Past Events & News


Building Resilience Workshop VII April 6-8, 2017

Economic Resilience, Recovery Justice & Surviving Beyond Academia with Jeremy Stone  March 22, 2017, 6:00 to 8:00 PM

All Hazards Threat Assessment Workshop: "Wearing the Vest" with Terry W. Vaden March 11, 2017

RES/CON New Orleans 2017 March 7-9, 2017

Leadership with Legacy - Leadership Workshop with Colonel Mark Boone February 18, 2017

DRLA Brown Bag Lunch with Professor Rob Verchick Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Masters of Disaster Alumni Speaker Series with Jen Hardin Friday, January 27, 2017

American Red Cross Training: Disaster Services Overview Friday, January 20, 2017

Spring 2017 Orientation & DRLA-Tulane Center for Public Service Luncheon Tuesday January 17, 2017

Career Opportunities & The Work of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)


Who: Featuring Aimee Lauer, Division Chief for Program Support, OFDA
When: October 4, 2016, 5:30-7:30 PM
Where: 1555 Poydras Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112 Bowers Auditorium (First floor)

OFDA leads and coordinates the U.S. Government’s response to disasters overseas. On average, OFDA responds to about 70 disasters in 56 countries each year to ensure aid reaches people affected by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, complex emergencies and other natural and manmade disasters. OFDA is currently responding to humanitarian crises in Ethiopia, the Middle East (Syria and Iraq) and South Sudan.


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Lecture with leading human trafficking expert Kevin Bales

Kevin Bales


Please join us for a special evening with the world's leading human trafficking expert, Kevin Bales, who will give an eye-opening and inspiring talk on Friday, January 22, 2016 at 7 pm in Nunemaker Hall in Monroe Hall at Loyola University's main campus, 6363 St. Charles Avenue







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"Women Leaders: Promoting Peace & Security (A Regional Project for Africa)"

Women Leaders

DRLA faculty member Dr. Meredith Feike participated in a panel on rebuilding communities post disaster, "Women Leaders: Promoting Peace & Security (A Regional Project for Africa)." The event was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State as part of their International Visitor Leadership Program. The New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council hosted the group of 14 distinguished visitors from Africa and their State Department liaisons. Kay Wilkins, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross and Carol Bebelle, Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, joined Dr. Feike in the panel discussion.



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At Senate Hearing, CPR's Vechick Provides Voice of Reason on Flawed 'Regulatory Budgeting' Proposal

CPR President, Loyola University, New Orleans, Law Professor, and Tulane University DRLA Professor Robert R.M. Verchick testified at a hearing convened by the Senate Budget Committee to examine a dangerous regulatory policy proposal known as "regulatory budgeting." As he explains in his testimony, regulatory budgeting represents a stark departure from the traditional focus of regulatory policy discussions, which have long been concerned with improving the effectiveness—or quality—of regulatory decision-making.  Verchick's testimony also explains how regulatory budgeting risks leaving the public and the environment inadequately protected, especially against new and emerging threats. He notes: But as we face a future in which deep-water drilling, nanomaterials, and even driverless cars become commonplace, better protections—not fewer ones—are what we actually need. Rationing public goods like health, safety, and security for the benefit of a narrow class of commercial interests is the very opposite of what a virtuous and effective government should be doing. Verchick's testimony provides a comprehensive condemnation of regulatory budgeting. It concludes by reasserting the importance of maintaining the traditional focus of regulatory policy debates on ways to improve the quality of agency regulations. To this end, Verchick offers several recommendations for steps Congress and the agencies can take to improve the ability of the regulatory system to produce higher quality regulations.For more about the flaws with regulatory budgeting in general and with the "pay-go" version in particular, see this 2012 CPR report


Click here to view Professor Verchick's full testimony.


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Nepal Earthquake: Lessons on Recovery and Resilience

Featuring Honourable Gangalal Tuladhar, Member of Parliament and Former Education Minister of Nepal, and Ky Luu, Executive Director of Tulane University's Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy. 

Honourable Tuladhar is the Coordinator for the National Campaign for Disaster Risk Reduction Nepal (NCDRR), a network of Members of Parliament working to promote the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Nepal. Honourable Tuladhar, an advisor to former Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister during the recent Nepal Earthquake Emergency Response and Coordination, organizes regular academic and parliamentarian seminar series for evidence based local risk management system and policies in Nepal. Mr. Luu is a founding member of Tulane University's Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA) and serves as the Executive Director and Clinical Associate Professor. Before coming to Tulane, Luu through presidential appointment, served as Director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) where he led the U.S. Government office responsible for providing humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disasters. Prior to joining OFDA, he served for three years as Vice President for International Medical Corps (IMC) in Washington, DC, where he played a key role in strategic planning, policy and program development, and emergency global response. Honourable Tuladhar and Mr. Luu will speak about the recent earthquake in Nepal and key lessons on how to reduce disaster risk and promote resilience in vulnerable communities at this event presented by Forum Tulane. Attendees will also have the chance to sign up to receive further information on volunteering with International Development Volunteers (IDV), a UK-based NGO currently seeking volunteers to assist with its earthquake relief efforts in Nepal. Winter break, semester, and summer options are available. The Forum Tulane event is sponsored by the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy at Tulane University.

