Members of the RISK Award Jury

The jury who makes the final RISK Award decision consists of a board of internationally renowned experts in the field of disaster risk reduction representing a variety of backgrounds (developing countries and developed countries, gender-balanced, politicians, scientists and practitioners). They stand for a fair, objective and targeted decision process.

Walter Ammann is the Founder and President of GRF Davos, a foundation focused on risk reduction, disaster manage- ment, resilience increase, sustainable development and climate change, organizer of the biennial IDRC Conference in Davos, and director of the GRF Risk Academy, an institution offering knowledge management, R & D and continuous education worldwide. He is also a Permanent Visiting Professor at the Harbin Institute of Technology in Harbin, China.

Dr. Susan Cutter is a Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of South Carolina where she directs the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute. She received her BA from California State University, Hayward and her MA and Ph.D. (1976) from the University of Chicago. Her primary research interests are in the area of disaster vulnerability/resilience science—what makes people and the places where they live vulnerable to extreme events and how vulnerability and resilience are measured,

Benjamin S. Karmorh is a scientist and administrator with an international and local reputation who has played key roles in enabling Liberia uphold its responsibilities and commitments to the United Nations Climate Change Regulatory Frameworks, including his management and leadership for the preparation of national climate change communications and reports to international bodies. He has to his credit more than 10 years of successful work experience with the EPA. 

Ricardo Mena  is Chief of the Support and Monitoring of Sendai Framework Implementation Branch within the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Mr. Mena has worked on disaster risk reduction for the past 28 years. Prior to his current position, Mr. Mena was the head of the UNISDR regional office for the Americas, based in Panama. Before that he worked as Chief of the Business Continuity Management Unit in the United Nations Headquarter. He started his career within the United Nations as a Humanitarian Affairs Officer at UN OCHA.

Thomas R. Loster, a geographer, was a member of the GeoRisk Research Group at Munich Reinsurance Company, Munich, the world’s leading reinsurance company, for 16 years. He was in charge of issues relating to weather perils, climate change and climate policy. Mr. Loster was appointed chairman of the Munich Re Foundation in July 2004. The foundation addresses major global challenges including environmental and climate change as well as disaster prevention.

Professor Haresh Shah
has been a pioneer in the fields of risk analysis, earthquake engineering, and probabilistic methods for over 35 years. He has served Stanford University in many capacities, including Chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering and Founding Director of the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center. He is also a member of many Editorial Boards of Professional Journals and Professional Societies.

Sandra Wu, Wen-Hsiu is the current Chair of UNISDR’s business stakeholder groups, the Private Sector Partnership and Private Sector Advisory Group. She is the Chairperson and CEO of Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd., an engineering consulting company that had been providing Japanese local governments with disaster risk management and geospatial information-based solutions for over a half century. She is on the steering board of WEF Infrastructure & Urban Development Industry Partner Group and a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Infrastructure.