Col. Brian Ward founded Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in 1986 with a clear vision: To make communities throughout safer by preparing for disasters before they hit. Twenty-six years ago, disaster management in Asia focused primarily on emergency response, rather than pre-empting loss and damages through preparedness. Through decades of experience in the field, Col. Ward experienced the problems with a response-based approach to disaster management, first-hand. Understanding that Asian communities would only be safe from disasters if fully prepared, he established Asian Disaster Preparedness Center to build capacities of governments and people directly on the front-line of annual disasters.
During his time as the center's director, he provided vision and insight, motivating professionals in the field to build a safer Asia. Furthermore, he encouraged young professionals to pursue disaster risk reduction as a career. He actively sought to enable government authorities to engage more productively in reducing possible disaster losses.
The Brian Ward Memorial Lecture is a series of lectures held annually to honor the memory of Brian Ward for his vision of a safer Asia, and outstanding personal dedication and commitment to the field of disaster risk reduction. The lecture features distinguished guests who shares their experiences in disaster risk reduction and implores them to contribute advice for the future of the field in Asia-Pacific. The guest lecturers are chosen each year from leading practitioners and decision makers in disaster risk reduction.