Secretariat Staff – Washington, DC

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    Edward Charles Anderson is a Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist with GFDRR. He has 15 years of experience focused on science, technology and innovation for sustainable development. Most recently, he was the World Bank’s senior DRM and ICT specialist stationed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  His work is at the nexus of urbanization and climate risks, and leverages emerging technologies and methods to integrate resilience into urban planning systems. Edward also participates on the advisory boards of European Commission smart city projects including City SDK, Krypto Labs’ Drone X Challenge, the European Space Agency’s Open Science Committee and the EU’s Drones in Humanitarian Action Expert Working Group.

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    Paolo Avner is an Urban Economist in GFDRR’s Analytics and Economics Program. Previously an urban economist with the World Bank, he has worked extensively on the links between urban form, land uses, transport systems, labor markets and vulnerability to natural hazards in developing country cities. He has also worked on a number of analytical products including Urbanization Reviews (Kenya, Ethiopia, Haiti, Guinea, Mali) and flagship reports. Prior to joining the Bank, Paolo worked in France as a researcher in LEPII in Grenoble, France and in the Center for International Research in Environment and Development in Paris. His work focused on the ability of public policies and investments to curb greenhouse gas emissions from urban transport. Paolo holds degrees from La Sorbonne University and from University Paris X - Nanterre in economics and is currently finishing his PhD at École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

  • Simone Balog-Way is a DRM Analyst with the GFDRR Innovation Lab, leading efforts to translate scientific and technical analysis on disaster risk and climate change so that this information is available, understandable, and usable by non-specialists. In addition, she advances the UR Community through greater collaboration, information sharing and hosting of local, national, regional and international UR forums. Prior to joining GFDRR, Simone held a variety of positions focused on scientific communication of weather and health risks in the UK Government Office of Science, a biopharmaceutical company and a weather crowdsourcing startup. A US national, Simone holds a Master of Science in Risk Analysis from King’s College London and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Boston College.

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    Pierre  Chrzanowski, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, joined the World Bank in 2014 as a consultant under an assignment in Burkina Faso. He has since contributed to analytical works and lending operations in Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean regions. Pierre's main areas of expertise are digital platforms, open data, and geospatial data. He holds a Master's degree in Information System Management from the University of Technology of Troyes in France.

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    Alvina Erman, economist, contributes to the development of a policy-relevant applied research agenda that ensures that disaster risk management and climate change perspectives are well represented in GFDRR’s initiatives and analytical work. Previously, Alvina worked at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) as a Senior Research Assistant in the Development Strategy and Governance Division. In this capacity, she provided support to a wide range of quantitative and qualitative research projects, including two impact evaluations in Uganda and Mozambique. Before joining IFPRI, she worked as a consultant at the World Bank, where she primarily focused on research support and program management in governance and education projects in Latin America.

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    Mirtha Escobar is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist at GFDRR. Previously, she was a Disaster Risk Management Specialist for the Latin American and Caribbean region at the World Bank. Her professional focus is on the implementation of innovative projects and financing mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation of climate change. She has a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's degree in Natural Resource Management and Climate Change from Virginia Tech University.

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    Rashmin Gunasekera is a Senior Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Specialist and leads the Global Program for Disaster Risk Analytics at GFDRR.  Until July 2021, he was part of the GPURL team in Latin America and Caribbean Region where his work has mainly focused on disaster risk analytics and Disaster Risk Financing (DRF). He has developed and led several innovative products and operations in DRM and DRF in particular and co-founded and co-leads the D-RAS swat team. He was also the Task Team Leader of the World Bank’s Multi Donor Trust Fund Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF SPC) project. He has over 15 years of work experience extending to the public sector, re/insurance industry and academia. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2012, Rashmin was a Divisional Director of a global reinsurance intermediary and a coordinator of the Willis Research Network, the world’s largest collaboration between public science and the financial sector. A Sri Lankan and British national, his PhD is in earthquake seismology and he holds an honorary lectureship at University College London.

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    Niels Holm-Nielsen is Head of GFDRR.  A Danish national, Niels joined the Bank in 2006 as a Junior Professional Officer in the Middle East and North Africa Region.  He has since held several positions in Disaster Risk Management in the Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa Regions, including most recently as Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist and Global Lead for Resilience and Disaster Risk Management.  He holds a M.Sc. in Political Science from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. 