Click here to view the informational poster on this event.

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Lecture with Former FDNY Chief Edward Kilduff

Former FDNY Chief Edward Kilduff is coming to the DRLA on Wednesday, November 11th to deliver a guest lecture in DRLS 6010. Prof. Ferreira has kindly agreed to open up the lecture to all currently enrolled DRLA students. 

During his distinguished career, Chief Kilduff was Chief of Department, FDNY's highest-ranking uniformed officer, from 2010 until he retired in 2014. He also served as an Incident Commander with the FDNY's Incident Management Team (IMT) group - trained by the federal government in management of large-scale disasters - and helped lead the agency's response to Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, when more than 600 members were deployed to conduct rescue and recovery efforts for the city of New Orleans.He was a key member of the senior management team that created the Department's first two Strategic Plans in 2004-2005 and 2007-2008. These plans served as road maps for rebuilding after the September 11 (2001) attacks, and advanced numerous major agency-wide initiatives. As a deputy chief in 2001, he worked as night commander for months after 9/11, supervising FDNY members working on rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center site.


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Graduate student collaborates with local volunteer team to launch Louisiana Flood Recovery website

September 2, 2016

Louisiana Flood Recovery website

The recent Louisiana floods gave dual degree graduate student, Miriam Eisenstat an opportunity to put into practice what she has been learning in her Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Science in Disaster Resilience Leadership studies. In the time frame of six days, Miriam became a member of an impromptu team of volunteer New Orleanians who came together to conceptualize, build and launch a website called Louisiana Flood Recovery at which is an open-source, living directory that connects flood survivors with effective flood relief and recovery organizations, and volunteers with opportunities to help.


UNICEF grant focuses on wellbeing of Rwanda’s orphans

August 19, 2016

Laura Haas and Reggie Ferreira

As Rwanda continues to close its 34 orphanages opened after the 1994 genocide, professors at the Tulane School of Social Work’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy are working to train the country’s social workers to help the affected children.

Thanks to a two-year UNICEF Grant, Tulane professors Laura Haas and Reggie Ferreira will help lead trainings to strengthen the national social service workforce via close collaboration with Rwanda's National Commission for Children.


Summer Institute students experience another day of humanitarian learning and networking  in Washington, DC

July 7, 2016

DRLA Summer Institute 16 Visit to HHS

The DRLA Summer Institute student group had a full and informative day on Thursday, July 7th in Washington DC. The students began the day at the US Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR) Administration of Children and Families Department (ACF) department. For the first few hours of the morning, the students heard from Captain Mary Riley, U.S. Public Health Services Director, about the many ways ACF and OHSEPR work to help children and families before, during, and after disasters. Captain Riley was very passionate about her work, generous in answering student questions, and encouraging to everyone about their backgrounds and futures.


FEMA Chief of Staff welcomes DRLA Students to National Headquarters

July 6, 2016

DRLA Summer Institute Students are given a tour of FEMA headquarters by Chief of Staff

On July 6th Professor George Haddow and the DRLA Summer Institute student group visited the FEMA headquarters in Washington DC, escorted by FEMA Chief of Staff Michael Coen. To begin the day, the students were invited to observe the official daily morning briefing, during which the various branches of FEMA and the White House all reported on significant goings-on for their sector. Updates included the daily national, space, and storm forecasts, current FEMA disaster operations status and other topics.


Lieutenant governor to chair advisory council for Tulane resilience academy

May 31, 2016

Billy Nungesser (1)

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser will chair a Leadership Advisory Council that will help identify and select participants and provide oversight for a fellowship program designed by Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy.

The Disaster Resilience Leadership Fellowship Program will identify emerging Gulf Coast leaders and equip them with the knowledge and tools needed to more effectively develop and implement plans that strengthen the resilience of their communities to future oil spills and other disasters.


2016 DRLA Summer Institute

The DRLA is pleased to announce that the dates have been set for the 2016 DRLA Summer Institute in Washington D.C.

Download application

DRLS 6710
Institutions & Politics of Humanitarian Advocacy
July 1 - July 15, 2016

  • Explores International and Domestic:
  • Humanitarian decision making
  • Career paths in the field
  • Practical tools for policy change
  • Dynamics between diplomacy and humanitarianism, resilience, and human security
Visits to/by:
  • NGOs such as InterAction and the American Red Cross
  • Prominent think tanks such as Brookings Institute and CSIS Congress
  • U.S. Governmental agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA
DRLS 6720
Case Studies in Disaster Operations
July 18 - July 29, 2016

Examine and Discuss:
  • Success/failure in disaster response
  • Recovery and relief practices resulting in more resilient communities
  • Impacts of social media on disaster communications
  • Attributes of an effective disaster operations capability
Guest Speakers/Visits include:
  • The World Bank
  • National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD)
  • The United Nations

Dr. Laura J. Haas named DRLA Deputy Director 

"It's an exciting Laura Haastime at the Academy with so much growth and opportunity before us. I am really looking forward to taking on a more active role strategically to help expand DRLA's global reach, both here at home and abroad, and to help establish the Academy as the go-to institution in disaster resilience leadership and applied research. Universities have a unique role to play in resilience strengthening efforts and our global network of university partners will provide important opportunities for our students as they become increasingly exposed to and involved in resilience work."  

