Brent H. Woodworth, CDRP, EMS, IRCMS

Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation (President and CEO)

900 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(818) 585-5995
E-mails: Brent.Woodworth@LAEPF.org , Brent@GlobalDisasterman.com

• Consultant
• Speaker
• Author

International risk and crisis management consulting; Humanitarian relief services; Government and community stakeholder partnership development.

Distinguished Appointments and Board Positions:( Government, Academic, Foundation)

  • Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation www.laepf.org- Pres. & CEO
  • NIBS (National Institute of Building Sciences) www.nibs.org – Board Member
  • NEHRP(National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program) – Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction www.nehrp.gov – Board Member
  • MMC (Multihazard Mitigation Council) www.nibs.org/mmc/mmchome - Chairman
  • Sahana Software Foundation www.SahanaFoundation.org – Chairman
  • American Red Cross – Southern California Region – Board Member
  • National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council - Project Board Member
  • University of Colorado, Boulder, Natural Hazards Center – Advisory Board

General Background:

Mr. Woodworth is a well known leader in global risk, crisis management, community relations and collaborative partnership development. He has a distinguished history of working with governments, private sector corporations, and non-profit organizations. In December 2007 he took his retirement from IBM after 32 years of service which included the development and management of all worldwide crisis response team operations. Notable achievements include:
  • Founder and manager of “The IBM Crisis Response Team” – a team of independent international specialists (on-call 24x7x365) focused on helping governments and businesses to be prepared, respond, and recover from catastrophic events. Brent has extensive experience in managing teams of private sector, government sector, academic, medical personnel, and operational specialists. Brent and his team have responded to over 70 major crisis events in 49 countries including: floods, earthquakes, hurricanes / cyclones, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, fires, man-made events, wars, civil unrest, and acts of terrorism.
  • Managed all IBM Crisis Response Team strategic offerings, divisions, departments, and budgets with full profit and loss responsibility.
  • Developed international community relations outreach programs for IBM humanitarian relief and crisis management.
  • Founder and co-developer of the “Sahana” international crisis management system. Contributions included: initial concept creation, high-level design, building a collaborative support base, and roll-out. “Sahana” is the acknowledged leader in global free open source crisis management systems. “Sahana” has been successfully deployed in over 20 countries and is the recipient of multiple open source awards for excellence. (Brent is currently Chairman of the Sahana Software Foundation)
  • Developed independent business enterprise risk management procedures and programs for early identification and mitigation of potential exposures. These programs have been successfully implemented at Fortune 500 company global locations reducing financial loss impact by over 2/3 per incident.
  • Co-Author of the US government guiding principles for natural hazards reduction along with multiple research studies and position papers.
  • Chairman of the US Congressional mandated study on the benefits of government and private sector investment in pre-disaster mitigation. (MMC Study validated a 4:1 benefit-cost ratio on mitigation investment) Delivered US Congressional testimony along with State agency testimony on mitigation.
  • Developed the “Decision Triage” methodology to improve the quality and effectiveness of decision making during times of extreme stress and crisis.
  • Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRII) in 2007, 2008.

Brent consults on a global basis with business leaders, elected officials, government agencies, and heads of state in the development and implementation of improved risk identification, disaster management, community resilience, and global humanitarian relief services.

Brent has a strong record of working in a collaborative and diplomatic manner while achieving tangible / measurable results in the public and private sector environment. He has over 20 years of experience working closely with senior government officials and department heads in Washington DC and throughout the world. Brent is well known as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and executive leader in helping local communities, cities, states, and federal agencies prepare for, respond to, and recover from major catastrophic events. Brent has utilized his first-hand global risk and crisis management experience to help corporate executives and government leaders effectively manage complex operations during times of extreme stress. Brent’s management techniques include building consensus, setting priorities, mediation, coordination, stakeholder collaboration, and breaking complex issues into manageable implementable tasks.

