Within the disaster risk reduction (DRR) community, ‘Localization’ is not a new concept or terminology. Despite such a long-term discussion and initiatives of localization, what has been missed, and what could we contribute to changing the situation and improving disaster risk management capacity at the local level? Unless the voices of local practitioners are reflected and incorporated into a DRR strategy and heard as resources, the efforts could not be sustainable and never contribute to building their resilience to disasters.
This workshop has four critical focuses: Emergency response, All-hazards approach, Early warning/risk communication, and Inclusive DRR that urgently require further efforts for localization. Each session will invite experts and practitioners in their respective fields and discuss the challenges and the contributions made by various sectors and potential collaboration among them to improve the situation. Participants will have the opportunity to experience crisis communications training, and share ideas on continuing this conversation.
Date & Time
21-23 February 2023
Rm. 105A/B at IT Center (2520 Correa Road)
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Honolulu, Hawai’i, USA
- To share the experiences and research under each topic as well as address the challenges to implement localization.
- To discuss what we could do to support the DRR localization in Asia and the Pacific, and how we could assist the initiatives.
- To come up with suggestions and recommendations to the region on what is necessary to strengthen localization and how we could contribute to it as a university network and we should work together.
This workshop is by invitation only. Our plan is to develop actionable outcomes after the workshop.
View a news article published by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa here.
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
The flagship campus of the University of Hawaiʻi system, UH Mānoa is one of 115 R1: Research Universities, and among only a handful of land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant institutions. It is a global leader in earth and environmental sciences, with specialties in sustainability, climate, food systems and health. UH Mānoa is actively involved in disaster resilience efforts around the world. Complementing the study of disaster science, researchers explore the social and human perspectives of disaster risk reduction and resilience.
APRU Multi-Hazards Program & IRIDeS at Tohoku University
APRU and the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University launched the APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards (MH) Program in April 2013 to mark the second anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The MH program builds upon the strengths of APRU Multi-Hazards Symposia over the past decade in countries spanning the Pacify Ring of Fire. IRIDeS provides secretariat services and overall program coordination as the regional program hub to the MH Program.
Tokio Marine Group (lead sponsor)
Tokio Marine Group is a global insurance group that continuously works to solve various social issues through business activities and raise the group’s corporate value for all our stakeholders, including future generations. Since origins of the group lie in natural disaster-prone Japan, with expertise in natural disaster protection and mitigation, Tokio Marine group designated ‘Disaster resilience’ and ‘Climate action’ as priority issues to realize a sustainable society where everyone can live safely and securely.
Center for Excellence in Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM)
CFE-DM builds crisis response capacity in U.S. and partner militaries, enhances coordination and collaboration with civilian and foreign partners, and strengthens those relationships to save lives and alleviate human suffering before, during, and after humanitarian crises.
Michael S. Bruno is the Provost at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Prior to his appointment, he was the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Before joining the University of Hawaiʻi, Dr. Bruno was the Dean of the School of Engineering and Science, and Professor of Ocean Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. He was also the Director of the Center for Maritime Security, a Department of Homeland Security National Center of Excellence. Dr. Bruno is a Visiting Professor in Mechanical Engineering at University College London.
His research and teaching interests include ocean observation systems, climate change, and community resilience. He is the author of more than 100 technical publications in various aspects of these fields, including the book, The Urban Ocean, published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.
He has served on numerous advisory committees and boards, including Chairing the Marine Board of the National Academies; the Ocean Research Advisory Panel; and the Naval Research Advisory Committee. A Fulbright Scholar (1996 appointment at the Aristotle University, Greece), Dr. Bruno is also a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
He received the Denny Medal from the Institute of Marine Engineering in 2007, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 1991, and the Outstanding Service Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1988.
Dr. Bruno holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, a M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and a PhD degree in Civil and Ocean Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science & Engineering.
Dr. Ibanez is a Program Specialist in the Applied Research and Information Sharing (ARIS) branch supporting applied research, academic partnerships, and information sharing programs focused on disaster management capacity building for 36 partner nations in the INDOPACIFIC region.
