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GEM Governing Board Meeting June 2023


Jun 30, 2023

The GEM Governing Board meeting was held from June 15-16 in Bergamo, Italy. The meeting was highlighted by the confirmation of Helen Crowley as GEM Secretary General starting August 1st, replacing John Schneider. John who has held the Secretary General position since February 2016 will move to an advisory role.

The June meeting included a meeting of the new GEM Advisory Board: below from left: Laurie Johnson (Laurie Johnson Consulting - expert in post-disaster recovery), Shanna McClain (NASA, Disasters Program Manager) and Sangeeta Singh (Professor of Urban Planning and Deputy Director of Centre for Disaster Studies Tribhuvan University - Institute of Engineering, Nepal).  The Advisory Board will provide advice on topics such as earthquake model validation, exposure model development and urban risk assessment and planning. 

Key discussions and recommendations included:

  • There is a wide demand for development of GEM products and services leveraging the global hazard and risk models.  The Secretariat is scoping the development costs and working with sponsors and others to define user requirements and funding opportunities.

  • Delivery of GEM data and hazard/risk modelling results through an API is gaining interest.  GEM is currently testing an API for global hazard curves with several prospective clients.

  • As identified in GEM’s strategic plan, the effects of secondary hazards (especially tsunami, landslide and liquefaction) are an important to a complete understanding of earthquake risk.  While some progress has been made, there is work to be done to determine how to capture the risk effectively on a global scale.  

  • The February earthquakes in Turkey raised considerable interest in the potential for GEM to provide impact estimates rapidly to assist disaster relief operations.  GEM is now working with the USGS, the European ARISTOTLE project and other organisations to expand its current capability. 

  • Sponsors expressed interest in working with GEM on a number of projects aimed at improving hazard and risk assessment capabilities.  The priorities for this work and the extent to which such developments would require additional funding is to be determined.

John Schneider presented reflections of his 7-½ years of leading the GEM Secretariat, which included the release of the first global earthquake hazard and risk maps (2018) and culminated in the second major release in June 2023. More on GEM accomplishments in this period are summarised in John’s Story at ['s-impact-on-global-seismic-understanding]

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