Opening Sessions

Monday, January 22, 2024 – 11:00 AM

Join us on Monday morning for our 2024 Annual Conference & Exhibit Opening Session, featuring our 2024 Keynote Speaker Dr. Jonathan Gruber, Ford Professor of Economics and Chairman of the Economics Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Opening Session convenes attendees at the start of the Conference to hear from NEWEA’s President about their platform and the progress made during their yearlong presidency and from WEF leadership on the latest WEF initiatives and programming. Following these presentations, Dr. Gruber will speak, with time allotted for audience Q&A.

Dr. Jonathan Gruber is the Ford Professor of Economics and the Chairman of the Economics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the former Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the former President of the American Society of Health Economists. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the Econometric Society. He has published more than 180 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text in its 7th edition, Health Care Reform, a graphic novel, and Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream (with Simon Johnson). In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under.

During the 1997-1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003-2006 he was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. During 2009-2010 he served as a technical consultant to the Obama Administration and worked with both the Administration and Congress to help craft the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In 2011 he was named “One of the Top 25 Most Innovative and Practical Thinkers of Our Time” by Slate Magazine. In both 2006 and 2012 he was rated as one of the top 100 most powerful people in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine. In 2020 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024 – 11:00 AM

Clean Water 50th AnniversaryThe Next 50 Years: Communications, Climate, Innovation and Investment

Last year, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and highlighted the significant improvements to our water environment during this last half a century.

Now, we are looking ahead to consider the future of the Clean Water Act and our industry and how we can work together from a One Water perspective to ensure the sustainability of our water resources. One Water is an approach to water management that handles all water, regardless of its source, in a collaborative, integrated, inclusive, and holistic manner.

Current and emerging challenges are threatening our water environment and industry, including a critical need for infrastructure investment, emerging contaminants, and climate change. New technologies, ideas, and approaches are needed to address these issues and preserve our access to clean water. Additionally, collaborative efforts among the various sectors of our industry are important to ensure our water resources are managed effectively.

The first half of this session will feature a panel of experts discussing funding; environmental stewardship and planning; public outreach/awareness; and partnerships. Through a guided conversation, as well as audience questions, we will dig into the issues that matter most to clean water professionals to inform, inspire, and explore the future of the Clean Water Act and the water industry.

Following this panel, the second portion of the session will be pitches from leading innovators on the technologies they are developing as potential solutions to these challenges facing our industry.

All registered attendees are invited to attend.