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Members of the Board of Directors

Europe and Africa

Germany_IASS.gif Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Germany
Ortwin Renn
Scientific Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)

Ortwin Renn is scientific director at the International Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam (Germany) and professor for environmental sociology and technology assessment at the University and Stuttgart. He also directs the non-profit company DIALOGIK, a research institute for the investigation of communication and participation processes. Renn is Adjunct Professor for "Integrated Risk Analysis" at Stavanger University (Norway), Honorary Professor at the Technical University Munich and Affiliate Professor for "Risk Governance" at Beijing Normal University. His research interests include risk governance (analysis perception, communication), stakeholder and public involvement in environmental decision making, transformation processes in economics, politics and society and sustainable development. He belongs to numerous scientific and academic advisory councils. Renn has published more than 30 monographs and over 250 peer reviewed articles. His most prominent English publication is the book "Risk Governance. Coping with Uncertainty in a Complex World (London: Earthscan 2008).

Italy-EU-JRC.png European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Italy
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Tom De Groeve
Acting Head of Unit, Disaster Risk Management Unit, European Commission, Joint Research Centre

Tom's research career covered risk management, disaster monitoring and emergency management systems using geospatial technology. He initiated the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS), the Index for Risk Management (INFORM) and the Global Flood Partnership. Tom has been working on bringing science into policy, including for the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and EU crisis management, humanitarian aid, climate change and disaster risk policy. Tom currently is Deputy Head of the Disaster Risk Management Unit and leading a wider research portfolio. His latest interest is in knowledge management, with the European Commission Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre.

UK-DDN.png Disaster and Development Network (DDN), Northumbria University, United Kingdom
Andrew Collins
Leader, Disaster and Development Network, Northumbria University

Andrew Collins is Professor in Disaster and Development, Department of Geography. Beyond research, local teaching and management responsibilities, he represents disaster, development and health related initiatives internationally. He led the establishment of the world's first disaster management and sustainable development postgraduate programme launched in 2000, and Disaster and Development Network (DDN) launched 2004. Prior to academic appointments, Andrew also worked internationally including through three years voluntary support to communities in wartime Mozambique. He services his subject area through high level policy and advisory roles, reviewing and commissioning boards for national and international organisations, conferences, multiple journals and 13 research funding bodies.

Asia and Oceania

Japan TohokuUni.png International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University, Japan
Fumihiko Imamura
Director, IRIDeS, Tohoku University

Fumihiko Imamura is Director of the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University in Japan. He received a doctoral degree in Engineering and became a Professor of Tohoku University in 2000. He specializes in tsunami modeling, mitigation planning and education/awareness, disaster prevention and evacuation systems. He has been conducting field surveys on earthquake and tsunami damage since the 1992 Nicaragua and Flores Island Tsunamis. He is also the Secretary of the Tsunami Inundation Modeling Exchange (TIME) Project supported by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee (IOC), and the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) in its Tsunami Commission.

Japan_NIED_New_logomark_color_2_2_rgb.png National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED), Japan
Soichi Nakajima
Deputy Director-General, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED)

Soichi Nakajima is Deputy Director-General for international affairs and collaboration with industries and universities at the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED), Japan. He was Director for international affairs of Disaster Management Bureau, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, participating in the organization of the third United Nations World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction. He has also worked for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as desk officer for Asia and the Pacific as well as for the IDNDR Secretariat.


Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation and Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India

Mahua Mukherjee
Head, Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation and Management, IIT-Roorkee

Mahua Mukherjee is currently Head, Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation and Management and Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture and Planning, IIT Roorkee. She did her B.Arch from Jadavpur University, India. After completing her M.Tech in Building Science and Technology from IIT Roorkee, she pursued her career in NGOs and academic research. She completed her PhD. in 2003 and continues to work in the field of sustainable urban development. Her exposure to international academia in Lund University, Sweden through SIDA Fellowship and Penn State University as a Fulbright Fellow helped her immensely in her intellectual pursuit. Dr. Mukherjee has organized courses, competitions, research seminar, conferences and workshops regularly in the field of risk resilience and sustainable development. She has several publications which include peer reviewed international journals, national and international conference proceedings and few book chapters.


Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Management (DPMM), Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

Indrajit Pal
Assistant Professor, Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Management (DPMM), Asian Institute of Technology

Indrajit Pal is Assistant Professor and Chair in the Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Management, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. He served as faculty member at Centre for Disaster Management at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, India (A Premier National Institute for training Indian Administrative Services Officers). Dr. Pal holds doctoral and two master's degrees. Dr. Pal is supervising Doctoral and Masters' research students across Asia and Africa in the field of disaster risk management and governance. Indrajit is reviewer of more than eight international journals and has published number of books and research articles in refereed national and international journals. Indrajit is member of Board of Directors for the Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GADRI), Japan.



Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), Western University, Canada

Paul Kovacs - Executive Director
Adjunct Research Professor, Economics, Western University, Canada

Paul Kovacs is founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction at Western University. Since 1996 Paul has been a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world's leading forum for the study of climate issues. The Panel won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change". He is Canada's leading authority on insurance and climate change and has been a contributing author to numerous international and Canadian reports on reducing the risk of loss from earthquakes, flood and severe wind. For more than thirty-five years Paul has been a popular commentator on insurance, disaster safety and economic policy. He has written more than 200 publications and articles and he is a passionate champion for insurance, disaster resilience and adaptation to climate extremes. He is a proud husband and father, with a growing collection of bow ties.


Center for Integrated Management of Disaster Risks (CIGIDEN), Chile

RodrigoCienfuegos (3) (1).jpg
Rodrigo Cienfuegos
Director of Research, Center for Integrated Management of Disaster Risks (CIGIDEN)

Rodrigo Cienfuegos is a civil engineer with concentration in hydraulics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He earned his MSc and PhD in Earth Sciences from the Grenoble University (France). He has lead and participated in several research projects funded by Fondecyt and Fondef (Conicyt) and Corfo, and international projects funded by ECOS-Conicyt with French universities, and by the Office of Naval Research Global with US Universities and Centers. He is the current director of the Research Center for Integrated Management of Disaster Risks (CIGIDEN) funded by the Fondap program for Excellence in Research Centers from Conicyt. His current research interests comprise nonlinear wave hydrodynamics for wave and tsunami modelling, disaster risk assessment, and mitigation measures. He has published more than 40 peer reviewed papers, and presented his work in more than 100 conference meetings and workshops.


Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado-Boulder, USA

Lori Peek
Director, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado-Boulder

Lori Peek is director of the Natural Hazards Center and professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has published widely on the social aspects of disaster and is author of Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 9/11, co-editor of Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora, and co-author of Children of Katrina. She is past chair of the American Sociological Association Section on Environment and Technology and is currently president of the Research Committee on Disasters for the International Sociological Association. Peek has received numerous awards for her scholarship, teaching, and service to the broader hazards and disaster community.


Japan-DPRI.png Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University, Japan
Hirokazu Tatano
Secretary-General, GADRI; and Head, Social Systems for Disaster Risk Governance, DPRI, Kyoto University
In addition to the responsibilities as professor, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan, Prof. Hirokazu Tatano serves as Vice-President of International Society of Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM Society) since 2010, and the Secretary-General of Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GADRI), since 2015. Prof. Tatano has done pioneering research on economic consequence analysis with major focus on economic resilience to natural disasters at the levels of individual business, market, and regional economy. Another research focus is methodologies for integrated disaster risk management and governance. Through these academic activities, his wishes to contribute to establishing "implementation science" as a key area of science for disaster risk reduction.