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    Nadia Islam is in the Resilient Recovery team and team lead for the PDNA DRF roll out program. She supports the monitoring and management of GFDRR programs, with a focus on post-disaster needs assessments and visibility events. She also provides cross-support to World Bank teams and is the GFDRR focal point for the City Resilience Program. Nadia comes to GFDRR from the Social Safeguards team in the World Bank’s South Asia region, where she monitored the unit’s portfolio and budgets, and monitored near-100% tracking social-performance rates in projects. She has extensive operations experience, including with the agriculture department and with monitoring and evaluation. Recently, Nadia was Co-team lead of the flagship World Reconstruction Conference 4 in Geneva.

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    Mika Iwasaki is Senior Program Officer with GFDRR. She joined the World Bank in 1991 as Information Officer at the Tokyo office. In most of her career at the Bank, she has worked in the external affairs area particularly to promote close partnership with Japan. After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, Mika started to work with GFDRR to scale up collaboration with the Government of Japan on knowledge exchange and learning from the Japanese experience in DRM for building resilience in developing countries. She was part of the team that conceptualized the program. She started her international career as development consultant at a consulting firms association in Japan, and worked at the UNDP for several years in Jakarta and the Gambia. Mika holds a Master’s degree in international affairs from Colombia University.

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    Nicholas Jones, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, supports GFDRR's work on resilience to climate change. Within GFDRR, he has focused on design and implementation of investment projects in Caribbean and Pacific small island states. His specific interests include infrastructure asset management and climate finance. Nick was previously based at the Brussels and New York offices of the World Bank. He led the South and Southeast Asia desk of a political and macroeconomic research firm before joining the World Bank in 2010. A British national, Nick has studied international relations and public policy at Cambridge University and Harvard Kennedy School.

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    Brenden Jongman is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist with GFDRR. Previously, he was Disaster Risk Management Specialist with the World Bank's Africa Urban, Resilience and Land team. Brenden continues to lead the World Bank’s global work on Nature-Based Solutions in partnership with the Bank's Environment and Water practices. A Dutch national, Brenden holds a PhD in Water and Climate Risk Management from the Institute for Environmental Studies in Amsterdam and has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles on resilience and climate change.

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    Ronette Jordan, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, previously served as Advisor to the Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, extensively covering a range of issues related to climate, disaster risk management and resilience.  Before joining the Bank in 2017, she worked as an Economist and Project Management Specialist in the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, managing the Government’s investment program and providing technical inputs for development policy and strategy formulation. She holds a  Master’s degree in Economic Development and Policy Analysis from the University of Nottingham, U.K, a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management from the University of the West Indies, Barbados,  and post graduate certifications in Project Planning, Appraisal and Management from the University of Bradford, U.K.  

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    Yoko Kobayashi is GFDRR's Senior Communications Officer. In this role, she leads communications strategies, activities, and campaigns in support of GFDRR's overall work program. Prior to this role, Yoko worked as a communications officer with the World Bank's media team. She started at the World Bank Group in 2010, handling media relations for flagship reports and priority events. Before coming to the Bank, Yoko worked for World Vision Canada as a communications manager for the organization’s emergency response to humanitarian and natural disasters. Her background is in journalism, reporting and editing for Reuters in Japan and New Zealand, and then managing the team as Deputy Bureau Chief in the Philippines. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family, exploring different restaurants, and occasionally playing the piano.

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    Naohisa Koide is a Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist in GFDRR’s Hydromet Program. In that role, he supports teams on the design, implementation, and evaluation of projects related to climate and hydromet services. Previously, he was a Senior Scientific Officer of the Japan Meteorological Agency, where he gained over 13 years of professional experience in multi-hazard early warning systems particularly in the field of severe weather and tropical cyclone forecasting. His work also extended to a variety of technical activities at global to regional levels under the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee. He holds master’s degrees in Climate and Society and Statistics from Columbia University, and in astrophysics from Nagoya University.

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    Xiaofeng Li is an Operations Officer for GFDRR. Since joining the World Bank through the China country office in 2007, she has served on a variety of assignments in disaster risk management, including managing trust funds at trustee and grant levels, overseeing trust fund portfolios, and serving as task team lead for advisory services and analytics including joint initiatives with GFDRR in Zanzibar and the Resilience Academy in Tanzania. She previously worked in the Bank's Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice (GPURL). Before joining the Bank, Xiaofeng worked for the Chinese Government.

