Dr Robert Glasser is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Honourary Associate Professor at the Australian National University. He was, until earlier this year, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). UNISDR, with over 100 staff located in regional offices around the world, is the focal point in the United Nations system for efforts to reduce climate and disaster risk. He was a member of the Secretary General’s Senior Management Group and the Deputy Secretary General’s Climate Principals Group.
Dr Glasser has 30 years of experience as a practitioner, advocate and policy-maker in the areas of sustainable development, climate change and humanitarian response. Before joining the U.N., he was the Secretary General of CARE International, one of the world’s largest non-governmental humanitarian organisations, with over 10,000 staff active in some 80 countries. From 2003-2007, Dr Glasser was the Chief Executive of CARE Australia. Prior to joining CARE he was Assistant Director General at the Australian Government aid agency (AusAID) where his responsibilities ranged from South East Asia programs to Corporate Policy and Infrastructure and Environment. He has also worked on international energy and climate change policy for the US Department of Energy (Los Alamos National Laboratory), and on peace and conflict issues at a variety of institutions, including the Cornell University Peace Studies Program and the Centre for International and Strategic Affairs at the University of California.
Dr Glasser was previously a board member of the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA), a global alliance of more than 450 national and international organisations focussing on climate change advocacy and he was the Inaugural Board Chairman of the CHS International Alliance, a new organisation resulting from the merger of People in Aid and the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP). His other previous activities include Chair of the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, comprised of the Chief Executives of the major international Non-Government Organisations involved in humanitarian relief; Advisory Panel member of the Climate Vulnerability Monitor; member of the Principals Steering Group of the United Nations Transformative Agenda for Humanitarian Action; and member of the Project Steering Group for the World Economic Forum project on The Future Role of Civil Society.
An Australian national, Dr Glasser has published on a number of topics, including climate change and disaster risk, peace and conflict, and humanitarian policy.
KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: The Cascading Impacts of Climate Change: Implications for Disaster Management
Climate change is dramatically increasing the frequency and severity of many hazards, but it will be the greatly underappreciated cascading impacts of these hazards that will present the most profound challenges to society in general and disaster management agencies in particular. Dr Glasser will outline the links between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, sketch the implications of cascading hazards and propose measures to prepare for the unprecedented disasters that will result if the planet warms well beyond the commitments countries made in the Paris Climate Agreement.