Described as the MacGyver of the disaster world, Desiree (Desi) Matel-Anderson empowers survivors to think beyond their current predicament and disrupt the status quo to build resilience.
The chief wrangler of the Field Innovation Team (FIT), Desi has worked with communities across the world. Some of the projects that she has been involved in include assisting at the scene with social media analysis during the Boston Marathon bombings; deploying drones and 3D print topography maps for incident command after the Oso, Washington, mudslides; using artificial-intelligence robots for psychosocial services in Syrian refugee camps; implementing survivor-to-survivor guides after the Fort McMurray wildfires in Alberta, Canada; and using public-health gaming to educate the Miami-Dade public school system on the Zika virus outbreak.
The first (and now former) chief innovation adviser at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Desi currently serves as a consultant on innovation for agencies and governments, nationally and internationally, including in an advisor role to the European Emergency Management Consortium in UNESCO’s I-REACT team. She was also recently appointed to the United States National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
Desi is also the author of Future Survivor: www.futuresurvivor.org