  • Rina Meutia is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist supporting the Operations and Country Programs Team. She has firsthand experience responding to major disasters, including the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in her native Aceh, Indonesia; the 2005 Kashmir earthquake in Pakistan; and the 2008 Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. Prior to joining the Bank, Rina was Team Leader for Reducing Vulnerabilities and Managing Risks in the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat – OCHA at United Nations Headquarters in New York. An Indonesian national, Rina is a Fulbright Scholar with a Master’s Degree in Public Service from Clinton School of Public Service, University of Arkansas, and a Bachelor in Economics from University of Syiah Kuala in Indonesia. 

  • Cristina Otano is Senior Operations Officer at GFDRR. She leads the Operations and Country Programs team, working to ensure all investments in resilience are designed taking into account disaster and climate risks, as well as future climate change and variability. Cristina also coordinates the gender program, which promotes a more gender-responsive approach of disaster risk management practices. Cristina has more than 15 years of experience with the World Bank and has been previously based in the Bangkok, Paris and London offices. Prior to that, she worked for the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX) in Bolivia. Cristina holds a master’s degree in International Public Policy from the University of London, a master’s degree in International Trade from the University Carlos III Madrid, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from University of Navarre, Spain.

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    Ayaz Parvez, Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist, is a seasoned disaster risk management (DRM) practitioner and brings various specialized skills such as the design and implementation of both disaster and crisis recovery projects and the design of disaster risk reduction initiatives including in FCV settings. Over the last 5 years, Ayaz prepared and implemented disaster and crisis recovery and DRM investment projects as senior DRM specialist for the World Bank, including in Malawi, Somalia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. From 2010-14, Ayaz worked with GFDRR in its Resilient Recovery Team, and led our global flagship initiatives on disaster recovery, including a Global Guide for Developing Disaster Recovery Frameworks and the report “Resilient Recovery: An Imperative for Sustainable Development”. Ayaz has a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. 

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    Lorenzo Piccio is a knowledge management and communications specialist (ETC). He plays a key role in capturing, distilling, and communicating knowledge and results from across GFDRR’s portfolio to both external and internal stakeholders. Prior to joining the Bank, he was senior analyst for development finance and policy with Devex, an international development media organization.  Originally from the Philippines, Lorenzo holds an M.A. in international economics and development from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He is also an evening J.D. candidate at Georgetown University Law Center. 

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    Frederico Pedroso is a civil engineer specialized in providing technical advisory and operational support for DRM activities ranging from disaster risk identification and mitigation to disaster preparedness, resilient infrastructure designs and urban resilience. Prior to joining the World Bank, Fred worked as a Transportation Engineer in Brazil and as assistant professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Over the past 9 years at the World Bank, he has been engaged in project preparation / implementation and Technical Assistance in Brazil, Belize, Bolivia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Cabo Verde and Samoa. With significant experience in promoting innovative engineering designs and disaster risk assessments to increase systems resilience, Fred has special interest in the overlap between natural hazards and climate risks in the infrastructure spectrum. Fred holds a Masters in Transportation (University of Brasilia), a PhD in Civil Engineering (Transport and DRM Focused) from the University of Canterbury and a Post-doctorate in Urban Logistics and Humanitarian Logistics from Kyoto University.

  • Rob Pilkington is a Senior Urban Finance Specialist leading the City Resilience Program’s finance workstream and coordinating the RECIDE initiative. With over 14 years of experience in infrastructure related planning, including, most recently, three years at the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF), Rob specializes in helping governments mobilize private capital and expertise. Although he works across most infra sectors, Rob has particular experience in transport and, more recently, street lighting and solid waste. Rob has experience supporting many of the Bank’s regions and speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese. He holds a Masters in Applied Economics and is a CFA Charterholder.

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    Steven Rubinyi is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist at GFDRR, where he leads the delivery of the City Resilience Program’s resilience planning advisory services to teams across the World Bank Group. Steven also leads the World Bank’s City Creditworthiness Initiative, which addresses cities’ systemic constraints to borrowing, and works at a thematic level on communities of practice aimed at leveraging geospatial solutions across the World Bank investment portfolio and bringing innovative financing solutions to cities. Before joining the City Resilience Program team, Steven was based in South Asia where he worked on World Bank investment project operations focused on climate adaptation, urban resilience, and housing reconstruction from the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. He holds a PhD from the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.

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    Keiko Sakoda is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist at GFDRR. Previously, she was a Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank working on the climate and disaster resilience portfolio in the South Asia region. She brings solid operational experience in post-disaster and post-conflict reconstruction, disaster preparedness, climate change adaptation, and urban development through a decade of field experience in Africa, South and East Asia, and the Pacific. Keiko joined the Bank as one of the founding members of the World Bank Disaster Risk Management Hub in Tokyo, where she launched knowledge programs to share Japan’s disaster experience and lessons with World Bank clients. Prior to joining the Bank, she worked with UNHCR, UNDP, UN-Habitat, and JICA in South Sudan, Indonesia and Mongolia, where she gained diverse field experiences on climate and disaster resilience. She holds a Master's degree in Architectural Engineering from Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering at Kyoto University.

