David Alexander is currently Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College London (UCL). He was formerly Chief Senior Scientist at the Global Risk Forum in Davos, Switzerland (2011-12), Ministerial Contract Professor at the University of Florence in Italy (2005-11) and Professor of Geography at the University of Massachusetts (1981-2002).
A highly respected figure in his field, he has authored several books including Natural Disasters
, Confronting Catastrophe
and Principles of Emergency Planning and Management
, described as "a must-have for anyone in emergency management". He is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Co-Editor of Disasters journal, and a Founding Fellow of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.
David Alexander also teaches emergency planning and management and for many years has taught courses on how to formulate and apply emergency plans, both generally and in the context of different contingencies and sectors. These include business continuity, cultural heritage protection, medical emergency response and industrial disaster management.
He is Visiting Professor at the Universities of Bournemouth and Northumbria in the UK, Lund in Sweden and is also Adjunct Research Fellow at the Global Risk Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His teaching mainly centres on holistic aspects of disaster risk reduction and practical matters relating to emergency planning and management.
A trained geographer and geomorphologist, for more than three decades David Alexander has maintained teaching and research interests in natural hazards and their consequences. He is particularly interested in the characterisation and assessment of vulnerability to major hazards. In his work on earthquake epidemiology, he has studied the causes and patterns of mortality and morbidity (death and injury) in major seismic events.
Having published numerous research papers, he is now conducting research into methods of emergency planning and management and on theoretical modelling of disasters. Recently, he has written about the 2013 Costa Concordia shipwreck, the 2010 Icelandic volcanic eruption and its implications for transport planning, as well as building cultural models of people's reactions to the threat of disaster.
From his bases in London and Florence, Italy, David Alexander takes his responsibility to share knowledge, experience and views seriously. He is the author of an active blog
and an accomplished public speaker on his specialist subjects.
He is an acknowledged authority on topics such as emergency planning and management, disaster management, earthquakes (interdisciplinary aspects), crisis management, risk assessment, natural hazards and geomorphology.