Dr. Laura J. Haas has 25 years of expertise and experience working with African ministries of health and education to strengthen institutional and human capacities, including leadership capacity, through education, training and rapid workforce development. In addition to serving as full time Country Director for the Tulane Office in Rwanda, she was fully involved in establishing the nation's only School of Public Health post-genocide. Her work in support of health sciences and social work education includes a broad spectrum of technical assistance encompassing strategic leadership development, curricula reform, educational and training program development, competency framework validation, faculty development, and the integration of information technology and learning. She has been highly involved in establishing key university networks in Africa such as the Leadership Alliance in Public Health in East Africa (LIPHEA), its transformation into the HEALTH Alliance (Higher Education Alliance for Leadership Through Health) and more recently, collaborating with the One Health for Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA) network. Currently, Dr. Haas supports efforts to strengthen national child protection systems and child resilience with support from UNICEF while enhancing disaster resilience leadership in West Africa with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Haas possesses extensive experience managing and implementing a range of donor-funded programs across Africa, serving as Tulane's representative in Rwanda, and acting as liaison between African governments, multi- and bi-lateral agencies as well as various international and local, non-governmental agencies. She has published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at international conferences, is fluent in both English and French, and holds a PhD from Tulane University and an MBA from Georgia State University.

DRLA Holds RAN Workshop


Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the ResilientAfrica  Network (RAN) leverages the knowledge, scholarship, and creativity of African universities to identify and develop innovative ways to strengthen resilience in target communities across Africa. The network is led by Makerere University, which hosts the RAN Secretariat, and includes Tulane University, Stanford University, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as well as 20 African universities in 16 countries. The architecture of the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) in Africa consists of four Resilience Innovation Labs (RILabs). The RILabs are focal points of technology innovation and commercialization of university research attracting local and national resources, sustainably funded, with replication potential across sub-Saharan Africa. RAN's RILabs include the Eastern Africa RILab based in Uganda and hosted by Makerere University, West Africa RILab based in Ghana and hosted by the University for Development Studies, Horn of Africa RILab based in Ethiopia and hosted by Jimma University and Southern Africa RILab based in South Africa at University of Pretoria.


Institutional Consultancy to Strengthen Social Welfare Workforce in Rwanda 

In response to UNICEF's request for institutional services to support the capacity development of the professional and para-professional social welfare workforce in Rwanda, Tulane's DRLA is embarking on a two year long program with an innovative approach to human capacity development. This program will emphasize collaborative and experiential learning, learning transfer and measurement, and the establishment of learning communities. Through this program, DRLA will enhance learning outcomes and job performance, building upon evidence-based practices, and will contribute to the strengthening of the national social welfare workforce via close collaboration with Rwanda's National Commission for Children.

Strengthening Collaboration on Humanitarian Emergency Response

The West Africa Ebola crisis, the deadly April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, and ongoing crises in Syria, Central African Republic, and beyond have exposed weaknesses of global humanitarian emergency response efforts. Complex humanitarian emergencies require a constellation of actors from different sectors working collaboratively to save lives and provide critical services. A new report by the Disaster Resilience Group, A Networked Approach to Strengthening Emergency Response Capacity, draws lessons from international and local networks and offers recommendations for building capacity among first- and second-line responders and strengthening networks for emergency response. Panelists will present the report's findings and discuss how they might be implemented to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of emergency response. 

Click here to view the report...

Gates Foundation gives $3.5 million to Tulane disaster resilience program

The Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA), housed in the Tulane School of Social Work, has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to implement the second phase of its Disaster Resilience Leadership (DRL) program over the next three years.

Read the full story about the grant here...

Journey to India

Each September, for fourteen consecutive years, Ron Marks, dean of the School of Social Work conducts the "Journey to India" class.  Last fall, 5 of the 14 student participants were working towards their MS in Disaster Resilience. The journey is an immersive one and offers the opportunity to intimately engage with the Tibetan refugee exile community. After arriving in Delhi, the group travels north to the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains to Dharamsala, home of the largest number of Tibetans in exile, the home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile. One of the central goals of this experience is to enable an understanding of the needs of the Tibetan exile community and to interact with social and health programs working towards meeting these needs. Equally important is the opportunity to learn the ancient wisdom traditions brought to India from Tibet by this exile community. Overall, the experience provides an opportunity to enhance ones professional growth, develop personally, and to see the vitally important interconnection between these two areas.

India Trip 

Pictured right are the 14 MSW and MS Disaster Resilience students with Dean Ron Marks and Dr. Carolyn Weaver, co-teacher, with Ama Ahde, pictured in the center.  Ama Ahde is a Tibetan elder who spent 27 years in a Chinese prison, accused of aiding the Tibetan resistance movement in the 1960's.  She is the author of "The Voice that Remembers."