Prior to joining the Center, Ibanez was based out of Washington, DC where she was a research analyst providing support to the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate. She worked on a range of projects related to open-source and social media (OSSM) exploitation. Her work has spanned government and academic entities with an emphasis on evidenced-based policy and interagency collaboration. She served in the United States Army as a Signal Officer and Public Affairs Officer. She is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Ibanez holds a Doctorate in Communication and Information Sciences from the University of Hawai‘i, a Master of Science in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hawai‘i Pacific University. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Dr. Morales serves as the co-chair of the Regional Consultative Group’s (RCG) Information Sharing Working Group with the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC). There he and the working group encourages and facilitates discussions on lessons learned and best practices on civil-military information sharing among RCG members.
Dr. Morales is also the Chief of the Applied Research and Information Sharing (ARIS) Branch Chief at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM), United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM). There he manages applied research, academic outreach, regional engagements, and information sharing programs focused on Disaster Management (DM) capacity building for 36 partner nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. He also facilitates the Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and Climate Change Working Groups, hosted by Brown University, Harvard University, the U.S. Naval War College, and UNOCHA. Dr. Morales is also a member of the Pacific Resilience Partnership Academic Taskforce, USINDPACOM’s Science & Technology Advisor Board, the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council, and the International Visitor Leadership Program (Department of State).
Dr. Morales holds a Doctorate in Organizational Change and Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. He is a Fellow of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies as well as a Senior Executive Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Dr. Morales served 24 years in the United States Armed Forces.
Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Liu Yongqiang is presently serving in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) as the Head Plans in Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre (RHCC).
Enlisted into the SAF in January 2003, LTC Liu was commissioned as an Officer in 2004. He was awarded the SAF Military Training Award and graduated with a First Class Honours in Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of New South Wales @ Australian Defence Force Academy, Australia. He was also awarded the SAF Post Graduate Award and graduated with a Master of Science in Systems Engineering for Defence Capability from Cranfield University, UK. In his military career, he had served various Command and Staff appointments in the Singapore Army.
His operational experience includes contribution as a planner in Headquarter Joint Task Force (Assurance) in managing the foreign dormitories during the early stage of Covid and Deputy Chairman, Operations and Security Committee in National Day Parade 2021.
As Head Plans Officer in Changi RHCC, LTC Liu will front Changi RHCC’s transformation effort to be the Centre of Excellence for HADR. He will continue to expand and strengthen collaborations with her partners, leverage innovations to enhance RHCC’s capabilities, and refine the processes in Multi-National Coordination Centre operations.
LTC Liu Yongqiang is happily married with two children.
Tiare Eastmond serves as the Regional Advisor for the Pacific at the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), the lead federal office responsible for coordinating the U.S. government’s response to international disasters. Ms. Eastmond heads the BHA sub-office for the Pacific based in Honolulu, Hawaii.
With a mandate to save lives, alleviate suffering, and reduce the social and economic impacts of disasters, BHA monitors, mitigates, and responds to global hazards and humanitarian needs as they arise. In the highly vulnerable island nations in the Pacific, BHA also focuses on building host nation’s capacities to better prepare for and respond to disasters through disaster risk reduction programming.
Ms. Eastmond serves as the Disaster Assistance Coordinator for RMI and Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and leads relief efforts under the hybrid USAID-FEMA response model that transitions responsibility to USAID from FEMA for the Compact Nations for disaster assistance.
Ms. Eastmond has been in the field of emergency response for more than 13 years, with the majority of time spent working on complex emergencies. At BHA, she has served on Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs), including teams deployed to Jamaica, Syria, Sudan, the Horn of Africa, and Venezuela. In 2018, she led the post-disaster assessment team for Typhoon Wutip in FSM and $7 million humanitarian response to 30 outer-islands.
Prior to her current position, Ms. Eastmond worked as a program coordinator for the Syria DART from 2015–2018, overseeing multi-sectoral response programming. Ms. Eastmond also served on BHA’s monitoring and evaluation team and as a program officer in Sudan. Ms. Eastmond has also worked for humanitarian non-governmental organizations, leading teams to respond to the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the internal displacement in Yemen in 2009, and Pakistan flooding in 2010. Ms. Eastmond has experience in all humanitarian sectors in the field and with BHA but has particular interest in urban disasters, public health in emergencies, and cash-based response programs.
