Meet Our Team



Francis Ghesquiere is the Head of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), a global partnership hosted by the World Bank with programs in more than 70 countries.Mr. Ghesquiere has extensive experience on policies and instruments to mainstream disaster risk management in development strategies and programs. He has participated in numerous post disaster operations and spent more than ten years building the World Bank disaster risk management practice in Latin America and the Caribbean and in South Asia. He is known for his leadership on a number of flagship initiatives, including the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), the Central America Probabilistic Risk Modeling Initiative, and the Understanding Risk Forum (UR). He was also key in the design of new policy instruments to help accelerate World Bank response to disasters, including the policy on emergency operations and innovative contingent financing instruments such as the CAT-DDO and Contingency Components. Mr. Ghesquiere holds a Master Degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an Engineering Degree from the University of Louvain. He also studied Finance and Economics at New York University, ESADE Barcelona and HEC Paris.

Manuela Chiapparino, Senior Operations Officer, is the GFDRR Focal Point for Europe based in Brussels, Belgium. She is responsible for building and managing relationships with European Union (EU) institutions and donors. She also coordinates the relations with the EC and the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat in Brussels on the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program, managed by GFDRR. As well, she specializes in coordinating efforts with the UN and the European Commission (EC) for post-disaster needs assessments. Prior to her current position, Ms. Chiapparino worked for the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region, and the External Affairs Vice-Presidency. 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. 
Luis Tineo, a Venezuelan national, joined the World Bank in 1998. He has since held various positions in the Private Sector Development Department, the Latin American and Caribbean Operations Services Department, and the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA). He brings extensive operations experience in infrastructure sectors, working in different regions on portfolio management and evaluation, as well as on fiduciary and financing structuring of lending and non-lending instruments, including trust funds. A graduate in law, Mr. Tineo holds post-graduate degrees in project finance and commercial transactions. Prior to joining the GFDRR and the World Bank, he was General Counsel of Venezuela's Ministry of Planning and Finance. 
Josef Leitmann is the team leader for Resilient Recovery at the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Joe’s most recent assignments have been in the LAC region over the last five years as Manager of the Haiti Reconstruction Fund and Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist with the SURR global practice. He brings 30 years of Bank experience in all regions on DRM, urban development, climate change, multi-donor funding, environmental management, NRM, and clean energy as well as field assignments in Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia, and Haiti. His PhD is in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley, with a Master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Secrectariat Staff-Washington DC
Katie Moss is part of  GFDRR Program Management Team as the Office Manager.  She provides support to the GFDRR Team and oversees the smooth operation of the work program. Ms. Moss holds a Bachelors Degree with double majors in Office Administration and English Language.    Katie has a combined total of 20 years in various parts of the World Bank, including  HR-LAC, HR-AFR, MNA, MDs Office and ARD.  Most recently she was at World Bank Institute handling the work program in Health Systems Strengthening Unit.  Prior to that she worked at CFP handling GEF, LDCF and SCCF Trust Funds, dealing directly with Donors and their Ministry of Finance. While away from the World Bank for a few years, Katie was Manager of a private entity: The Gardens, An Assisted Living Facility in Fairfax, VA.  She also worked as an Executive Assistant to the Provost at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, MD. Before coming to the US, she served as Chief Proofreader at Oriental Watchman Publishing House in Pune, India.
Shaela Rahman is the Senior Communications Officer for GFDRR, supporting a range of strategic communications efforts  to enhance GFDRR's engagement with stakeholders.  Shaela has over 13 years of experience in strategic communications, knowledge management, and World Bank Group technical assistance operations. Prior to joining GFDRR she led communications for the joint World Bank-IFC-MIGA Investment Climate Department and multi-donor Facility for Investment Climate Advisory Services (FIAS). Shaela has advised World Bank Group client governments around the world on outreach strategies to build awareness and support for specific reforms, drawing on the methodology and tools in a knowledge guide on strategic communications she co-authored. Her background in disaster risk management and reconstruction includes an assignment in Aceh, Indonesia shortly after the December 2004 tsunami where she helped set up an IFC advisory operation focused on private sector recovery and growth. Prior to joining the Bank Group, Shaela was based in Singapore with CNBC Asia, writing and producing financial news programs. Shaela holds an MA in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a BA in Economics and Management from Ohio Wesleyan University. 
Sofia Bettencourt is the Lead Adaptation Specialist for the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Sofia, a Portuguese national, comes to GFDRR with 22 years of operational experience, including 12 years in field postings. She is a lead specialist in both Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation, and was one of the first pioneers of adaptation projects at the World Bank. She has since worked extensively on inter-sectoral and participatory planning, institutional development, adaptation mainstreaming and coastal adaptation issues. Sofia is a member of the Global Practice Teams on DRM and Adaptation and an IPCC Reviewer.  She is also a specialist on Small Island Developing States, and was a key member of the team leading the rehabilitation of East Timor.  At GFDRR, Sofia's key priorities will be to lead GFDRR's program on resilience to climate change, support GFDRR's contribution to the Loss and Damage agenda, promote a closer re-approachment between adaptation and disaster risk manaqgement, and provide cross support to clients, within the emerging Global Practices.  Sofia holds a Master's in Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island and a post-graduate degree from the Classical University of Lisbon in Coastal Resources Management. She is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.    
Hemang Karelia, DRM Operations Officer, has been working with GFDRR since 2008. He currently leads the Disaster Aid Tracking (DAT) initiative which tracks global aid and investments in disaster risk reduction, recovery and reconstruction and GFDRR's thematic program on Urban Resilience. In addition, he provides technical and strategic support to GFDRR operations, monitoring and evaluation, rapid response and knowledge management endeavors. Prior to joining GFDRR, Mr. Karelia worked for 8 years in the field of disaster risk management, crisis recovery, internal displacement and management consulting with UN agencies, governments, and technology firms in Afghanistan, India, Sudan and Switzerland. Mr. Karelia is an Indian national holding a Bachelors of Engineering degree in Instrumentation and Control and a Master’s degree in Information Systems. 