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    Moussa Sidibe is a DRM Specialist (Young Professional) at GFDRR. With an academic background in hydrology and water resources management, Moussa completed his PhD in hydrology and climate change at Coventry University, UK. He has a particular interest in developing adaptation strategies based on the understanding of the potential impacts of climate variability and change on hydrological systems at different spatial and temporal scales. Prior to joining the World Bank Group Young Professionals Program, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), mainly investigating climate change impacts on water resources, and adaptation strategies across West Africa.

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    Zoe Trohanis, Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist, previously worked in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region of the World Bank Group as a Senior Urban Specialist. She has more than 15 years of experience at the Bank in disaster risk management and urban development programs, in both Latin America and the Caribbean and East Asia and the Pacific. Previously, she worked in the Hazard Management Unit at GFDRR. Prior to working at the Bank, she worked in both academia and in the private sector.  Zoe has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an Master's degree from American University's School of International Service.

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    Vladimir Tsirkunov is the Team Leader of GFDRR's Weather and Climate Information for Decision Support (WCIDS) Program, which works as a service center providing analytical, advisory and implementation support for World Bank teams. Mr. Tsirkunov has over 30 years of scientific, applied technical and project management experience in environmental and natural resource management mostly in the Europe and Central Asia region. Prior to joining the World Bank in 1994, he was the Head of the Laboratory of the Supervision of the USSR (Russian) System of Hydrochemical Monitoring and Water Quality Data Collection. Since joining the Bank, he has worked on projects related to the preparation, appraisal and operational supervision of environmental investments, technical assistance and Global Environment Facility projects. 

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    Boris van Zanten is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist (ETC) in GFDRR’s Nature-based Solutions for Climate Resilience Program. Previously, Boris has worked for the World Bank as a consultant, developing tools and leading analytical work for operational teams focusing on geospatial and economic analysis to support investments in Nature-based Solutions in the Africa and East Asia & Pacific regions. Prior to joining the Bank, he worked as a researcher and consultant – both in the private sector and in academia – in environmental management and economics in small island developing states and landscape management. His key research skills include ecosystem services valuation, cost-benefit analysis, natural hazard risk assessment, geospatial analytics, meta-analysis and statistical modeling, citizen science and participatory methods. Boris holds an interdisciplinary PhD in Environmental Economics & Geography and a Master of Science in Environmental Management from the VU University in Amsterdam. 

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    Erika Vargas is a Senior Operations Officer focusing on the design and implementation of the information and knowledge strategy for GFDRR. She also leads and coordinates the global knowledge agenda on resilience and disaster risk management in close collaboration with the Disaster Risk Management Global Lead. Recently, and as part of a partnership between NASA and Columbia University, Erika worked with the Chief Knowledge Officer of NASA on the conceptual and operational development of the critical knowledge notion in organizations. Before joining the World Bank in 2008, she worked as a researcher on peace and conflict resolution, and crime and violence prevention at the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University. Prior to this position, she worked as a Diplomat at the Colombian Embassy in Washington DC.  She has earned a Master's of Science (MSc) in Information and Knowledge Strategy from Columbia University and a Master's of Arts (MA) in Sociology and Media Studies from The New School for Social Research.

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    Kristina Wienhoefer is a Disaster Risk Management Analyst at GFDRR within the City Resilience Program (CRP). She provides further cross support to urban and disaster risk management projects in the Africa unit, as well as to the Building Regulations for Resilience Program. Prior to joining the CRP, her work at the World Bank focused on investment lending and technical assistance related to post-disaster recovery, urban resilience and resilient infrastructure, primarily in the Latin America and Caribbean region. She completed her Bachelor of Science in International Management with a focus on Latin America in Germany, and holds a MA in International Economics and International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Secretariat Staff – Brussels

  • Manuela Chiapparino, Senior Operations Officer, is the GFDRR Team Leader for the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program and European donors relations. Manuela leads the GFDRR Brussels team and is responsible for all EU-funded programs implemented by GFDRR and for building and managing relationships with European Union and European bilateral donors. Manuela also coordinates GFDRR’s effort on the Climate Risk Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative which was launched in Paris at COP21 as a joint partnership between the WB/GFDRR, WMO, and UNISDR. Manuela joined the World Bank in 2000 and prior to her current position, she worked for the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region, and the External Affairs Vice-Presidency in Brussels. An Italian national, she holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Trieste and a Master’s degree in Management from the Solvay Management School/VUB in Brussels. 

