On 1 January 2013 Prof. David Johnston, Senior Scientist at GNS Science (New Zealand’s Geological Survey) and Director of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research in the School of Psychology at Massey University, Wellington, assumed the role of Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme, a body on which he has served since 2008.
Dr Johnston’s own research has developed as part of a multi-disciplinary theoretical and applied research programme, involving the collaboration of natural and social scientists from several organizations and countries. It focuses on human responses to volcano, tsunami and weather warnings, crisis decision-making and the role of public education and participation in building community resilience and recovery.
Dr Johnston takes over from Dr Sálvano Briceño (Venezuela) who stepped down for personal reasons to become one of three IRDR Vice-Chairs.
IRDR is an international, multidisciplinary research initiative of ten years’ duration sponsored by ICSU, in company with the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR).