Event Details


May 27, 7 p.m. – Kathleen Koch, Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art. The Bay St. Louis native and former CNN correspondent shares insights she developed while authoring an award-winning book, “Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered,” and two Peabody Award-winning documentaries about the storm.


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Kathleen Koch is an international speaker on disaster and resilience and founder and executive director of LeadersLink, the first nonprofit to harness and share elected officials’ disaster lessons learned to help communities better prevent, prepare for and recover from similar crises.

She is an award-winning journalist and author who for 18 years was a CNN Washington correspondent covering the White House, Pentagon and Capitol Hill as well as numerous disasters including 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.  Koch currently writes op-eds for publications including CNN.com, USA Today and U.S. News & World Report.  She speaks and moderates at events including the International Disaster Conference and Exposition, the Halifax International Security Forum, the GLOBSEC Global Security Forum and the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Conference.

Koch is Advisor for Disaster Preparedness and Recovery for Project Rebirth, a nonprofit founded after 9/11 to help first responders, service members, individuals and communities overcome trauma and become more resilient.  In 2011, she launched Words of Hope for Japan, the largest letter-writing campaign in the U.S. to collect cards and letters for the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami.

Koch anchored two prize-winning documentaries on the recovery of her hometown, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and recorded its journey in a best-selling book, Rising from Katrina, which was named Best Nonfiction in the Southeast Region in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards.  She also shared in the 2006 Peabody Award CNN received for its coverage of the hurricane.

Koch was a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of Dijon and is the 2014 winner of the Rotary Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award for Zone 31.  She currently serves on the University of Southern Mississippi Mass Communications and Journalism Advisory Board.

Sponsored by WLOX. No admission fee; $10 suggested donation.