists bring deep experience in economics, public policy, and fire science to discuss the interconnected nature of the fire problem’s impact across a diverse group of stakeholders. This experience will be used to examine volatility in the California fire insurance market, with an emphasis on methods to view the landscape through a dynamic lens which provides for the accurate pricing of risk.

Co-sponsored by the Hoover Institution and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.




John B. Taylor is the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He chairs the Hoover Working Group on Economic Policy, co-chairs the Hoover Technology, Economics and Governance Working Group, and is director of Stanford’s Introductory Economics Center.


Michael Wara is a Senior Research Scholar at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Director of the Climate and Energy Policy Program. The Program provides fact-based, bipartisan, technical and legal assistance to policymakers engaged in the development of novel climate and energy law and regulation. Wara also facilitates the connection of Stanford faculty with cutting-edge policy debates on climate and energy, leveraging Stanford’s energy and climate expertise to craft real-world solutions to meet these challenges.


Dave Winnacker is a Veteran Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Fire Chief of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District. He has developed a comprehensive strategic wildfire risk reduction plan for his community informed by terrain and fuel load analysis to quantify risk. Before joining the fire service, he served in the Marine Corps as an active-duty infantry officer and continues to serve in the reserves. In this role he previously served in command of 4th Force Reconnaissance Company and 23D Marine Regiment.



Donnie Hasseltine is a Veteran Fellow at the Hoover Institution working on the California wildfire problem with Dave Winnacker. He is a cybersecurity professional and Marine Corps combat veteran who currently serves as the chief security officer for Xenon Partners, a tech private equity firm that focuses on B2B SaaS (business to business software as a service) companies. His Marine Corps assignments included infantry, recruiting, and staff positions, including command of the First Reconnaissance Battalion. Hasseltine currently serves as the information technology sector chief for the Bay Area chapter of Infragard, a public-private partnership with the FBI to protect critical infrastructure.

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