Meet the Team
Elle (Beard) Hempen
Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
Elle learned first-hand about the frustration and inefficiency of infrastructure predevelopment and procurement while managing the $3 million RE.invest Initiative, which generated new resilience strategies and projects for 8 US cities. Seeing an opportunity to help communities not only save money, but make smarter infrastructure choices, Elle spearheaded the development of the Atlas. Prior to founding the Atlas, Elle served as the Director of Strategy & Partnership at re:focus partners, and as Special Assistant in the U.S. EPA's Office of International and Tribal Affairs where her portfolio included initiatives to expand investments in urban sustainability and design programs to support environmental entrepreneurship. Elle is an MBA candidate at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, and received her B.A. in Public Policy from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Shalini Vajjhala, Phd
Dr. Vajjhala is widely recognized as a thought leader in resilient infrastructure design and financing, and provides strategic guidance on both user engagement and product development for the Atlas. Shalini currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of re:focus partners. Previously she served as Visiting Associate Professor of Environmental Policy at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Special Representative in the Office of Administrator Lisa Jackson at the US Environmental Protection Agency, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of International & Tribal Affairs at the US EPA and Deputy Associate Director for Energy & Climate at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Shalini received her Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy and B.Arch in Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.
Ellory has spent her career focused on sustainability planning and engineering. Supporting Atlas operations and product development, she leverages this experience to ensure the integrity of the Atlas product and content for all of its users. Ellory served as Project Manager at re:focus partners, where she worked with directly with cities and utilities to develop resilience projects. Ellory previously held a fellowship at the Science and Technology Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., where she provided analytical and technical support to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on a range of key infrastructure, energy, and environment issues. Ellory has a B.A. in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Public Policy with a minor in Water and Energy Sustainability from Rice University.