Walter J. Ammann

President and CEO

Opens window for sending emailwalter.ammann(at)

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.

Andreas Rechkemmer

Senior Science and Policy Advisor

Opens window for sending emailandreas.rechkemmer(at)

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.

GRF Davos Research Fellows

David Alexander

Professor, UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London, UK

David Alexander is Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College London. His books include "Natural Disasters", "Confronting Catastrophe", "Principles of Emergency Planning and Management", "Recovery from Disaster" (with Ian Davis) and "How to Write an Emergency Plan". He is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

His research and teaching interests include natural hazards, earthquake disasters, culture and disasters, and emergency planning and management. David Alexander is Vice-President of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.

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

Michael Havbro Faber Nielsen

Michael Havbro Faber Nielsen is Professor in the area of Risk Informed Decision Support for Structures at the Department of Civil Engineering at Aalborg University, Denmark. Prior to this position he was head of the Department of Civil Engineering from 2011-2015. In the period from 2000-2011 he was tenured professor and head of the group on Risk and Safety at ETH, Zurich, Switzerland.

His research interests are directed on decision theory, risk assessment, resilience, sustainability, global catastrophic risks, uncertainty modeling, life safety management, Bayesian probability theory and applied statistics. Application areas include offshore installations, ship structures, bridges, tunnels, buildings, roadway traffic systems and space structures as well as management of natural hazards.

His industrial experience mostly originates from COWI, Denmark, Det Norske Veritas, Norway and on-going consultancy work through the specialist consulting company Matrisk GmbH of which he is a founding partner since 2001.

He has taken leadership in several international committees, including: The Joint Committee on Structural Safety (JCSS);past president, the International Forum on Engineering Decision Making (IFED); founding and acting president, the ISO 2394 Principles of Reliability of Structures; convener, the international Civil Engineering Reliability and Risk Association (CERRA); president, The World Economic Forum, member of Global Expert Network on Risk and Resilience, the OECD High Level Risk Forum and is elected member of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV) since 2012.


Alan March

Dr Alan March is Associate Professor in Urban Planning & Design. He is Associate Dean (Undergraduate) in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning and is Director of the Bachelor of Environments at the University of Melbourne. Alan has a Bachelor degree (Dist.) in Urban and Regional Planning, a Masters of Town and Country Planning and a PhD (Urban Planning). He is a Certified Practicing Planner with full membership of the Planning Institute of Australia. He has practiced since 1991 in a broad range of private sector and government settings and has had roles in statutory and strategic planning, advocacy, and urban design. He has also worked as a planner in Western Australia, the UK, New South Wales and Victoria. Alan’s recent publications and research include examination of the practical governance mechanisms of planning and urban design, in particular the ways that planning systems can successfully manage change and transition as circumstances change to incorporate risk among a range of wider concerns. Alan’s 2012 book The Democratic Plan examines planning systems and the challenges they face in making decisions in complex institutional and democratic settings. He is particularly interested in the ways that strategic planning can modify outcomes, and undertakes research into urban design and governance. His current work considers the ways that urban planning is seeking to establish new ways to spatialise urban management. He has a number of recent publications that deal with urban planning and disaster risk reduction and has a particular focus on wildfire. Alan recently established a number of new university qualifications that incorporate risk management into built environment professional education.

Stefan Pickl

Chair for Operations Research Management Safety & Security AllianceCOMTESSA Computer Science Faculty, Core Competence Center C3 for Operations Research, Universität der Bundeswehr, Munich, Germany

Professor Stefan Pickl studied mathematics, electrical engineering, and philosophy at TU Darmstadt and EPFL Lausanne 1987-93. Dipl.-Ing. ’93, Doctorate 1998 with award. Assistant Professor at Cologne University (Dr. habil. 2005; venia legendi "Mathematics"). Visiting Professor at University of New Mexico (U.S.A.), University Graz (Austria), Universiti Brunei, University of California at Berkeley, Naval Postgraduate School NPS Monterey (U.S.A.).  Visiting scientist at SANDIA, Los Alamos National Lab, Santa Fe Institute for Complex Systems and MIT. Associated with Centre for the Advanced Study of Algorithms CASA (U.S.A.), Center for Network Innovation and Experimentation CENETIX. Foundation and Director of COMTESSA (Core Competence Center C3 for Operations Research, Management Safety & Security Alliance), member of MUNICH AEROSPACE, HOLM (House of Logistics and Mobility) and research branch “Humanitarian Logistics”/ “Integrative Risk Assessment Future ICT”.

External Support

Fabian Ammann

Head IT

Judith Ammann

External Support

Marco Ferrari

External Consultant

Sieglinde Moos

External Consultant

Angela Dolder