Robert Reid is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist focussing on the nexus between climate change and disaster risk management in GFDRR and World Bank operations. Mr. Reid came from the European Commission, where he worked as Climate Change Policy Coordinator in DG External Relations. He has also worked in the European Commission’s DG Environment, in an EU public affairs consultancy, and in the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Mr. Reid is a British national with a BSc in Economics and Politics, and an MA in European Politics and Trans-Atlantic Relations from the University of Bath in the UK. 

Ghadeer Ashram is a Research Analyst who focuses on Disaster Risk Management, Capacity Building, Knowledge Management and Learning. She works on the Results Based Monitoring System (RBMS), an internal system that helps to track the project portfolio for Track III. She is also in charge of providing strategic support for the internal and external learning program by assisting in the implementation of the rapid response and recovery capacity development program. In addition, she provides support to the learning team in the development of training courses in GFDRR Partnership Learning Series, and the development of innovative knowledge products in Post Disaster Needs Assessment. Ms. Ashram is a Saudi national who has earned her Master’s degree in Finance from the George Washington University (GW), Washington, DC. 

Vica Rosario Bogaerts is a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Specialist working for the Track II team since 2010. She is responsible for mainstreaming DRM into World Bank development strategies and engaged in various portfolio management activities. Within Track II, she serves as the focal point for the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) Region as well as the Global Safe School Program (GPSS). Prior, she worked in United States Congress with the Foreign Affairs Committee, the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the Netherlands Embassy in Khartoum. She also volunteered in Kosovo and conducted extensive field research in Cambodia. She holds a Master's degree in International Relations & International Economics from Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) and a Master's degree in History from the University of Amsterdam. 

