Absolute Disasters | About the Author

About the Author


James Shepherd-Barron is one the world’s most experienced disaster management consultants. He has been involved in 27 disaster responses[1] over the past 20 years, and has consulted with a wide range of international aid agencies[2] and governments at director and ministerial level. He is also one of a handful of qualified ‘disaster epidemiologists’. This is a unique combination.


James is also an experienced coordinator, having led Health, Shelter, Water-Sanitation-Hygiene, and Early Recovery Clusters[3] in nine of the world’s largest disaster responses, most recently during the 2013-2014 Typhoon Haiyan response in The Philippines. In the past few years, he has also acted as senior humanitarian adviser for the UK government’s Department for International Development in Libya, Turkey (for the Syria crisis), and Nepal and was Special Adviser to Sierra Leone’s Minister of Health at the beginning of the Ebola crisis.


When not coordinating, writing or lecturing, James advises international aid agencies and governments on how to reduce the risk posed by natural hazards … and then on how to manage response and recovery operations when all else has failed, and disaster has ensued.


He has an MSc in International Health and Epidemiology, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in public health by the government of Albania following his work during the Kosovo crisis in the late 1990’s. Until recently, he was a ‘visiting research fellow’ at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, and was CARE International’s first Global Director of Emergency Response. He currently advises and co-chairs the Cash Management Industry’s ‘Cash Access in Crises Committee’.


[1] Croatia, Bosnia, Burundi, Rwanda, Albania, Kosovo, Iraq, Chad, Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Georgia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India, Thailand, Libya, Turkey, Syria, Honduras, Haiti, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nepal

[2] European Commission (ECHO), UK Government (DFID), Red Cross (IFRC), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), United Nations (OCHA, UNICEF, UNDP, WHO), CARE International.

[3] He has been a Cluster Coordinator a record nine times for Health, Shelter, Water-Sanitation-Hygiene, Protection, and Early Recovery.


Contact the Author

You can contact James at the following email address: info@absolutedisasters.com