Ms. Eastmond holds a master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University.
Dr. Takako Izumi is an associate professor at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University, Japan since 2013. She also serves as Program Director of the Multi Hazards Program under the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), which comprises 55 universities and academic institutes in the Pacific Rim. Her research interests include international and regional frameworks/strategies for disaster risk reduction (DRR), international humanitarian assistance, and DRR initiatives at the local and community levels.
Prior to joining academia, she has more than 15-year experience as a practitioner in humanitarian assistance, disaster response, recovery, risk reduction as well as various development issues with an international NGO and UN agencies such as UN Habitat, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), UN Office for the Recovery Coordinator for Aceh and Nias (UNORC), and UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (Current UNDRR).
She has been appointed as a member of the UNDRR’s Asia-Pacific Science Technology and Academia Advisory Group (ASTAAG) since May 2015. She holds Ph.D. in Global Environmental Study from Kyoto University, Japan.
Prof Rajib Shaw is a professor in the Graduate School of Media and Governance of Keio University, Japan. He is co-founder of a Delhi-based social entrepreneur startup, Resilience Innovation Knowledge Academy (RIKA), and chair of the United Nations Science Technology Advisory Group (STAG) for disaster risk reduction. He was IPCC CLA for the Asia Chapter of Working Group 2. His specialization is disaster risk governance, urban resilience, climate change adaptation and emerging technologies in disaster and climate change. He is the recipient of the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award (PBSA) of 2021 in the Education Sector from the President of India. He also received United Nations Sasakawa Award for disaster risk reduction as a lifetime achievement and for his contribution to global disaster resilience initiatives.
Charles Ham works with National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawaii as a senior specialist for INVEST DM project in supporting disaster management human capital development. His 27-year humanitarian and development experience includes working with communities in the Asia Pacific (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Japan, PNG, Fiji) as well as Albania, Ukraine, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Germany, Haiti, and others. As a consultant, some of his partners include HOPE worldwide, Ford Foundation, Citi Foundation, Microsoft, Apple, and various UN agencies; also serves as a member in the Global Health Cluster led by WHO. Besides disaster risk management, Charles also brings experience in public health, education, non-profit management and capacity building. His past works include teacher training development, university capacity building, community-based preparedness & readiness, pandemic preparedness & response, psychosocial interventions, community-based malaria and tuberculosis programs, housing and education recovery, network and partnership development, and more. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Northern Illinois University, Master of Public Health from University of Massachusetts, and is currently on a doctoral study at the University of Hawaii at Manoa focusing on equity and resilience planning in small islands.
Ailsa Holloway is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. She has extensive programme management, disaster risk-related and public health experience in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Since 1998, she has introduced disaster risk-related post-graduate programmes in Africa, provided technical support to South Africa’s disaster management legislative reform process and helped to coordinate the African university consortium, Periperi U. Ailsa has served as a member of the Global Science and Technology Advisory Group for Disaster Risk Reduction, and has a doctorate in public health from UCLA.
Dr. Akhilesh Surjan is the research and theme leader of ‘Humanitarian, Emergency and Disaster Management Studies Program’ at the Charles Darwin University. He is proactively engaged with the issues of disaster-environment-climate risk reduction and global change and sustainability in the context of human settlements. Dr. Surjan has served as a Lead Author of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and also as Contributing Author of the United Nation’s Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. In addition to associating with esteemed universities, Dr Surjan has also successfully worked with the United Nations and government and non-government organizations in the Asia-Pacific. Dr Surjan is Section Editor of Progress in Disaster Science (Elsevier) and Series Editor of book series Disaster Resilience and Green Growth (Springer). He also served as Editor of Sustainability Science (Springer) from 2013 to 2019. Previously, Dr Surjan worked with the United Nations University (Tokyo) and Kyoto University (Japan), where his contributions were directed toward postgraduate teaching and research, capacity building and productively collaborating and networking with multi-tiered stakeholders.
