Samuel J. Capasso III

  • Adjunct Professor


B.A., Alma College
J.D., Pace University School of Law
LL.M., Pace University School of Law

Sam Capasso is the Branch Chief for Community Infrastructure Resilience with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington, DC. He leads the Agency’s efforts to ensure communities build back better after disasters to achieve FEMA’s vision of a prepared and resilient nation.  He is a subject matter expert in FEMA’s benefit-cost analysis methodologies and policy, and has driven the incorporation of sea level rise, ecosystem services, and drought impacts in project evaluation. Throughout his work, Sam aims to bridge the gaps from stakeholder interests to policy and policy to practice.

In his prior roles at FEMA Headquarters, Sam has led the National Technical Review for the Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance Programs, and developed the conceptual framework for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program. Sam has led the Building Science and Safety Team in FEMA Region II, where he managed the National Dam Safety Program and National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program for the Region, promoted disaster-resilient building codes, and led the Region’s community resilience initiative. In support of the recovery from Hurricane Sandy in New York, Sam led the technical review team for the $1.44 billion in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program projects and led a workgroup that developed $4.5 billion in climate-informed resiliency measures for Sandy-impacted facilities. His team was recognized with the 2015 Administrator’s Award for Creating Resilient Communities through Innovative Mitigation Solutions.

Sam holds a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from Alma College, a J.D. with Certificates in Environmental and International Law, and LL.M. in Environmental Law with a concentration in Land Use Law and Sustainable Development. He has served as a member of the New York State Bar Association Environmental Law Section’s Executive Committee and was co-author and editor of the New York Environmental Enforcement Update 2013 and 2014 Annual Reports for the Section. He has served as Vice Chair of Special Committee on State Bar Coordination for the American Bar Association Section of Energy, Environment, and Resources.