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Mission of a lifetime

September 30, 2016 1:00 PM
 | 
Barri Bronston bbronst@tulane.edu
  

Emergency supplies such as plastic sheeting and hygiene kits arrive in Manila from USAID's emergency warehouse in Dubai and are transported by the U.S. military to hard-to-reach areas. (Photo from Carol Han, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.)

 

When disaster strikes overseas, be it an earthquake, flood or any other catastrophe, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), immediately steps in to coordinate the U.S. government’s response.

It is a job that requires a caring, talented workforce, and on Tuesday (Oct. 4), representatives of the agency will be on Tulane University’s downtown campus to outline the multiple pathways for students to pursue careers with the OFDA, both in Washington, D.C., and abroad.

The presentation will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Bowers Auditorium, 1555 Poydras St. It is free and open to the public. Featured speakers include Aimee Lauer, division chief for program support, and Amy Shatsoff, information support unit manager.

On average, OFDA responds to about 70 disasters in 56 countries each year, and is currently responding to humanitarian crises in Ethiopia, Syria, Iraq and South Sudan.

“OFDA does amazing work around the world to save the lives of those impacted by disaster,” said Lauer. “I am hoping to leave students with a feeling of what it might be like to be part of that mission.

“Students should walk away with an understanding of potential OFDA career paths in Washington and in the field, how to prepare for those jobs, and where they can find more information and apply.”

Lauer manages OFDA’s budget portfolio, information management, contracts, human resources and information technology functions. She has led the D.C.-based components of the agency’s responses to the Haiti earthquake, the Haiti cholera outbreak and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Shatsoff manages more than 25 information officers who deploy worldwide to provide information support during U.S. government responses to natural disasters and complex emergencies.

On average, OFDA responds to about 70 disasters in 56 countries each year and is currently responding to humanitarian crises in Ethiopia, Syria, Iraq and South Sudan. 

Tuesday’s presentation is sponsored by the Tulane School of Social Work and the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy’s Humanitarian Affairs Society. For more information, contact Meredith Feike at mfeike@tulane.edu or at 504-314-7052.