Chunxiang Zhang joined GFDRR as an Operations Analyst. She brings with her an extensive experience of operations and Trust Fund management while she worked for the World Bank Office in Beijing. She now works on Trust Fund Administrative Agreements, portfolio management as well as GFDRR staff-related hiring. Ms. Zhang is a Chinese National and has an MBA from Renmin University, Faculty of Commerce, Beijing, China. 
James Newman is an Urban Development Specialist, supporting the development of GFDRR’s Partnership Strategy, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework, and program strategy for the Resilient Cities Initiative. Prior to GFDRR, Jay worked for the Finance Director of the City of Baltimore, contributing to Baltimore’s 10-Year Financial Plan, risk management reform strategy, and performance management/open data initiatives, as well as serving as the city’s acting deputy procurement agent. Previously, he was a consultant at the World Bank, supporting the Program-for-Results (PforR) launch and reviewing the Bank's economic and risk analysis of investment operations. Jay has also worked in Chile, covering Latin American and Caribbean economics, finance, and insurance for a market intelligence firm. He was also an analyst at CitiStat, Baltimore’s performance management program. Jay studied economics at Washington University in St. Louis and has a Master’s degree in applied economics and public policy from Georgetown University and Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile. He is also an adjunct professor at University of Baltimore’s MPA program. 
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. 
Alanna Simpson is a Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist and leads the GFDRR Innovation Lab team. In this role, she provides technical assistance to the World Bank’s Disaster Risk Management (DRM) regional teams in natural hazard risk analysis for disaster risk assessments, as well as providing leading of the Innovation Lab programs such as Understanding Risk Forum, Code for Resilience and Open Data for Resilience. Dr. Simpson previously worked for the Australian Government, where she led efforts to improve natural hazard risk analysis capability in East Asia and Pacific countries. This involved working with a broad range of scientific, mapping and disaster management agencies across the region to develop new datasets, methodologies and information on the risks from meteorological and geophysical hazards. A New Zealand and Australian national, Dr Simpson holds a PhD in Geoscience (volcanology) from the University of Queensland (Australia), a M.S. from the University of Otago (New Zealand) and a B.S. from the University of Auckland (New Zealand). 
Keiko Saito is a member of the Labs team, specializing in the application of geospatial data for disaster risk management. She brings with her more than 10 years of experience in this field. Her current primary focus is the standardization and mainstreaming of the use of remotely sensed data and other geospatial tools for effective risk assessment and management throughout the disaster cycle from preparedness through to recovery and reconstruction. Prior to joining the Bank, she has been working in multidisciplinary risk management/assessment teams at Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd as a Director, as Willis Research Fellow and as a Senior Research Associate at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge. A native of Japan, she has a PhD on the use of remotely sensed data for post-earthquake damage assessment from University of Cambridge, UK. 
Sajid Anwar is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist for GFDRR’s Sustainable Recovery team, focusing on post-disaster rapid response and recovery operations.   He is the Track III focal point for updates to the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) methodology that will incorporate climate change adaptation and other environmental and sustainability concerns.  Mr. Anwar is also tasked with evaluating gender dimensions in post-disaster operations and updating PDNA guidelines to reflect these issues.  Prior to joining GFDRR, Mr. Anwar worked as a research assistant at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on environmental change and security issues, and brings experience from his time on Capitol Hill working on environmental and climate change legislation.  Mr. Anwar is a native of North Carolina and holds a Masters in Global Environmental Policy from American University and a Bachelor’s in Biology from Duke University. 
Jon Walton is a Communications Specialist with GFDRR, assisting with a wide-array of both print and digital media products. Before joining the Secretariat, Jon was a writer/editor specializing in green building and disaster-resilient construction practices, and oversaw content, design, and marketing for several flagship publications. He also served as special advisor to the president for an international academic consulting firm based in Washington, DC, managing event coordination and online outreach. He earned a double bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Westmont College and has more than 7 years freelance experience in journalism and media production.

Natalia Rodriguez is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist for GFDRR supporting Pillar 5, Resilient Recovery. She has been with the team since early 2013, assisting primarily with the development and rollout of the Disaster Recovery Framework Guide and leading the Haiti and Philippines case studies. Prior to joining GFDRR, Natalia worked with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization on supporting a multi-sector partnership to take action to prevent and control non communicable diseases in the Americas. She has also carried out field work in Arusha, Tanzania on youth unemployment and in East London, United Kingdom on safer school transportation and citizen engagement with their local governments. She was initially exposed to DRM as an intern for USAID in Madagascar, where she traveled around the country to monitor and record the progress of their post-cyclone and drought disaster interventions, composing “Success Stories” of achievements. Natalia has an MSc in Social Development Practice from the University College London, graduating with Merit, and a BSc in Anthropology from Santa Clara University.

Rebecca Soares is a Disaster Risk Management Portfolio Research Analyst at the GFDRR. Her areas of specialization include climate and disaster resilience, risk analysis, and econometrics. She is responsible for portfolio analysis and research to support GFDRR activities, including regular reporting of the Corporate Scorecard for DRM and analysis of the financial landscape for the Small Island States Resilience Initiative. She also led the piloting of the DRM co-benefits system for fiscal years 2012-2014. Ms. Soares previously worked for the Department of Defense, where she was based in Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. She is currently pursuing a BS in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Pennsylvania State University. 
Makoto Suwa is the Hydromet and DRM Specialist leading and supporting a wide range of GFDRR/WB activities and projects aiming to strengthen weather, climate and hydrological services globally. Prior to joining GFDRR, Makoto worked for the World Meteorological Organization, both at its headquarters in Geneva and Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa in Nairobi, where he mainly developed and managed weather and climate services projects, supported capacity development activities and liaised with stakeholders. He also taught at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology and Lycée de Kigali in Rwanda, and briefly worked for the Office for Climate Change of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Tokyo. Makoto holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Geosciences (Climate Science) from Princeton University, a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University in addition to an undergraduate degree from the University of Tokyo.  
Secrectariat Staff-Brussels
Henriette B. Mampuya is Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Analyst in the GFDRR Brussels team. She contributes to the implementation of the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program (focal point for Africa; operational activities, research) and works with the GFDRR Communication team. She also supports relationships with the European Union institutions and donors. Prior to joining GFDRR, Ms. Mampuya successively worked for the World Bank's Middle East and North Africa Region, the Africa Region, and the External Affairs Vice-Presidency. A native from the Democratic Republic of Congo, she holds a Master's degree in International Management from ICHEC Brussels Management School, Belgium. 
Edouard Ereño Blanchet is a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Analyst within the GFDRR Brussels team. He works on the implementation of the GFDRR/ ACP-EU Programme and on the overall cooperation with the European Union Institutions on disaster risk reduction and post disaster response. Prior to his current position, he worked in the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Department with the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region (focused on Thailand, Lao and Cambodia) as an Infrastructure Analyst (energy and transport). He also worked at the European Commission, DG Development and Cooperation EuropeAid in Brussels as Programme Manager for Energy and Climate Change, covering Europe and Central Asia (ECA) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions. A dual citizen of France and Spain, he holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from the Centro de Estudios Economicos y Comerciales in Madrid, a Masters degree in Political Sciences from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po) and a LL.B in Public Law from the University Versailles. 

