Walter J. Ammann

President and CEO

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Dr Walter J. Ammann Founder and President of the Foundation Global Risk Forum GRF Davos and Chairman of the International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC Davos, obtained his MSc in Civil Engineering and his PhD in structural dynamics and earthquake engineering both at ETH Zurich. He started his professional career in various consulting companies for geotechnics and foundation engineering, earthquake engineering and bridge construction. From 1986 - 1992 he was responsible for the R&D-department of a globally acting company in construction technologies. From 1992 to 2007, he was director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos and Deputy Director of the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL in Birmensdorf. He is an expert in integrative risk management and its applications to all kinds of natural hazards and technical risks, in particular by considering the entire risk cycle with prevention, preparedness, intervention and recovery, risk financing tools, but also emergency management and communication tools with a focus on early warning, crisis management, critical infrastructures, and resilience increase. Climate change related hazards and risks, their adaptation and mitigation and their harmonization with disaster and risk reduction is of particular concern for him. He is author and co-author of over 250 papers, books and scientific reports and is a member of various national and international professional associations and expert consulting groups like the UN-ISDR Science and Technology Council and is Visiting Professor at HIT in Harbin, China.

James Glover

Research Scientist

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Dr. James Glover holds a Bachelor in Geology and Ph.D. in Geomechanics from the University of Durham, England. His doctoral research explored rock-shape and its role in rockfall runout dynamics, which he conducted within the RAMMS modelling group developing numerical tools to predict rockfall, avalanches and debris flows at the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos Switzerland. His research involved developing experimental techniques using motion sensor technology that could be embedded into the centre of mass of rocks capturing the three-dimensional motions of rockfalls; and formed part of a collaborative project between with the SLF and the Institute for Mechanical Systems ETH Zürich to develop a three-dimensional rigid body rockfall model RAMMS::Rockfall. The rockfall model is now applied internationally by hazard specialists and engineers. Prior to completing his Ph.D., James’ research explored the behaviour of barrier systems against rockfall impacts and avalanches. This involved the planning and management of a full scale testing facility for rockfall barrier systems in Switzerland, in specific for the design of rockfall attenuator systems. The work involved the application of detailed video analysis techniques and load sensors to study the mechanical behaviour rock-barrier interactions during impacts. James is an active member of the Transport Research Board, Committee on Engineering Geology AFP10, providing international exchange on rockfall research activities between Europe and the US. His research with rockfalls has lead him to New Zealand where he could assist with the emergency hazard mapping following the Christchurch Earthquakes in 2011 in collaboration with GNS sciences and Canterbury University. James works internationally providing workshops on mountain geohazards and modelling this behaviour.

Jill Portmann

Communication & Events

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Jill is a Junior Marketing Manager and is employed as a communications manager at the Global Risk Forum (GRF Davos) in Davos, Switzerland. She joined GRF Davos in October 2009 as assistant to the CEO.

In the realm of GRF Davos, she organizes conferences and workshops within the scope of the foundation, manages the secreatriat and the human resources of GRF Davos. She further is responsible for GRF Davos’ communication and public relations. Prior to joining GRF Davos, Jill studied 4 semesters business administration at the University of St. Gallen and was employed in the tourism sector of Davos.

Andreas Rechkemmer

Senior Science and Policy Advisor

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Andreas Rechkemmer is chief science and policy advisor of the Global Risk Forum, Davos, Switzerland, and has recently been appointed American Humane Endowed Chair, at the University of Denver. Rechkemmer is a scholar and practitioner of international relations and political science. He has a background in United Nations diplomacy and science-to-practice management, particularly in the areas of global environmental change and climate change, sustainability, human development, and the human and societal dimensions of risk and security. His scholarship also focuses on One Health, a multidisciplinary effort to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment. He is also a professor of human dimensions of natural resources (affiliate faculty) at Colorado State University, a guest professor at Beijing Normal University in China and an adjunct professor at the University of Cologne in Germany.

Badaoui Rouhban

Senior Research Fellow

Badaoui Rouhban is a specialist in disaster risk management. He advises public services, civil societies and non-goverrnmental organizations on capacity-building for disaster resilience. He served for several years at UNESCO, Paris, in the Programmes on natural hazards and the environment and is the former Director of UNESCO’s Unit for Disaster Reduction. He is a Global Risk Forum GRF Davos Senior Research Fellow. Dr Rouhban holds a Doctor of Engineering degree from the University Paris VI and has carried out post-doctoral research in engineering seismology at the Tokyo Institute of Technology

Marc Stal

Senior Project Officer

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Marc Stal (Dipl. Geo) is Senior Project Officer at the Global Risk Forum GRF Davos. At GRF Davos his work focuses on risk, vulnerability and resilience assessment and analysis, harmonising climate change adaptation with disaster risk management and teaching integrative and multidisciplinary disaster and risk science. Moreover, he is the Disaster Risk Reduction focal point and scientific programme coordinator of the International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC and other conferences and workshops organised by GRF Davos.

Susanne Wahlen

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Susanne holds an MSc in Climate Sciences from ETH Zurich and a post-graduate diploma in Risk, Disaster and Resilience from University College London. After graduating from ETH, Susanne worked at the department of air pollution and environmental technology of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology (EMPA), focusing on gas sensing. Her interest in measurement technology led her into the private sector, where she held various positions at international key players in instrumentation and process automation. Susanne then moved on to project and business continuity management and was a part of a crisis management team at an international NGO. At the Global Risk Forum Davos, she is Project Officer focusing on Disaster Risk Reduction and climate change. Further, she is involved in the organization of the IDRC and GRF communications.

External Support

Fabian Ammann

Judith Ammann

Marco Ferrari

Sieglinde Moos

External Support
External Consultant
External Consultant

GRF Davos Research Fellows


David Alexander

Alan March

Stephan Pickl

Badaoui Rouhban