Position: President and CEO
Leslie Chapman-Henderson is the president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH was founded in 1998 and brings together more than 100 diverse partners that share a vision of making America a more disaster-resilient nation.
Leslie’s experience and expertise span creative, technical, and public policy initiatives from delivery of the award-winning, 4-D “edu-tainment” experience, StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort to the development of Blueprint for Safety®, a landmark education program. One of her recent projects includes the creation of the award-winning National Hurricane Resilience Initiative - #HurricaneStrong, presented by FEMA, FLASH, NOAA, and The Weather Channel.
She promotes resilience through public speaking, testimony, publication of commentary papers, the Road to Resilience blog, and by bringing together disaster safety thought leaders to leverage collaboration on behalf of the cause. In 2016, she and her team organized the landmark National Earthquake Conference that inspired worldwide news coverage and $10 million in additional funding for the Earthquake Early Warning research effort.
Leslie has delivered keynote addresses for diverse audiences including Fortune 500 companies; academic institutions; national associations; and international conventions like the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) in Austin, Texas; and the 2015 Aon Benfield Biennial Hazards Conference in Australia. In 2013, she addressed the United Nations as a panelist on World Habitat Day on the topic, "Resilient Design – To Build or Not to Build?"
She has appeared in hundreds of media interviews including television and radio appearances on AccuWeather, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, MSNBC, The Weather Channel; nationally-syndicated programs such as This New House, Home Again with Bob Vila; and a one-hour, PBS special she co-produced entitled, Blueprint for Safety – Disaster-Resistant Homes. Leslie is proud to be a “Weather Geek” after her 2016 appearance on The Weather Channel show by the same name.
Her civic, community, and professional recognition includes the 2010 designation by Cable News Network as a member of the CNN New Guard of the South – an elite group of leaders from academic, business, entertainment, government, nonprofit, philanthropy, and sports fields.
Her public service includes co-chair of the legislatively-created My Safe Florida Home Advisory Council; board trustee for Florida International University – International Hurricane Research Center; advisory council member for the Florida State University Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center; chair and consumer representative for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council; guest lecturer at Florida State University and the University of Florida – School of Construction; and as the Florida gubernatorial appointee to the FCC Warning, Alert and Response (WARN) Committee.
Additional past service includes trustee for the Florida Fire and Emergency Services Foundation; consumer representative to the 2004-2005 Louisiana Uniform Building Code Task Force; consumer representative and vice chair of the 2005 Florida Legislative Task Force on Long-Term Solutions for Florida’s Hurricane Insurance Market; and insurance consumer representative to the 2006 Property and Casualty Insurance Reform Committee chaired by former Florida Lt. Governor Toni Jennings.
Leslie, her talented team, and their committed array of partners have been recognized with many awards during her 19-years leading FLASH, including the 2017 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement Award; 2011 National VOAD Partner of the Year Award; 2011 Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference Governor’s Award; 2006 Texas Silver Spur Award for Public Education Excellence; 2006 Governor’s Hurricane Conference Public Information/Education Award; 2005 National Weather Association Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award; 2005 NOAA Environmental Hero Award; and more.