Daisuke Kato has advanced in his career from a sales role at Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. to a research officer at The Tokio Marine Research Institute in 2018.
As a research officer, he focuses on estimating future changes in extreme river discharges associated with global warming. Kato also serves as a visiting researcher at the Typhoon Science and Technology Research Center at Yokohama National University, and is actively involved in industry-academia collaboration projects. Additionally, he holds certification as a weather forecaster.
Dr. Erin Hughey is the Director of Global Operation for the Pacific Disaster Center. A recognized leader in global disaster management and disaster risk reduction, Dr. Hughey developed the only operationalized approach to the United Nations Sendai Framework for Action. Known as the National Disaster Preparedness Baseline Assessment (NDPBA), this program has been implemented by more than 20 countries worldwide and aids national, regional and international disaster risk reduction initiatives. With a PhD in geography, Dr. Hughey has dedicated her life’s work to the innovation and the application of new science and technology for disaster management—empowering practitioners and senior leadership alike with the tools and information needed to support data-driven decision making.
Mrs. Moncur’s career spans more than three decades, beginning in the Public Service on 21 October 1985. Afterward, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health and Safety and was seconded to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). While at PAHO, she travelled throughout The Caribbean, and the United States and was exposed to new trends in disaster management related to public health issues and capacity building.
In 2001, she was invited to work at NEMA. Presently, Mrs. Outten-Moncur serves as Deputy Director responsible for Operations and Administration Management.
Mrs. Moncur also provides information and assistance to organizations such as the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the International Development Bank (IDB), Volunteer Firefighters, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), and PAHO.
Mrs. Moncur plays an integral managerial role alongside the Director of NEMA on matters dealing with disaster management issues in preparation for, and response to disasters. This is done by assisting in the set-up of a recovery center and provide oversight for relief support and supplies from NGOs, IOs, The Red Cross, and local and international agencies. This includes the coordination of logistics as it concerns the delivery of goods to islands within the Bahamian archipelago.
Waymine graduated from Saipan Southern High School in Saipan with honors, and upon early graduation in 2005 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served in the operating forces mainly in the “Operation Enduring Freedom” throughout the world. During the course of his career in the Marines, Waymine became the Operations Chief in the 3rd Marine Division, 4th Marines Regiment. Amongst other responsibilities, Waymine also became a Marksmanship instructor, which was tasked in ensuring the marksmanship capability of more than 300 US Marines. Waymine also instructed pre-deployment trainings for marines who were transitioning to the combat theatres primarily in the middle-east. His Marine Corps career ended in Okinawa, Japan after he decided to pursue higher education.
After the Marine Corps service, Waymine moved to Guam where he pursued his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Guam. During the course of his studies on Guam, Waymine became the President of the Republic of Palau Student Organization of the University of Guam.
Waymine worked as a Safety and Security Supervisor at the Guam Marriott hotel, whilst going to the university, where he excelled amongst his fellow colleagues. During his time with the Guam Marriot, Waymine was awarded the Certificate of commendation when he saved a tourist’s life through CPR and coordination of medical services.
Waymine graduated with his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Guam and a Master’s degree in Leadership and Public Administration from San Diego State University.
Early January 2015, Waymine along with his wife and their children officially moved to the Republic of Palau and is currently serving as the head of the National Emergency Management Office under the Office of the Vice President.
Waymine states that “It is a very rewarding and wholesome feeling knowing that the people to whom I serve are my people.”
Dr. David A. McEntire is a professor teaching Emergency Management, Homeland Security and National Security courses in the Emergency Services and Criminal Justice Departments at Utah Valley University.
Dr. McEntire attended the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. While pursuing his degree, he worked for the International and Emergency Services Departments at the American Red Cross in Colorado. His dissertation explored disasters in developing countries and critically examined existing disaster policy recommendations in the mid-1990s.
Prior to his arrival at UVU, Dr. McEntire was a professor at the nations first degree program in Emergency Management – the Emergency Administration and Planning Program (EADP) at the University of North Texas. During his tenure at UNT he served as the Coordinator for the undergraduate and PhD programs, as the Associate Dean in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, and as the Director of Summer Session for the university. He has also served as an adjunct for Jacksonville State University and California State University Long Beach.
Dr. McEntire’s academic interests include emergency management theory, international disasters, community preparedness, response coordination, and vulnerability reduction. He has received several grants—funded by the Natural Hazards Center, the National Science Foundation, and other sources—that allowed him to conduct research in Peru, the Dominican Republic, Texas, New York, California, Haiti and Utah.
Dr. McEntire is the author or editor of several books including Disaster Response and Recovery (Wiley), Introduction to Homeland Security (Wiley), Disciplines, Disasters and Emergency Management (Charles C. Thomas), and Comparative Emergency Management (FEMA). He has published more than 115 articles and his research has appeared in multiple encyclopedias, Public Administration Review, the Australian Journal of Emergency Management, Disasters, the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Journal of Emergency Management, Journal of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Sustainable Communities Review, International Journal of Emergency Management, Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Towson Journal of International Affairs, Journal of the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners, and the Journal of International and Public Affairs. His articles in Disaster Prevention and Management received Highly Commended and Outstanding Paper awards.
From Kabul to Geneva to Palo Alto, Joel K. Myhre has been honored over his two decades of public policy and advanced ICT experience to help bring advanced humanitarian technology innovations to civil society actors across the Pacific Rim, Europe, North America, Africa, & Central Asia. He has worked with a broad swath of Public Health, Humanitarian and Disaster Response entities, in addition to UN and US DoD engagements throughout the Pacific Rim and Europe. Mr. Myhre’s technical geospatial endeavours include Membership in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS), co-chair of the UN Information Management Working Group for GIS (Geneva), and advisor to both the WHO EOC-NET and the ad hoc WHO Advisory Group on Mass Gatherings. Recent technology forays from Silicon Valley to Geneva have incorporated Artificial Intelligence, space based observational innovations, and broad stakeholder engagements to advance the US Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Prof. Karl Kim received undergraduate education from Brown University and Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is Editor-in-chief of Transportation Research: Interdiscplinary Perspectives; Associate Editor of Transportation Research, Part D, Transport and Enviroment; and formerly Editor-in-chief of Accident Analysis and Prevention and formerly Editor of Korean Studies. He has received more than $67 million in research and training grants from federal, state, and international agencies and organizations. Served as Chairman, National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (ndpc.us). Previously served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Chief Academic Officer) of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, overseeing strategic planning, accreditation, tenure and promotion, and international programs. Holds faculty appointments in the Center for Korean Studies, and the School of Architecture. Serves on several committee of the Transportation Research Board. Served as Chair of the Pacific Risk Management Ohana. Elected to the Board of North American Alliance of Hazards and Disaster Research Institutes (NAAHDRI).
Lydia Morikawa is currently the Associate Director for Course Development and Delivery at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) and has helped to build NDPTC’s reputation as a high-quality training provider through outreach and delivery for almost a decade. Lydia oversees an exceptional team of over 100 coordinators, support staff, instructors, and subject matter experts. During her tenure with NDPTC, the Center has provided training to more than 46,000 emergency managers, first responders, government administrators, and community volunteers across the United States and its territories. Having worked as an emergency manager herself, she believes that broad access to relevant, timely, and quality training is the key to successful emergency management operations. While working as the Anti-Terrorism Planner for Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Lydia jointly created processes in federal grant management and environmental historical preservation included as National Best Practices in the Department of Homeland Security’s Lessons Learned Information Sharing portal. Lydia attended Whittier Law School and Loyola Marymount University and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Hawaii.
Dr. Suwan Shen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaii Manoa. For the past decade, her research focuses on the interaction between critical infrastructure systems and the changing environment, with an emphasis on climate change vulnerability and adaptation. Using transportation and land use models, spatial analysis, and environmental projections and simulations, she investigates the vulnerability of critical infrastructures and adaptation options to climate change, and explores the factors influencing local vulnerability and adaptive capacity. Her research has been supported by NOAA, Hawaii Sea Grant, and U.S. Department of Transportation University Transportation Research Centers, State of Hawaii Office of Planning and Sustainable Development, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, etc.
David Lallemant heads the Disaster Analytics for Society Lab (DASL) (https://disaster-analytics.com/) at Nanyang Technological University and the Earth Observatory of Singapore. His research focuses on probabilistic risk and resilience analysis of cities, in particular as it relates to dynamic hazards (e.g. driven by climate change), particular patterns of urban growth and changing vulnerability. He uses hazard modeling, engineering analysis, machine learning, and spatial statistics for application in large-scale natural disaster risk analysis. He also leads the multi-disciplinary project of Informatics for Equitable Recovery, aimed at developing improved post-disaster information products for better and more equitable recovery outcomes.
David joined the NTU faculty from Stanford University, where he was a researcher and founder of the Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative. He holds a PhD from Stanford University (2015), a MSc from UC Berkeley (2010) and a BSc from MIT (2007). David was awarded the Nation Research Foundation Fellowship, the Data Innovation for Sustainable Development Award, the Nanyang Award for Humanitarian Work, and is a Social Impact Fellow at the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Society. He is also the founder and inaugural chair of the Averted Disaster Award.
Ilan is the Chair in the Economics of Disasters and Climate Change – Te Āwhionukurangi, at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. His research and teaching focus on the economic aspects of natural hazards, disasters, and climate change, and other related topics in environmental, development, and international economics. He is also the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Economics of Disasters and Climate Change. He previously worked at the University of Hawai’i, and has consulted for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, OECD, UNDRR, the IMF, and ASEAN.
Tafaimamao “Tafa” Tua-Tupuola is the State Director of the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the American Samoa Community College. Currently, she serves on the FEMA National Advisory Council (NAC) as a representative of disability and access functional needs. The valuable experience and representation in previous U.S. Federal Advisory Councils, such as Federal Communication Commission-Disability Advisory Council and FEMA Integrated Public Alert Warning System Subcommittee, helped weave the conversation of equity and inclusion from a Pacific Islander and disability lens in the FEMA NAC.
Tafa also engages the Disability Network across the Pacific Region, addressing pacific challenges in health security and equity, post-disaster housing, and economic security, resulting in systems change, capacity building, and advocacy. She is the Steerperson for the Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana (PRiMO) Health Security Hui.
Dr. Denise Eby Konan is Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa). As Dean, she provides leadership to twelve academic departments that deliver nearly a fifth of the degrees offered on campus. A destination of choice for students who want to affect change, break down barriers, touch lives and study in a multi-cultural and global environment, the College provides a culturally diverse experience that transforms students into bold, engaged global citizens, who operate and succeed in a multi-cultural context.
A noted international trade economist, Konan has worked extensively in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. She has been a consultant to the World Bank, the Council of Foreign Relations, the Arab League, and governments of Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Hawai’i and publishes on issues of regional economic integration, trade in services, intellectual property rights, foreign direct investment and energy.
Dr. Konan is a Research Fellow at the University of Hawai’i Economic Research Organization (UHERO) and founding Director of the Center for Sustainable Coastal Tourism at the University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program. She was the Senior Advisor on APEC 2011 for the University of Hawai’i System. Konan also serves as the academic lead for the university’s Daniel K. Inouye (DKI) Democratic Leadership Program. The DKI Program advances public awareness of U.S. history and government, public service leadership, democratic ideals and global awareness through visiting and resident experts, communications programs and exhibits, public engagement and educational programs – particularly for K-12, lectures and other civic engagement efforts.
An award-winning teacher, Dean Konan is a Leadership Fellow with Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibility (SENCER) under which Hawai’i was recognized as a SENCER Model State in 2015.
Dr. Konan served for two years as the Interim Chancellor and for three years as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of UHM. She received her undergraduate degree from Goshen College and her doctorate from the University of Colorado.
With more than 20 years of political experience in Mexico and Central America, Ana Lucia was chosen Rising Star of Politics 2002 by the prestigious magazine Campaigns & Elections, being the first Latin-American woman receiving this distinction. In June of 2003, Paul E. Patton, Governor of the State of Kentucky, offered Ana Lucia the highest distinction in the State naming her Honorary Kentucky Colonel (HKC). The distinction was made by her contribution to strengthening the Latin-American community. In November 2017, Ana Lucia was recognized by the Claustro Iberoamericano with a Doctorate Honoris Causa in recognition of her professional development, human quality, leadership and contribution to the growth of our country.
Originally from Mexico, Ana Lucia earned a Master´s Degree in Political Management from George Washington University (GSPM-GWU) and a Degree in Social Sciences from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). Ana Lucia is a Doctoral Candidate (2005) in Crisis, Disasters and Risks Management from the George Washington University (IDCRM-GWU). Currently, Ana Lucia is studying a second PhD on Innovation and Social Responsibility at Universidad Anahuac.
From January 2020 till February 2021, Ana Lucia was the head of Civil Protection of the State of Puebla. Mexico. During the COVID-19 Emergency, she has been responsible of defining the Continuity of Government and Business Continuity policy & strategy, working closely with the private sector to define which business are critical/essential. In February 2021, Governor Miguel Barbosa appointed her Secretary of Interior, position she held until his death last December.
From April 2007 to December 2012, Ana Lucia was Director General of Civil Protection at the Secretary of the Interior in Mexico (Federal Government). She was Mexico´s Focal Point to the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) and in the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG). Ana Lucia was also the focal point for UNESCO´s Intergovernmental Coordination Group of the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System. Ana Lucia is a member of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Group (UNDAC). As a Crisis Management and Business Continuity Consultant and an International Speaker, Ana Lucia has worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Latin American and the Caribbean Economic System (SELA).
Ana Lucia has been a professor of International Negotiation and Conflicts Resolution and Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable development at Tec de Monterrey and a national and international lecturer at various forums, such as the Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management at GWU, the World Bank´s World Reconstruction Conference and the Inter-American Development Bank. She has also been a professor of Risk Prevention and Emergency Response at Universidad Anahuac, International Disaster Management at Escuela Nacional de Protección Civil Campus Chiapas and Business Continuity and Continuity of Government at the Public Administration at Mexico City´s Escuela de Administración Pública.
Ana Lucia promotes the Initiative Yo soy Protección Civil a risk reduction, disaster preparedness and emergency response effort in support of local communities looking to build resilience and continuity capacities. Yo soy Protección Civil is an initiative that stresses the need of building strategic alliances between public, private and social sectors.
In 2015, Ana Lucia decided to enter the world of Stand-Up Comedy with the intention of using it as a tool to improve her public speaking presentations (classes, courses, conferences, interviews, participation in radio and TV). Today, Ana Lucia understands the potential that Stand-Up Comedy has in order to send a clear and structured message, convinced that comedy with a cause can change patterns of behaviour in society.
In January 2023, Ana Lucia went back at teaching Disaster Risk Reduction at Escuela Nacional de Peoteccion Civil Campus Chiapas.
Dr. Nathan Becker is a Senior Physical Scientist (shift lead) at NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC). Along with his colleagues he monitors the world 24/7 for the phenomena that generate tsunamis and generates forecasts and alerts for tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea when they occur. Between tsunamis he carries out applied research towards improving the tsunami warning system. He also conducts education and outreach work towards improving tsunami hazard awareness, including generating online content, especially animations of earthquakes and tsunamis for PTWC’s YouTube channel and NOAA’s Science on a Sphere exhibits.
Before joining PTWC he pursued his graduate studies in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, earning a Ph.D. in these subjects in 2005. His research focused on volcanic and tectonic processes associated with the Juan de Fuca Ridge, the Mariana Trench, and Kamaʻehuakanaloa (Lōʻihi) Seamount, work that required him to become adept with sea-floor mapping sonars and deep-sea submersibles. In the aftermath of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami the United States expanded its tsunami warning program, including hiring additional personnel. Dr. Becker joined PTWC in 2006 and has been there ever since.