The Director of the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Division and the Mayor asked Brent to establish the Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation in 2007 as a role model for collaborative community preparedness and resilience. Brent’s approach was to build a non-profit foundation linking participating businesses with like-minded charities, academic institutions, faith based organizations, citizen groups, media, and government agencies. LAEPF recently coordinated the opening of the new $100M Emergency Operations Center for the City of Los Angeles and has been designated as the official coordinating agency for the City Business Operations Center.

Brent is certified in disaster recovery, business continuity, incident management (NIMS and ICS), disaster communications, search & rescue, and emergency medical services. He is a regularly featured speaker on radio and television broadcasts along with industry conferences, government sessions, and senior executive / board meetings. Brent has written multiple articles on disaster management and has been a guest lecturer at colleges and universities including Caltech, MIT, Stanford, Wharton School of Business, US Naval Postgraduate Academy, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and Yale Law Schools. Brent and his team have worked for many years in cooperation with international UN relief agencies and NGO’s including WHO, WFP, OCHA, World Bank, UNHCR, World Vision, International Red Cross, and USAID.

International Recognition

  • 2001 – Brent was named by Contingency Planning & Management magazine to their “Hall of Fame” for his distinguished industry leadership, dedication, and international humanitarian efforts. Brent was recognized for “reducing the impact of global suffering whenever and wherever disaster strikes”.
  • 2002 - Brent was awarded the Computerworld Magazine Honors “Laureate” for his role in the September 11th emergency management support efforts at the NY City Emergency Operations Center and at Ground Zero.
  • 2003 – Brent was selected by DHS to serve as Chairman of the American Lifeline Alliance (all major US utilities and lifelines) committee meetings on critical facility resiliency and collaborative information sharing.
  • 2005 – Brent and his Crisis Response Team were recipients of the government of Sri-Lanka humanitarian award for their contribution to the Tsunami relief effort.
  • 2006 – Brent receives the PPBI (public private businesses inc.) achievement award for his leadership in responding to international disasters.
  • 2009 – Brent receives the State of California Legislature Assembly “Certificate of Recognition” for the work performed by the Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation.

International Crisis Response (representative subset of global crisis experience):

9/11 Brent led a 60 person Crisis Team providing direct on-site support to the NYC Mayor’s office, Office of Emergency Management, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Agency Commissioners and senior staff members inside the Pier 92 Emergency Operation Center. Early communication support efforts included implementing a reliable mobile communications system for critical personnel. Over 1000 “Blackberry” hand held devices were distributed and made operational for secure communications including email support. Key decision support system needs were identified and rapidly developed to meet the requirements of the incident management team. DMORT systems were implemented to manage fatality tracking. Systems were also put in place for department linkage, inventory and volunteer management. The on-site team remained active for over three months. Brent and his team also provided assistance in drafting the initial funding requests submitted to the State of NY and onward to the Federal government per the provisions of the Stafford Act.

2005 Tsunami:

On January 2, 2005 Brent led a team of over 600 individuals in response to the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Brent managed humanitarian relief operations involving private sector corporations, academic institutions, UN personnel and multiple others operating in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Efforts included the development and management of customized damage assessment reporting, victim registration, missing person tracking, resource management, logistics management, child protection, and psychological trauma management training. Advanced communication systems were deployed to provide reliable high speed data and voice communication in remote locations. Critical incident management, multi-agency strategy, and recovery consulting services were also delivered by Brent and his team. Social, political and coordination efforts included bringing together heads of state with multiple UN agencies, NGO’s, and donating countries to build integrated solutions for long term resiliency.

Hurricane Katrina:

In September 2005, Brent and his team responded to the Hurricane Katrina and Rita disaster in Louisiana and Mississippi. Brent and his team provided leadership and support services to multiple government agencies and private sector companies. Brent’s team is credited with helping the LSU education system to obtain an initial FEMA grant of over $60M within the first few weeks following the disaster. This was the first major grant approved and funded by FEMA in response to Hurricane Katrina. Brent’s team was recognized in the “What Went Right” section of the Congressional report: “The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned”.

