ICDR Speaker Series


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#17 - Presentation by Dr. Rob Olshansky

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
3:00pm - 4:30pm
PSU Urban Center Building, Room 212 "Parsons Gallery"


[Event description coming soon]




(See photos from past events)

#16 - "Are Those Who Serve Also Prepared? Findings from the Oregon Nonprofit Disaster Preparedness Survey"

Dr. Grace Chikoto-Schultz
, PhD, Assistant Professor, PSU
Jim White, Executive Director, Nonprofit Association of Oregon
Andrew Russo, MPA Candidate, PSU (Speaker Series #13 Presenter)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

>>Download Event Flyer<<

Dr. Chikoto-Schultz and Jim WhiteThe nonprofit sector plays a critical role in society. Nonprofits are essential to the well-being and vibrancy of our communities. They are also regarded as a “critical civic infrastructure” that is essential for the delivery of a range of social services that are key to the livelihoods of the young and elderly, the disabled, those suffering from debilitating illnesses, and those living in poverty within our communities. Nonprofits serve the most vulnerable and strive to fill gaps in our social service system. Not only do nonprofits complement government in the provision of social services, they often are contracted by government agencies to provide many critical public social services. So what happens when these organizations are thrust into a disrupted environment with greatly expanded roles during and after a disaster? How prepared are they to recover and respond in these roles and what level of assurance can we give to their response?

Recently PSU, in collaboration with the Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO), released the Oregon Nonprofit Disaster Preparedness Report. Developed through a participant survey conducted in collaboration with the City Club of Portland’s Earthquake Report Advocacy Committee (CCERAC) and the NAO, the report results are quite revealing regarding how concerned and informed nonprofit respondents are about potential hazards, what actions they have taken to prepare for disasters, as well as their perceived roles should a major disaster like the “Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) Event” occur.

Join us for an in-depth conversation on the survey results and an exchange of ideas on what steps need to be in place to a) remove barriers to disaster preparedness that nonprofits face, and b) ensure resourcing assistance needed for nonprofits to adequately prepare for major disasters.

#15 - Participants of Japan Field Experience

"Learn from Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis"

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
>>View photos from the 2018 trip<<

2018 ICDR Japan Trip Participants Group PhotoIn June of 2018, a group of 10 passionate students and practitioners of diverse disciplines and expertise joined the international field experience program “Learn from Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis”.

This 7-day intensive program took the group on a journey to various communities in the Tohoku (Northeast) region as well as Tokyo, to learn about the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

The group met with community members, local government officials, NPO leaders and academic experts who shared their experiences, taking us from the day of the disaster through the recovery process and what the future holds for their communities. 

On October 16th, the participants shared their stories and takeaways from their perspectives and disciplines, and the audience had an opportunity to ask questions to explore what we can all learn from each other.


#14 - Ric Stephens

"Global Sustainability, Resilience and Regeneration"

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

>>Download Presentation Slides (PDF)<<

Global climate change, global population growth, and global fiscal crises will inevitably result in more frequent and severe disasters threatening environmental, social, economic and cultural sustainability. Numerous international organizations have developed innovative programs and projects addressing these concerns from varying perspectives. 

Our guest will share an overview of guiding principles, key global organizations, their programs, and projections for the future.

Ric Stephens is the President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) and member of numerous international organizations devoted to sustainable development, urban resiliency, and regenerative design. He was an event organizer and panelist for the 2016 Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador; a session organizer and panelist for the 2018 World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and will assist in leading the 2018 World Planning Congress in Bodø, Norway. His work with the United Nations is focused on climate action, the New Urban Agenda, smart cities, Sustainable Development Goals, and urban resilience. Ric received his Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where he taught for 15 years. Ric is currently an adjunct faculty member for several universities in Oregon where he teaches environmental management, global studies, international marketing, urban planning, sustainable development, and unmanned aircraft systems.

ICDR would like to thank PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions for their generous funding of the event. Click here to learn more about the Institute.


#13 - Andrew Russo, 

“Save Lekali: A Micro-Response to the 2015 Nepal Quake”

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018
Video coming soon!

Andrew Russo HeadshotWhen the 7.8M earthquake struck Nepal in 2015, many small villages in remote region were almost completely destroyed. Lekali Coffee farm was in one of them.

What were the successes and failures of the mission to save it, and how was Lekali saved?