  • Rossella Della Monica, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, is part of the Brussels GFDRR team, and works on the implementation of EU-funded programs. She is the Task Team Leader for the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Initiative; she also works on the implementation of the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program, and she is the focal point in the GFDRR Brussels team for post-disaster response. Prior to this position, Rossella worked in Washington on the World Bank Latin America and Caribbean Disaster Risk Management team. Before joining the World Bank, Rossella worked as Program Manager at a Brussels-based consultancy, and for several NGOs as project officer. Rossella, an Italian national, holds a MA in Risk and Crisis Management from the University Pantheon Sorbonne in Paris, an MA in Humanitarian Assistance from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, and a degree in physical geography from Pantheon-Sorbonne.

  • Henriette B. Mampuya is an Operations Officer in the GFDRR Brussels team. She contributes to the implementation of the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program (focal point for Africa) and supports other EU-funded programs. Henriette is part of the Climate Risk Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative team, and she also contributes to maintaining relationships with the European Union, the ACP, and European donors. Prior to joining GFDRR, Henriette successively worked for the World Bank's Middle East and North Africa Region, the Africa Region, and the External Affairs Vice-Presidency. A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, she holds a Master's degree in International Management from ICHEC Brussels Management School, Belgium. 

  • Hugo Wesley is a Disaster Risk Management Analyst on the Brussels GFDRR team, supporting the implementation of EU-funded programs, particularly the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Initiative and the ACP-EU NDRR Program. Hugo also supports the team on communication efforts as well as Monitoring and Evaluation. Prior to joining GFDRR, Hugo was with the World Bank’s Education Global Practice. Hugo is a dual French and British national and holds a Master’s degree in Government and Politics in the EU from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Relations with German from the University of Kent, which included a one-year exchange program at the Freie Universität in Berlin. He speaks English, French, and German.

  • Stephan Zimmermann is a Junior Professional Officer funded by the Austrian Government under the Donor Funded Staffing Program. Stephan works with the Brussels team on the EU-funded Disaster Risk Financing Analytics program, relations with DG ECHO, and strengthening relations with DG CLIMA. He also contributes to liaising with the ECA Brussels team. Stephan was previously a Research Assistant for ICF International in their corporate International Development division in Brussels, and contributed to studies and evaluations in the Justice and Home Affairs team. A native Austrian, Stephan holds an MSc. in International Development from the University of Bath (UK) and a BA in Business Administration with specialization in International Law from IMC Krems (AT). He’s fluent in German and English, and has some knowledge of Spanish and French.

Secretariat Staff – Tokyo

  • Haruko Nakamatsu is Team Assistant for the DRM Hub in Tokyo. Ms Nakamatsu, a Japanese national, has extensive experiences in planning, coordinating, and organizing conferences and sports events at a number of organizations, including: a national university, International Friendship Association, a cycling association and a travel agency. Prior to joining the World Bank, Ms. Nakamatsu was an administrative assistant and a corporate secretary to a variety of corporations. Her commitment and hard work in sales support have been recognized by the CEO of her previous employer.

  • Guillermo A. Siercke, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, is a member of the Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries. Prior to joining GFDRR, Guillermo worked with the South Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean teams on lending operations and technical assistance in disaster risk financing, and on modernization of hydromet services. He is a core member of the Hydromet, Climate Services, and Resilience Community of Practice. A Honduran national, Guillermo holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics from Georgetown University.

  • Shoko Takemoto is a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Specialist. Prior to joining GFDRR, Shoko spent more than five years worked on climate and disaster resilient development in the Pacific and West Africa with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Her areas of specialization include environmental policy and planning, climate change adaptation, disaster resilient design, and integrated water resource management. Shoko is a Japanese national. She holds a Master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Bachelor of Arts from Macalester College.

  • Sayaka Yoda is a Program Officer, supporting teams working on integrated urban flood risk management, safer schools, resilient rails and transport programs, and knowledge management. Previously, Sayaka worked with local governments in the Asia Pacific Region on city-to-city cooperation projects in the urban setting to improve resiliency of cities. Previously, she also taught sustainable architecture and urban planning as a visiting professor at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Toluca, Mexico. In that role, she collaborated with the local government and communities on projects in tourism, city branding and green roofs.