Rossella Della Monica, DRM Specialist, is part of the Brussels GFDRR team. She works on the implementation of EU-funded programs (including the ACP-EU NDRR Program) and on the relations with EU donors. Rossella has over 11 years of experience in program management and coordination. Prior to this position Rossella worked in Washington in 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, managing EU-funded projects in the field of governance, human rights and civil society in Angola, Benin, Nigeria and Tanzania, and for several NGOs in Brussels, Indonesia and Tanzania as project officer. Rossella, an Italian national, holds a MA in Risk and Crisis Management from the University Pantheon Sorbonne in Paris, a MA in Humanitarian Assistance from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve and has a degree in physical geography from Pantheon-Sorbonne.

Secrectariat Staff-Tokyo  
Yuka Makino, Senior Operations Officer, GFDRR Tokyo Hub is responsible for the overall management of the Tokyo hub and also leads the “Program for connecting knowledge, experience and technology” for mainstreaming DRM into Bank and client operations. Ms. Makino has over 20 years operational experience in managing and developing programs in natural resources management, land management, disaster risk management, and climate change adaptation. She has extensive country experience in East Asia, South Asia, and Africa and has built relationships with client governments, Japanese agencies and other stakeholders. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2001, Ms. Makino was a UNDP Program Officer in Cambodia, and a JICA expert on Community based disaster management in Nepal. Ms. Makino has an undergraduate degree from International Christian University in Tokyo, and a Masters and PhD in terrestrial ecosystem management from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Keiko Kaneda, Operations Officer, GFDRR Tokyo Hub. Ms. Kaneda has significant field experience and operational knowledge in post-disaster and post-conflict reconstruction, disaster risk preparedness, climate change adaptation and urban infrastructure improvement. She has worked on projects in Indonesia, Mongolia and South Sudan with JICA and several UN agencies. She plays a key role in expanding Hub’s network with government agencies, academic and research institutes, private entities and CSOs in Japan. She also plays an active role in connecting Japanese experience and knowledge with the World Bank’s operation in client countries. Ms. Kaneda holds a Master degree in Architectural Engineering from Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan
Jack Campbell is a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Specialist for the DRM country programme portfolio (Track II). He brings with him over seven years experience in the international development and humanitarian sectors. He has worked as part of frontline teams responding to major humanitarian crises, including the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and more recently the 2008 cyclone in Myanmar, where he helped the United Kingdom (UK) Government target financing to build better disaster preparedness in the country in the wake of the catastrophe. Most recently, Mr, Campbell was an adviser to the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) on disaster risk reduction policy and operations, where he focussed on engaging civil society and the academic community, and improving impact assessment. Previously he held various positions with ActionAid, a major international NGO at the forefront of efforts to bridge the gap between humanitarian and longer term development interventions. He is a British national and holds a degree in Geography and Hispanic Studies from the University of Birmingham, UK and La Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico. 

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

Secrectariat Staff-Geneva
Daniel Kull is a Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist in Geneva, Switzerland, representing the World Bank in the Geneva humanitarian/development community. He also contributes to the Hydromet Program. Before joining GFDRR, Mr. Kull was the global coordinator for disaster risk reduction (DRR) at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, a research scholar with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Senior Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Tajikistan and Technical Advisor for UNISDR Africa in Kenya. He also served as a hazard specialist for the Swiss Reinsurance Company, having started as a hydraulic engineer for both the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Hydrologic Engineering Center of the US Army Corps of Engineers. A dual Swiss-American national, Mr. Kull holds a MSc in Water Resource Engineering from the University of California (Davis) and a BSc in Civil Engineering from Union College.