Our guest, Andrew Russo, will share his story from an on-the-ground perspective.

Andrew Russo is an MPA student and Graduate Research Assistant at Portland State University who works with Dr. Grace Chikoto-Schultz to research the disaster resiliency of nonprofit organizations.

Before attending Portland State, Andrew earned a BA in History from the University of Central Florida before joining the Army as an Artillery Officer in 2005. He has spent most of his post-military career in specialty coffee, where he roasted and imported coffee, published two books, attained his Q Grader license, and helped new coffee ventures launch and grow. His recent studies and interests were heavily influenced by his experiences with coffee farmers, his time in Afghanistan, and his travels around the world.

ICDR would like to thank PSU's Public Administration Student Association (PASA) for partnering for this event.


#12 - Guests from the Portland Japanese Garden

“Kasagi Project:
The Role of Cultural Artifact in A Resilient Community”

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
(Download Event Flyer)

Video coming soon!

Two guests from the Portland Japanese Garden will share the story of the “Kasagi Project”, a multi-year effort in returning the Shinto gate to its home in Japan, which was found on the Oregon coast in 2013 after being washed away as a result of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Steve Bloom has been the CEO of the Portland Japanese Garden since 2005. Bloom led the formation of a comprehensive ten-year strategic plan which was completed in December of 2016 which has been transformational in its scope and impact on the Garden.  He oversaw the completion of a $33.5 million expansion of the Garden and it’s facilities which dramatically increased national and international visibility and recognition.





Sada Uchiyama PhotoSadafumi “Sada” Uchiyama is the Garden Curator at the Portland Japanese Garden. The traditional apprenticeship in Japanese gardening combined with the formal training in Western landscape architecture allows him to design and build a unique and wide range of private and public landscape projects. Prior to his appointment as the Garden Curator, he also served as a Vice President on the Board of Directors.





“The Role of the U.S. - Japan Alliance:
The Story of 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami”

A special event brought to you by Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and ICDR
SPF Logo

A discussion focusing on the U.S. government response to the disaster that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, with additional insights on the strength of U.S.-Japan relations.

AmbZumwalt_DrLimayeAmbassador James Zumwalt

Ambassador Zumwalt became CEO of the Foundation in February 2017. When the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami struck Japan in 2011, he was serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Tokyo, where he coordinated US support for the Japanese Government’s response to the crisis.





Dr. Satu Limaye

Dr. Limaye is the Director of the East-West Center in Washington. He is also a Senior Advisor at the CNA Corporation, a non-profit research and analysis organization located in Arlington, VA. He is the creator and director of the Asia Matters for America initiative and the founding Editor of the Asia-Pacific Bulletin series.




Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA is a non-profit located in Washington, DC involved in U.S.-Japan relations, providing conferences and seminars, think tank analysis, people-to-people exchanges and coordination of high-level dialogue between the two countries through their in-house and collaborative programs.

The ICDR team would like to thank the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA for introducing the two wonderful speakers and for generously sponsoring the event.


#11 - City of Portland & Energy Trust of Oregon

“Exploring the Nexus between Resilience and Sustainability”

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

(Download event flyer)



The Japanese disaster of 2011 demonstrated that local renewable energy only works during a blackout if it is designed with resilience in mind. The City of Portland is doing just that with solar-plus-storage projects that provide both reliable power during blackouts and clean power throughout the year. 

Andria Jacob, Senior Program Manager the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), oversees the City's nascent efforts to develop a community-wide resilient power plan.

Jonna Papaefthimiou, Planning and Community Resilience Manager for the City of Portland, coordinates citywide planning for disaster response, continuity of operations, and hazard mitigation for both the built and social environments.

Jeni Hall, Senior Project Manager with the Energy Trust of Oregon, works on initiatives that explore the technical, economic, and social benefits from pairing solar with technologies like battery storage.

The panel will be moderated by Dan Bihn, an engineer-storyteller, an educator, writer, and technical liaison for smart and resilient energy systems in the US and Japan.

ICDR would like to thank PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions for their generous funding of the event. Click here to learn more about the Institute.


