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CSIS Launches Pennington Family Foundation Series on Disasters and Community Resilience

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce the launch of the CSIS-Pennington Family Foundation Series on Disasters and Community Resilience, a partnership between the Center and the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Family Foundation of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Made possible in part with support from Walmart, the CSIS-Pennington Series is a forum for government officials, experts, academics, philanthropists, nongovernmental organizations, and business and community leaders to discuss strengthening the resilience of communities in disaster-prone areas from the perspectives of different sectors, including philanthropy, business, and policy.

"Our experiences in Louisiana with Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and most recently Isaac, have taught us that while attention has been directed towards critical, short-term responses to disasters, relatively little attention is paid to long-term recovery and the entire lifecycle of disasters," said Lori J. Bertman, president and CEO of the Irene W. and C.B Pennington Foundation of Baton Rouge. "By focusing strategy on the entire lifecycle of disasters, prospects for the long-term health of the community are exponentially increased."

Disasters cost the world more than $380 billion in 2011, making it the most costly year on record in terms of damage. As disasters continue to affect nations across the globe, decimating homes and livelihoods, it is important to explore not only community disaster readiness but also short-term disaster assistance as well as the long-term efforts vital for the resilience of affected communities.

Series events will take place quarterly and will touch upon such topics as

- How to move toward more effective philanthropic efforts to support community resilience through cross-sector coordination

- The role of business and private industry in disaster preparedness

- Supply chain and private sector resilience

- Crisis leadership for disaster resilience.

The series will be led by CSIS senior fellow and Homeland Security Program director Rick "Ozzie" Nelson.

"Hurricane Sandy showed with devastating effect how disasters directly impact the security and wellbeing of our citizens," Nelson said. "In order for communities to rebuild, it takes not only a concerted effort from government but the wider philanthropic and business communities as well. I am proud that CSIS is part of elevating the policy dialogue on this issue and aiding in the discussion from preparedness all the way to long-term, post-disaster recovery."

The series will launch on December 13, 2012, at CSIS (1800 K Street, NW, Washington, DC) from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., with a reception to follow from 7-8:00 p.m. Additional forums and supporting research will be conducted throughout the year.

The forum on December 13 (rescheduled from October 29th), moderated by Ms. Bertman, will focus on providing effective cross-sector philanthropic support following a disaster and will feature a discussion with:

- Bob Ottenhoff , president and CEO, Center for Disaster Philanthropy

- Steve Dozier, vice president for Corporate Services, Walmart

-Tony Pipa, deputy assistant to the administrator, Bureau of Policy, Planning, and Learning, USAID

- Dr. David Abramson, deputy director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University

- Joe Ruiz, director, UPS Foundation Humanitarian Relief Program.

As well as addressing the issues of more effective disaster philanthropy, the four-part conference series will also explore the role of business in long-term disaster preparedness, supply chain and private sector resilience, and crisis leadership for disaster resilience. In addition to the series of events, CSIS will publish supporting analytic papers on the topics and produce a robust array of multimedia, including video interviews and podcasts.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and policy solutions to decisionmakers.

SOURCE Center for Strategic and International Studies

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