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Emergency Management and Post-Disaster Relief and Recovery after 3.11
- Angela Marie Ortiz (Representative Director for non-profit O.G.A. for Aid)
- Leo V. Bosner (M.S.W., Director of Training, Education, and Research, International Institute of Global Resilience (IIGR), Bethesda, Maryland)
As the early phase disaster relief in Tohoku has turned to long-term rebuilding and economic recovery, communities that were devastated by the tsunami and evacuated from the nuclear exclusionary zone now face a number of challenges. With migration out of the area, psychological trauma among remaining survivors and the loss of infrastructure and income-generating industries, community leaders must rebuild with lessons learned from the disasters in mind. This event brings together experts who have intimate knowledge of disaster management to discuss how communities are attempting to rebuild in Tohoku. Drawing on their experience in establishing relations with their Japanese counterparts and bridging gaps between international and domestic protocols, Leo Bosner, a former FEMA administrator and emergency management expert and Angela Marie Ortiz, a NPO representative who has been intimately involved with community rebuilding in Minamisanriku-cho, will relate their experiences working in the disaster zone in Tohoku, and convey their insights on how disaster management and recovery has evolved in the aftermath of the 3.11 disasters.
Angela Marie Ortiz
Representative Director for non-profit O.G.A. for Aid
Following the 2011’s March 11 disasters in Japan, Angela Ortiz co-established O.G.A. for Aid and began recovery support initiatives in the Tohoku Region of Japan. The organization focuses on economic and education enhancement and builds projects/programs to help post-disaster communities revitalize. O.G.A. has been recognized for its unique mission, which develops educational initiatives with community engagement in disaster relief. For her commitment to community support and internationalism, in February 2014, Angela was named “Recovery Support Ambassador” to the town of Minamisanriku-cho in Miyagi Prefecture, and met with Australian Ambassador, Mr. Miller in June of 2013, and the U.S. Ambassador, Ms. Kennedy in November of 2013.
Angela is a Native of California, USA, raised in Japan. Angela got into humanitarian work when she traveled to India in 2000-2001 and engaged in various volunteer works, including the polio vaccinations by the Rotary Club Madras and with social/ community development projects for orphans and slum children of Goa, India. After receiving her teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education, Angela taught for 6 years in the international community of Tokyo and set up her own afterschool program focused on music, arts and math for bilingual children.
Leo V. Bosner
M.S.W., Director of Training, Education, and Research, International Institute of Global Resilience (IIGR), Bethesda, Maryland
Leo Bosner is Director of Training, Education, and Research at the International Institute of Global Resilience (IIGR), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and improving emergency management and disaster resilience, with a special focus on Japan and on Japan – U.S. cooperation in disasters. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer in the Emergency Medical Systems Graduate School of Kokushikan University in Tama, Japan. Prior to joining IIGR in 2013, he was an Emergency Management Specialist with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from 1979 until his retirement in 2008. At FEMA, he helped plan for and respond to emergencies and disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and terrorist incidents. His work included writing portions of the U.S. Federal Response Plan and portions of FEMA’s State and Local Guide for Emergency Operations Planning. His particular area of focus was interagency coordination in disasters.
Leo first came to Japan in 1996, and from 1999 to 2001 was a Fellow of the Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program. As a Mansfield Fellow, he studied Japanese for a year in Washington, then worked in Japan for one year studying that country’s emergency management system. Since his retirement from FEMA, he has been a frequent lecturer and researcher in Japan, and his work has been published in Japan and in the U.S. Having experienced the immediate aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku disasters while in Japan, he thereafter returned to Japan in 2012 as a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). As a JSPS Fellow, he traveled throughout Japan interviewing numerous Japanese disaster responders and experts to hear about the strengths and shortfalls of the 3/11 disaster response, and wrote a research report based on that study. His report has been the basis of his continued lectures in Japan and in the US.