#10 - Dr. Scott Burns

“Is Portland Ready for the Big One:
Portland’s Past and Future Earthquakes”

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 @ 12:30pm-2:00pm

Event Flyer

Presentation Slides


Dr. Scott Burns will discuss the hazards of and the preparedness for ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides and tsunamis along the subduction zone. What are the differences of recurrence intervals for large earthquakes on the northern and southern margins? How does the chance of crustal, plate and subduction quakes affect building codes, emergency preparedness, siting of critical facilities, building of bridges, and transportation corridors in the region? What can the region expect after a large quake?

Dr. Burns is a Professor Emeritus of Geology and Past-Chair of the Department of Geology at Portland State University. He specializes in environmental and engineering geology, geomorphology, soils, and Quaternary geology. 


#9 - Guests from Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

"The Role of NPOs & Intermediary Organizations
After the Disaster"

Wednesday, August 31st, 2017 @12:00pm-1:30pm

Event Flyer


The guests will share their experiences on how their organizations are contributing to the rebuilding efforts in their communities after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters.

  • Mr. Hideyuki Sasaki, Miyagi University 

“Role and challenges of intermediary support organizations”

  • Mr. Kazushige Monou, NPO Granny Rideto 

“Actions taken by the Sendai City Support Center for Civil Activities” 

  • Mr. Hideki Iwai, Cumulus Institute 

“Community-oriented recovery through dialogue” 

  • Mr. Tadayoshi Iwamoto, Renovation Promotion Council 

“Renovation-driven community development and a new trend in intermediary support”


#8 - Sayaka Fujimura & Ken Sato: 

"The Role of Local Business & NPO in Kesennuma City post-3.11"

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 @ 4:00pm-6:00pm

Event Flyer

Sayaka Fujimura (INDIGO Kesennuma) and Ken Sato (Peace Jam) are both owners/founders of organizations in Kesennuma City, Japan. These organizations were created after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Sayaka and Ken have dedicated their lives to bringing back hope and and community back to the disaster-stricken city. Come listen to the stories of Sayaka Fujimura and Ken Sato as they describe their experiences following the disaster and the creation of their organizations.



Organization Backgrounds:

Sayaka Fujimura is the Owner/Founder of INDIGO Kesennuma, an indigo studio and workshop that produces high quality products that seek to make Aizome-Japanese Traditional Dye approachable for young fashion-conscious consumers in more urban settings like Tokyo or overseas. Entrepreneurial leader established the organization to provide employment for women who are at the stage of raising young children. The employees each bring together their little time to create high profit, and since starting 2 years ago, have built up fame in the diversity employment department in Japan.

Ken Sato is the Owner/Founder for Peace Jam, a cooperative that makes jam and muslin goods for babies. His innovative concept resulted in receipt of international award in 2012. Prime Minister Abe visited the workshop in March, 2017. Entrepreneurial leader provides employment for mothers with young children and provides on-site day care so moms can bring their children to work.


#7 - 2017 Spring Term Japan Trip Cohort

Saturday, July 15th, 2017 @ 3:00pm-5:00pm

Event Flyer

For one week, students and practitioners from the Portland area had the opportunity to embark on a journey to local communities in Tohoku, Japan. There, they were able to learn from survivors, businessmen and intellectuals of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Come listen our students talk about their experiences and stories from their trip to the disaster stricken areas of Iwaki, Sendai, Rikuzentakata, and Ishinomaki.

View on Youtube.




#6 - Stephen Percy, CUPA Dean
& Dr. Teri Martin, Law & Policy Associates

Friday, May 26, 2017

Event Flyer

Two members of the City Club Earthquake Resilience Research Team - Dr. Teri Martin of Law & Policy Associates and Dean Stephen Percy of the PSU College of Urban and Public Affairs - will share findings of the City Club's recent report, "Big Steps Before the Big One: How the Portland Area Can Bounce Back After a Major Earthquake". This report focuses directly on the greater Portland are and explores how residents, businesses, governments and others can prepare for a resilient response to a major Cascadia earthquake off the Oregon Coast. Findings and recommendations include attention to energy, transportation, the built environment, and advancing social resilience.

Stephen Percy is the Dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Portland State University, having arrived at PSU in 2014. While at PSU he has chaired the Strategic Planning Development Team as part of campus strategic planning efforts and the Implementation Advisory Committee for Campus Public Safety.

In all leadership positions he has actively pursued initiatives to promote university-community engagement. His work in community engagement in Milwaukee is outlined in two co-authored books: A Time for Boldness: A Story of Institutional Change and Creating a New Kind of University: Institutionalizing Community-University Engagement. His research interests include public policy and policy implementation, urban politics, disability rights policy, and university-community engagement.


#5 - Steven Eberlein, American Red Cross

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Event Flyer

Steve is the foundations director, seismic hazards preparedness expert and Prepare Out Loud presenter for the American Red Cross Cascades Region.  

The Cascadia earthquake, and preparedness for disasters are topics of special interest to Steve.  He was a witness to the destruction of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in Sri Lanka and he experienced the unexpected Klamath Falls earthquakes in 1993.  

Prior to coming to the Red Cross, Steve lived in Asia for four years where he worked as a disaster relief aid worker and geography teacher. 

Steve’s presentation will practically prepare us for disasters of all kinds (including a Cascadia earthquake), by being vocal about your preparedness and encouraging others to start preparing. Steven will discuss in detail the science and history of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, human behavior during disasters, resources preparation and much more.

ICDR would like to thank PSU Emergency Management for their generous funding of the event. Click here to learn more.


#4 - Dr. Hidehiko Kanegae & Dr. Yusuke Toyoda
Ritsumeikan University, Japan

February 22, 2017

Event flyer

Dr. Hideaki Kanegae, Professor, and Dr. Yusuke Toyoda, Assistant Professor, are faculty members at the Graduate School of Policy Science as well as Research Members of the Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage (R-DMUCH) at Ritsumeikan University, Japan. 

Community Planning for Disaster Mitigation in the Higher Risk Century

Come learn about how recent natural disasters triggered not only a public planning process focused on economic development and environmental management, but also a shift in planning’s emphasis from “sustainability” [SymbioCity Kyoto]
to robustness and “resiliency” [ResilienCity Kyoto], including social and cultural continuity.

This speech introduces examples of community planning for disaster mitigation and preparedness in Kyoto, in Japan and other countries where facing highly frequency of natural disasters in XXI century.







#3 - Dan Bihn

January 20, 2017

Event Flyer

ICDR Guest Speaker: Dan BihnDan Bihn is an engineer-storyteller who translates and communicates complex energy issues to nontechnical audiences through lectures, classes, and interactive eBooks. In 2013, he was an invited speaker at Tohoku University’s symposium for post-Fukushima disaster resilient energy systems. This was followed in early 2014 by a lecture series he gave in Jamaica on “Smart Energy Islands” funded by the Japan Foundation of New York. Dan has spent more than 7 years working and studying as an engineer in Japan. Today, he lives in Portland and frequently travels to Japan in search of important energy stories. He holds a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from UC Davis. 


#2 - Amya Miller

October 13-14, 2016

Event Flyer

ICDR Guest Speaker: Amya MillerAmya Miller was born and raised in Japan to American parents.  She attended both Japanese and international boarding schools as a child.  At age 18 she returned to the US for university and upon graduation worked for a variety of public, and private sector organizations focusing on US-Japan relations.  She returned to Japan to volunteer after the disaster that struck the Tohoku region on March 11, 2011 and has focused her time in the City of Rikuzentakata where she has served as the director of global public relations, special adviser, and this year principle consultant to the city.  She lives in Tokyo with her husband.

Ms. Miller will discuss the efforts made by the city of Rikuzentakata and the people in the community to "recreate" a new Rikuzentakata. She will share some of the lessons learned from the tragedy in terms of building a resilient community as the city faces new and old challenges.   




#1 - Jay Wilson

September 16, 2016

Event Flyer

Jay WICDR Guest Speaker: Jay Wilsonilson is the Resilience Coordinator at Clackamas County Department of Emergency Management, Chair of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC), as well as a Disaster Resilience Fellow with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He has participated as local emergency management practitioner on EERI Government and Societal impacts reconnaissance team for Tohoku, Japan Tsunami disaster. He has provided invited testimony to the U.S. House Science Committee on the development of the 2006 Tsunami Warning and Education Act. He authored an OEM After-Action Report for June 14, 2005 tsunami warning along US West Coast.

Mr. Wilson will share his experience of visiting the Tohoku region Japan where the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami happened in March 2011. This talk will also provide his insight on the importance of establishing a hub for education, research, and international exchange programs that address the important topics of natural disasters. 


Have comments or suggestions for future Speaker Series?
Please contact:

Josh Metzler (jmetzler@pdx.edu) - Program Coordinator, PSU Center for Public Service