Vitaly I. Khalturin
Research Seismologist | United Institute of Physics of the Earth | Moscow, Russia
"Those who saw the effects of the 1949 earthquake in Tadjikistan, who saw the landslide that was triggered, instantly burying a town of 20,000—we know the problem. But only someone trusted from the outside, like GHI, has been able to bring us together to help us develop and implement a plan for what needs to be done."
Former Senior Regional Advisor | Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance | Manila, Philippines
"I admire GHI because no one else is doing the independent, objective work they're doing. GHI has the advantage of being non-governmental, which gives them flexibility. They're not constrained by bureaucracy or politics — so they can offer expertise, provide access to a network, bring resources together — and do all those things with integrity."
Shiva B. Pradhanang
President | National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET) | Nepal
"In GHI's project, unlike most I have observed, the vast majority of project funds was spent here, in Nepal. GHI not only brought technical expertise, but perhaps more important, introduced processes where decisions are made in the open, on the basis of merit and by consensus."
Shirley Mattingly (left)
Former Director | Region IX U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency | Lahaina, Hawaii
"In managing responses to fires, floods, and earthquakes in California and the Pacific, I have seen lives shattered, families separated, and neighborhoods turned to rubble. This experience taught me that human suffering can be greatly lessened through measures we already know and understand. I work with GHI to apply my experience where it is needed most."
Saturo Ohya (right)
Senior Advisor and Former President | OYO Corporation | Japan
"I have worked closely with people on the GHI staff for more than a decade, and have come to appreciate their deep personal commitment and honesty. They are unique in successfully bringing together geology, seismology, earthquake engineering, urban planning, and city management. These are the reasons I support GHI."
Sanu Kumari Nepal
Director | Kanya Mandin Secondary School | Kathmandu, Nepal
"I am the guardian of 1,000 children in a fifty-year old, two-story brick school that has not, unfortunately, been adequately maintained. Ten years ago, a distant, moderate earthquake produced a crack in my classroom’s wall so large that my students and I could see the garden outside. Since then, I have known what would happen to my school—and my children—in a large earthquake, unless we prepare."
Professor Kenji Ishihara
Former President | International Society of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering | Tokyo, Japan
"For too long, developing countries have taken earthquake destruction and the consequent loss of life as a given. I believe we can help break away from this belief by building awareness of the risks - and what can be done to mitigate them - among individuals, policy-makers, and city planners. GHI is in a unique position to educate and encourage local city officers and planners to develop and implement plans."
Professor James C. Van Horne (left)
A.P. Giannini Professor of Banking and Finance | Graduate School of Business | Stanford University
"I've looked at the financial implications of earthquake damage on the Japanese and U.S. marketplaces, and seen firsthand the consequences of not being prepared after the great earthquake near Valparaiso, Chile. GHI's work addresses the human aspect, by reducing loss of life, and the economic aspect, by demonstrating that an ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure."
Mrs. Tama Suyama
Founding Partner | OYO Corporation | Tokyo, Japan
"Throughout his life, my husband believed that the fortunate should give back to the community. Thus, when he heard of the desire to create an organization like GHI, he wanted to help. He witnessed GHI's launch, but died before its pilot project in Quito was completed and before all of GHI's subsequent progress. Because I know he would have been pleased with what GHI has become and its promise, I have decided to contribute to GHI in my husband's memory. Supporting GHI is our way of returning something to the world community."
Director | Escuela Municipal “Eugenio Espejo” | Quito, Ecuador
"We try to give our students a good academic foundation, but we also need to worry about their safety. Now, we are training them on what to do during an earthquake, so that we will be prepared."
Former Senior Human Settlements Advisor | United Nations Center for Human Settlements (HABITAT) | Fukuoka, Japan
"In the 1988 Nepal earthquake, the destruction of 14,000 classrooms was significant, but more so was the fact that 300,000 children couldn’t go to school for years afterwards. When an earthquake destroys schools, it takes away the children’s future —and with it, the future of the country itself."
L. Thomas Tobin (right)
Former Executive Director | California Seismic Safety Commission | Mill Valley, California
"I’ve stood in Armenia on a spot where a school had stood just a week before—and 600 children’s lives were lost. This experience drove home the need to blend the human dimension with the traditional economic view. GHI offers a solid, realistic approach to change, one devoid of political, financial, or religious agendas. In working with GHI, I have the opportunity to save tens of thousands of lives."
Senior Expert | International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, United Nations | Geneva, Switzerland
"GHI has helped us understand how to turn advanced technologies into practical tools. For example, thanks to GHI's advice, the United Nation's RADIUS project, which aims to reduce urban seismic risk in developing countries, is now able to serve more cities, more quickly."
Vice Dean and Professor | Department of Civil Engineering | Escuela Politécnica Nacional| Quito, Ecuador
"In working with GHI on Quito’s earthquake risk, I learned that engineers and scientists must work with the community’s politicians, emergency response personnel, and businessmen. By serving on GHI’s Board of Advisors, I can share our experience in solving problems with other communities."
Dr. Mihran S. Agbabian (left)
Fred Champion Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering | University of Southern California | President Emeritus | American University of Armenia
"In 1988, I visited the earthquake zone in Armenia, and what I saw affected me deeply. That earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake had similar magnitudes — yet California lost 63 people, while Armenia lost 25,000! Saving human lives is what GHI is about."
Dr. Kenzo Toki (left)
Dean and Professor | School of Engineering, Kyoto University | Kyoto, Japan
"Working with GHI is one way I can apply the lessons I have learned in Japan to more vulnerable, less wealthy countries. GHI is unique in its focus on the most important of these lessons: the need for on-going public awareness and for strong community institutions."
Dr. James N. Brune (right)
Professor and Former Director of the Seismological Laboratory | University of Nevada
"I've been doing research on earthquake hazards for a long time, and it's always been important to me that my work have a social benefit. What's exciting about working with GHI, particularly on schools, is that we can — with a modest amount of money — make a difference."
Chairman | Aga Khan Housing Board for Pakistan | Karachi, Pakistan
"We want to work with GHI in order to learn methods of increasing earthquake safety that have been tested and proven effective elsewhere. Through GHI we can share valuable experiences with earthquake-threatened communities around the world."
Dr. Chen Yong
Professor | State Seismological Bureau | Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Beijing, China
"In the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, more than half a million people lost their lives. When I entered the city early in the morning after the earthquake, the city was in rubble, dust hung in the air, and survivors sat on curbs, covered with dirt and blood, in stunned silence. That scene still haunts me. I joined GHI’s Board of Advisors in order to share the lessons I learned in Tangshan with others at risk around the world."
Dr. Haresh C. Shah
Obayashi Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Former Chairman | Civil Engineering Department | Stanford University
"It is time to commit expertise and resources to the problems faced by developing countries. GHI does so by providing education, awareness, and networking in these countries. This is what motivated my joining GHI's Board of Trustees, and my willingness to make a personal commitment of support."