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Making ready for disasters, earlier than it’s too late


All too usually, the work of growing world catastrophe and local weather resiliency occurs when catastrophe—equivalent to a hurricane, earthquake, or tsunami—has already ravaged complete cities and torn communities aside. However Elizabeth Petheo, MBA ’14, says that just lately her work has been centered on preparedness. 

It’s exhausting to get consideration for preparedness efforts, explains Petheo, a principal at Miyamoto Worldwide, an engineering and catastrophe danger discount consulting agency. “You possibly can all the time get numerous consideration when there’s a catastrophe occasion, however at that time it’s too late,” she provides. 

Petheo leads the agency’s initiatives and partnerships within the Asia-Pacific area and advises globally on worldwide growth and humanitarian help. She additionally works on preparedness within the Asia-Pacific area with the US Company for Worldwide Improvement. 

“We’re doing programming on the engagement of the non-public sector in catastrophe danger administration in Indonesia, which is a really disaster-prone nation,” she says. “Smaller and medium-sized companies are vital contributors to job creation and financial growth. After they go down, the influence on lives, livelihoods, and the neighborhood’s capability to reply and get well successfully is excessive. We work to strengthen their very own understanding of their danger and that of their surrounding neighborhood, lead them via an action-planning course of to construct resilience, and hyperlink that with bigger coverage initiatives on the nationwide degree.”

Petheo got here to MIT with worldwide management expertise, having managed high-profile world growth and danger mitigation initiatives on the World Financial institution in Washington, DC, in addition to with US authorities companies and worldwide organizations main main world humanitarian responses and groups in Sri Lanka and Haiti. However she says her time at Sloan helped her turn out to be ready for this subsequent section in her profession. “Sloan was the expertise that put all of the items collectively,” she says.

Petheo has maintained sturdy connections with MIT. In 2018, she obtained the Margaret L.A. MacVicar ’65, ScD ’67, Award in recognition of her function beginning and main the MIT Sloan Membership in Washington, DC, and her work as an inaugural member of the Graduate Alumni Council (GAC). She can also be a member of the Associates of the MIT Priscilla King Grey Public Service Heart.

“I imagine deeply within the energy and influence of the Institute’s work and other people,” she says. “The second I graduated, my thought course of was, ‘How can I give again, and the way can I proceed to strengthen the expertise of those that will come after me?’”



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