Plenary 8: No Regrets Resilience: Saving Money, Saving Lives

Some steps to build resilient communities require significant invests, other not. Some will provide a return on the investment only when disaster strikes and loss is reduced; while others will provide benefits regardless. This session will explore that later type of activities, referred to as "No Regrets Resilience." The speakers in this session will discuss actions that benefit communities even when disaster does not strike, leading to healthier, more efficient, and prosperous communities.


Elizabeth Shogren: Elizabeth Shogren is an NPR News Science Desk correspondent focused on covering environment and energy issues and news.

Since she came to NPR in 2005, Shogren's reporting has covered everything from the damage caused by the BP oil spill on the ecology of the Gulf Coast, to the persistence of industrial toxic air pollution as seen by the legacy of Tonawanda Coke near Buffalo, to the impact of climate change on American icons like grizzly bears.

Prior to NPR, Shogren spent 14 years as a reporter on a variety of beats at The Los Angeles Times, including four years reporting on environmental issues in Washington, D.C., and across the country. While working from the paper's Washington bureau, from 1993-2000, Shogren covered the White House, Congress, social policy, money and politics, and presidential campaigns. During that time, Shogren was given the opportunity to travel abroad on short-term foreign reporting assignments, including the Kosovo crisis in 1999, the Bosnian war in 1996, and Russian elections in 1993 and 1996. Before joining the Washington bureau, Shogren was based in Moscow where she covered the breakup of the Soviet Union and the rise of democracy in Russia for the newspaper.

Beginning in 1988, Shogren worked as a freelance reporter based in Moscow, publishing in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek, The Dallas Morning News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post. During that time, she covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful revolution in Prague.

Shogren's career in journalism began in the wire services. She worked for the Associated Press in Chicago and at United Press International in Albany, NY.

Throughout Shogren's career she has received numerous awards and honors including as a finalist for the 2011 Goldsmith Prize for investigative reporting, the National Wildlife Federation National Conservation Achievement Award, the Meade Prize for coverage of air pollution and she was an IRE finalist. She is a member of Sigma Delta Chi and the Society of Professional Journalist.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Russian studies at the University of Virginia, Shogren went on to receive a Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University.

Confirmed Speakers:

Howard Kunreuther: Howard C. Kunreuther is the James G. Dinan Professor; Professor of Decision Sciences and Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School, and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center.  He has a long-standing interest in ways that society can better manage low-probability, high-consequence events related to technological and natural hazards. Dr. Kunreuther is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Insurance and Asset Management for 2011-2012, and in 2009-2010 served as co-chair of the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Leadership and Innovation for Reducing Risks from Natural Disasters. He is a member of the National Research Council’s panel on Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters and serves the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a chapter lead author of the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report on Integrated Risk and Uncertainty Assessment of Climate Change Response. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis, receiving the Society’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2001. His most recent books are At War with the Weather (with E. Michel-Kerjan) (2009, paperback, 2011), winner of the Kulp-Wright Book Award from the American Risk and Insurance Association in 2011; Learning from Catastrophes: Strategies for Reaction and Response (with M. Useem) (2010); and Insurance and Behavioral Economics: Improving Decisions in the Most Misunderstood Industry” (with Mark Pauly and Stacey McMorrow) (forthcoming 2013).

Russ Paulsen: Russ Paulsen leads nationwide community preparedness and resilience efforts for the American Red Cross. He was appointed to the position in November of 2011.

Prior to this assignment, Russ led the Red Cross’s long-term recovery efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which provided mental health, case management, and community recovery services to survivors across the nation. He also served on the management committee for the September 11 Recovery Program.

In his twenty-plus years with the Red Cross, Russ has served as principal deputy to the Chief Operating Officer responsible for national and international humanitarian programs, and has been the program manager for field transformation under two different Chief Executive Officers.

Before being called to Washington, Russ spent 14 years with Red Cross chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area, initially as a volunteer leader after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. He served the chapter as Senior Disaster Manager, then Program Officer, then Director of Corporate Fundraising. While working in business continuity in the for-profit sector, Russ remained a committed volunteer.

An Illinois native, Russ has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside, and a Master’s degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.


Margaret Arnold: Margaret Arnold is a Senior Social Development Specialist in the Social Resilience & Climate Change cluster. She joined the World Bank in 1995, and was part of a two-person team that established the Bank's Hazard Risk Management Team in 1998 (formerly called the Disaster Management Facility). She is also a co-founder of the ProVention Consortium, and served for 2 ½ years as its Head of Secretariat, seconded to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.



Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali: Born 1943 in Dinajpur, Bangladesh. Received B.A. Honours (1962) and M.A. (1963) Degrees in Economics from Dhaka University.

Lecturer in Economics, Dhaka University 1964-66.

Joined the erstwhile Pakistan Foreign Service in 1966. Posted as Vice-Consul of Pakistan in New York in 1968. Joined the Bangladesh Liberation Movement in April, 1971 and appointed as the Representative  of the Provisional Government of Bangladesh at Mujibnagar in May, 1971. Immediately after arriving in New York in 1968, started to organise the small Bangladesh Community in the United States.

Worked for Bangladesh independence in the U.S. and at the United Nations. Was Executive Assistant to Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury, Chief Overseas Representative of the Mujibnagar Government and Leader of the Bangladesh Delegation to the United Nations.

After independence, served as representative to the United Nations and later also as Acting Consul General in New York.

Later, served in various capacities at the Foreign Ministry in Dhaka and at Bangladesh Missions abroad:
First Secretary, Counsellor and Deputy High Commissioner in New Delhi, India (1977-79). Director-General for Administration; International Organisations; United Nations and Economic Affairs; Policy Planning; South Asia; Human Rights (1979-82). Deputy Chief of Mission with the rank of Ambassador in Beijing, China (1983-1986). Ambassador to Bhutan (1986-90). As Additional Foreign Secretary (Bilateral), handled South Asia and Human Rights among other subjects. Negotiated and signed the Tin Bigha Corridor Implementation Agreement with India (1992). Negotiated the Burmese Refugees Repatriation Agreement with Myanmar 1992.

Ambassador to Germany with concurrent accreditation to Austria, Czech and Slovac Republics (1992-1995). Ambassador to Nepal (Feb. to October 1996).

High Commissioner to the United Kingdom with concurrent accreditation to Ireland (1996-2001).

Retired from active service in April, 2001 and joined the Awami League Party. Served as Member of the  Awami League Central Election Committee, 2001.

Appointed as Member of the Central Advisory Council of the Awami League (Dec. 2002). Later appointed also as Co-chairman, Awami League Sub-Committee on International Affairs.

Elected to Bangladesh Parliament as Awami League candidate from a rural constituency in Dinajpur in northern Bangladesh in Dec. 2008. Elected  as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also serves on various other important committees appointed by the Government.