Cop­ing with chaos

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE -

Rap­pa­han­nock res­i­dent Cliff Mumm, one of the world’s fore­most dis­as­ter re­build­ing ex­perts, will be the Sec­ond Fri­day speaker Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. at the Rap­pa­han­nock County Li­brary.

Mumm was in charge of the World Trade Cen­ter cleanup af­ter 9/11, re­build­ing Iraq af­ter the Gulf War, and cop­ing with the af­ter­math of Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina, all im­mense and risky un­der­tak­ings. In Iraq, fol­low­ing the over­throw of Sad­dam Hus­sein, 52 peo­ple work­ing for Mumm were killed.

He spent three decades as a top of­fi­cial of the

en­gi­neer­ing gi­ant Bech­tel, spe­cial­iz­ing in mega-projects around the globe: the sub­way in Lon­don with the Olympic games loom­ing, the Chan­nel Tun­nel link­ing Eng­land and France, and the af­ter­maths of nat­u­ral and man­made dis­as­ters.

“I’m not that in­ter­ested in man­ag­ing a com­pany,” Mumm once told an in­ter­viewer. “What I just love is the mess and com­plex­ity that comes with big projects.”

Mumm is de­scribed as a master sto­ry­teller who has coped up close with chaos. Come hear his be­hind-thescenes tales of life in the break­down lane. His talk is free, and all are wel­come.

Cliff Mumm will be the Sec­ond Fri­day speaker next week.

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