Pakistan Earthquake:

In October 2005, Brent and his team responded to the 7.6 magnitude Pakistan earthquake. Brent led members of the Crisis Response Team into some of the hardest hit areas in the Kashmir region working closely with senior government officials including the Prime Minister, Senators, Ministers and commanding military personnel. Brent and his team provided the government of Pakistan with customized crisis management software solutions, equipment, medicine, and trauma consulting. At the request of the Prime Minister and the office of the President, Brent developed a written report reviewing the Pakistan government handling of the crisis. The report was very well received and posted for public review on the official Pakistan government website. Brent was also asked to make recommendations to the senior government council assigned to address recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Peru Earthquake and Bangladesh Cyclone:

In August 2007, Brent and his team responded to the 8.0 magnitude earthquake in Peru. The Crisis Response Team worked directly with the Prime Minister and his support team in the successful implementation of the Sahana international crisis management system (open source). This effort was repeated in November 2007 when Brent and his team again were successful in establishing Sahana as the crisis management system for the government of Bangladesh

Brent continues to lead and participate in projects and meetings with heads of state, elected government officials, agency directors, senior corporate executives, and global leaders focused on an all-hazards approach to disaster preparedness.

Haiti 2010 Earthquake:

As Chairman of the Sahana Software Foundation, Brent and the Sahana team began multiple collaborative support efforts within 24 hours of the event. These systems included: Responding Organization Registry, Missing Person Registry, Situation Mapping, Request Management System, Disaster Victim Identification Registry, Volunteer Management System, Shelter Registry, and other customized modules and reports. The Sahana team worked closely with multiple agencies and organizations including: US Southern Command, Ushahid, Haiti Inter-Action Agency, and others. Most notably, the World Food Program (UN) has contracted with Sahana for the development of customized support systems to manage their relief efforts in Haiti and future events. Sahana programmers and FOSS (free open source software) community members throughout the world participated in this project.

Publications (partial list):

  • “Building Community Disaster Resilience Through Private-Public Collaboration”: February 2011 – Published by the US National Academy of Sciences – Brent Woodworth - coauthor
  • “Anticipate, Respond, Recover“ – February 2011 – Brent Woodworth contributing author
  • “Emergency Management & Tactical Response Operations” – Intro by Brent Woodworth: June 2008
  • “Sahana, from dream to reality”: April, 2007 – whitepaper – Brent Woodworth
  • “Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves” – US Congressional Mandated Study - Independent Study to Assess the Future Savings from Mitigation: December 2005 – Brent Woodworth ,Committee Chairman
  • “Pakistan Earthquake – Report to the Prime Minister”: October 2005 – published on Government of Pakistan national web site - Brent Woodworth
  • “Global Diplomacy and International Relief Partnerships”: September 2005 – whitepaper – Brent Woodworth
  • “Tsunami – a description of the Crisis Response Team relief efforts immediately following the Indian Ocean Tsunami”: June 2005 – whitepaper – Brent Woodworth
  • “The Importance of Information Technology and Telecommunications support in Crisis Management”: May, 2005 – whitepaper – Brent Woodworth
  • “Top 10 Disaster Preparedness Tips”: Computerworld- October, 2004 – Brent Woodworth
  • “Civilian Handbook of Survival Techniques” June 2000 – Brent Woodworth, co-author


  • "The Cost Effectiveness of Disaster Mitigation”: testimony given to The State of Florida Department of Financial Services & Insurance Commission - January 2006
  • “ Crisis Management Leadership”: testimony given to The State of California Little Hoover Commission – February, 2006
  • “The Benefits of Investing in Pre-disaster Mitigation” – testimony given to US Congressional subcommittee – April, 2008

Education Background:

  • University of Southampton, England: Archeology (advanced study - undergrad program)
  • California State University Northridge: Biochemistry (undergrad studies)
  • University of Southern California: Marketing Management (B.S. January 1976)
  • Boy Scouts of America – Eagle Scout (1965)