Bio

Donna Childs is the founder and chief executive officer of Prisere LLC, recognized in the 2011 GEW 50, the 50 most innovative start-ups of the year selected by the Kauffman Foundation for recognition during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Prisere LLC builds capacity for climate and disaster risk resilience. This year to date, 2017, Prisere LLC has led projects in Sri Lanka and Pakistan for the Asian Development Bank and in Turkey for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. 

Prior to starting Prisere, Donna had lived in Zurich where she was a senior executive of the Swiss Reinsurance Company, a leading global reinsurer of property-casualty and life-health risks. As a reinsurance executive, Donna's responsibilities included advising governments and major corporations in respect of their risk management and operational continuity strategies and indeed, she dealt with disasters around the world on a daily basis. This experience proved critical when Donna found herself quite literally at Ground Zero in the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11 when the planes struck the towers. She also lived in the shadow of the WTC (Battery Park City) and owned and operated her first venture near the WTC. In addition to being a human tragedy, 9/11 was an economic catastrophe for Lower Manhattan small businesses, as few were prepared to work through the extreme disruptions. Donna's was among the fortunate few for being prepared, thanks to her reinsurance background, and is featured in the "Ready for Business" campaign of the Department of Homeland Security for its exceptional readiness. To help others with the benefit of her experience, Donna wrote a book published by John Wiley & Sons Inc. soon after 9/11. "Prepare for the Worst, Plan for the Best: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery" is now in the second edition. 

The Hurricane Recovery Director of the American Red Cross honored Donna's volunteer work to help small businesses in the Gulf Coast states recover from Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Ike. In 2007, the National Association of Women Business Owners named Donna its "Woman Business Owner of the Year" and she is one of three U.S. women included in the International Women's Economic Challenge. 

Donna serves as the risk partnership advisor to the Climate Change Group within the World Bank's Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. Donna was formerly a senior columnist for Dow Jones Newswires where she wrote columns on insurance and risk management topics. She completed an executive education program on climate change and energy policymaking at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She holds a B.S. from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia Business School and is a graduate of the Owner President Management program of the Harvard Business School. Donna began her career as a research associate at the Harvard Business School where she developed case studies, industry briefs and teaching notes on topics related to insurance and risk management. She has 25 years of experience working on insurance and risk management, particularly as relates to climate change.

Sub-specialties: Insurance (small business commercial insurance, health insurance, enterprise risk, government insurance schemes), Business risk management, Insurance for climate risk impacts, Disaster preparedness, response and recovery

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