Keynote Presenters


forbesNathaniel FORBES is the Director of Forbes Calamity Prevention Pte Ltd., which has provided business continuity, crisis and emergency management planning for multinational companies in Asia and Europe for 18 years. Nathaniel is certified as a Member of the Business Continuity Institute (MBCI) and as Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP) by the DRII. He was President of the Asia Council of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).  He has lived and worked in Singapore since January 1996.

Nathaniel will present on Water and Emergencies: The Impact of Thirst



Loren LEGARDA is a Senator in the 16th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines. She is the Chairperson for the Senate Committee on Climate Change and the Senate Oversight Committee on Climate Change. As the chair of the Senate Oversight Committee on Climate Change, Senator LEGARDA ensures that climate change is addressed as a national priority and considered in policy making and development planning. Senator LEGARDA has also spearheaded an information and education campaign on climate change in the Philippines, producing films that seek to explain the science of climate change, its impact on everyday lives and how Filipinos can avert and adapt to the changing climate. In 2008, the UNISDR appointed her as its Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaption for Asia and the Pacific during the 3rd Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in December 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Loren will present on From Knowledge to Practice: Building Back Stronger after Haiyan with the Aid of Science.



Makoto MIZUTANI is a Counselor within the Reconstruction Agency of the Government of Japan. He joined the Government of Japan (Ministry of Transport) in 1987. He is engaged in the planning, processing, design, and management of transport projects in Japan and developing countries. He moved to the Reconstruction Agency as a Counselor in 2012, and has been engaged in the reconstruction of infrastructure from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Makoto will present on For Accelerating the Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.




Virginia MURRAY was appointed Consultant in Global Disaster Risk Reduction for Public Health England (PHE) in April 2014, to focus on her continuing support for PHE’s international work where she is vice-chair of the UNISDR Scientific and Technical Group and as a member of the UNISDR Advisory Group for the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Prior to this, she was Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection, PHE from January 2011 to March 2014. With the Extreme Events team, she developed evidence based information and advice on flooding, heat, cold, volcanic ash, and other extreme weather and natural hazards events.  Before this, she worked for Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards for PHE, formerly known as the Health Protection Agency and has also had extensive experience in chemical incident training, preparedness and response. Appointed as Visiting Professor in Health Protection, MRC-HPA Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College and King’s College, London (2004), she has also published widely.

Virginia will present on The Road to HFA2: Can Science Impact on Policy and Practice?


2Bill NICOL is an independent management strategist and investigative author. He oversaw the recovery of Aceh following the 2004 tsunami as senior adviser to the Indonesian Government. His contributions included writing the overarching recovery strategy, designing key elements of the coordinating architecture, and supporting the Indonesian Government in managing its international relationships. He is author of Tsunami Chronicles: Adventures in Disaster Management (2013), a six-volume study of Aceh’s recovery and subsequent lessons. His earlier books include an investigation of the man-made humanitarian disaster that followed East Timor’s rushed decolonisation by Portugal, Timor: The Stillborn Nation (1978), which was later updated and republished as Timor: A Nation Reborn (2002); and an exposé of scientific fraud and mismanagement, McBride: Behind the Myth (1989).

Bill will present on The Politics of Disaster Recovery.


pellingMark PELLING is Professor of Geography at King’s College London. His research interests are in the institutions and social relationships that shape vulnerability and adaptation to natural disasters, including those associated with climate change, and in the ways in which conflicting values and practices of development inform resilience and transformation in the face of environmental change. He has served as a coordinating author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) and its Fifth Assessment Report.

He currently serves on the IRDR’s Science Committee, as well as that of the IGBP-IHDP core project Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ). He has consulted on adaptation and disaster risk reduction issues for several agencies including the UK Environment Agency, DFID, UNDP and UN-HABITAT.

Mark will present on Intergovernmental Processes and the Framing of Disaster Risk Reduction.