Who we are

Wildfire Breakthrough is a new, non-profit organization established to persuade private industry and/or government to form a Public-Private Partnership to commit to an intensive research and development effort to find a scientific solution to wildfires such that society can stop a wildfire when it is necessary to do so. The issue is global, but initially we are focusing on the USA as it is the best place to organize around this global challenge due to the expertise, technology and scientific assets that are available inside and outside of government.


Wildfire Breakthrough is led by James Lee Witt, disaster management expert and director of FEMA from 1993 to 2001. Witt’s eight-year term in office saw approximately 348 presidentially-declared disaster areas in more than 6,500 counties in all 50 states and the U.S. territories.


Morrie is an award-winning public relations and crisis communications counselor and journalist. He advises global corporations, foreign governments, and federal and state agencies on all aspects of public affairs. As Director of Communications, he played a key role in helping transform the image of FEMA to one of the most respected agencies in federal government. He also served as Associate Administrator at NASA and Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce.


Julie brings extensive experience in leading industry-sponsored coalitions working to address public service needs, from the insurance industry’s efforts to promote hurricane preparedness to Microsoft’s initiative to build digital literacy skills. She has served at senior levels of federal and state government, having managed public affairs departments for the U.S. Justice Department, INS, and the Governor’s Office of Florida. She was the day-to-day lead of the public affairs division at the Glover Park Group, Chief of Staff to the President of PBS, and a Director at Burson-Marsteller, before co-founding Ward Circle Strategies.


David has 40 years of experience in public policy, information technology, communications, global health, and finance in both the public and private sectors. He founded and led the 100 organization COMCARE Emergency Response Alliance. He is an expert in creating multi-stakeholder initiatives to cause innovation and change.

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Our plan

Wildfire Breakthrough has two primary, ongoing workstreams: