World Conference on Disaster Reduction
Participant Perspectives

Louise K. Comfort, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh

Walter W. Hays, Ph.D.
Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction

January 26, 2005

Transcript (HTML)
Transcript (MS Word)

Related Websites:
World Conference on Disaster Reduction Website
Daily Conference Bulletins and Highlights
WCDR Press Release, Jan. 22, 2005
Draft Hyogo Declaration
Draft programme outcome document: Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015
Draft common statement of the Special Session on the Indian Ocean Disaster

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Louise K. Comfort is a Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches in the field of organizational theory and policy design. She is Principal Investigator, Interactive, Intelligent, Spatial Information System (IISIS) Project, 1994-present. She has done field research on organizational response and information processes in disaster operations following fourteen earthquakes in ten nations. She holds degrees in political science from Macalester College (B.A.); University of California, Berkeley (M.A.), and Yale University (Ph.D.). Her recent books include Shared Risk: Complex Systems in Seismic Response. 1999. New York: Pergamon Press, and co-editor with Uriel Rosenthal and Arjen Boin, Managing Crises: Threats, Dilemmas, Opportunities, 2001. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher.

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Walter W. Hays, a founder of the Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction, is a Senior Fellow with the Global Institute for Energy and Environmental Systems (GIEES), a new institute within the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. At present, he serves as Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction, which is a global network of professionals representing the science, engineering, insurance, business, and academic communities of practice; national, regional, local governments; NGO's; and the United Nations. Prior to joining GIEES, Dr. Hays, an engineering seismologist, served for two years as Senior Program Manager for Sustainable Built Environment in the Professional and Technical Activities Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers and for twenty-six years with the United States Geological (USGS).