The Role of Data in Disaster Preparedness and Response

March 30, 2021

The Role of Data in Disaster Preparedness and Response

How can data science transform how we prepare for and respond to disasters?

April 28th, 10pm EST - 12am US Eastern Time

(April 29th, 8am - 10am Bhutan Time)


In this webinar, leading physicians and data science experts will discuss how can data science transform how we prepare for and respond to disasters.

Register Here

Sponsoring Organizations

This event is hosted by MIT Critical Data, the Bhutan Institute of Happiness, the Asia eHealth Information Network, and the Global Alliance for Medical Innovation.

AeHIN bhutan IOH MIT Critical Data gami

Speaker Bios:

Speaker Bios
Wangmo Dr. Pandup Tshering
Dr. Pandup Tshering is the Health Secretary of Bhutan, having served as the Director-General of Medical Services at Bhutan’s Ministry of Health. As the Director of the Department of Public Health (which includes Non-Communicable Disease, Communicable Disease, and Health Promotion Divisions), he had the opportunity to guide and work closely with various national sectors and development partners in preparing the following national documents: National multisectroal NCDs Action Plan; National Suicide Prevention Strategy; National Policy on Alcohol Harm Reduction; National Food Security and Nutrition Strategy, National Disability Strategy; and National Mental Health Strategy.
Balsari Satchit Balsari, MD, MPH
Dr. Satchit Balsari is Assistant Professor in emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and in Global Health and Population, at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. He is faculty at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, where his research has contributed to advocacy on behalf of vulnerable populations affected by disasters and humanitarian crises. Until March 2017, he served as chief of the Global Emergency Medicine Division at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. His interdisciplinary interests in mobile technology, disaster response, and population health have been informed by his clinical practice in New York City and his field work around the world. His research has resulted in innovative applications of mobile, cloud- based technology to address public health challenges in mass gatherings, disasters, and humanitarian crises. Balsari’s signature initiatives include project EMcounter (a customizable, portable digital surveillance tool, the latest iteration of which was used at the world’s largest mass gathering, the Kumbh Mela in India) and Voices, a crowd-sourced, online disaster response analysis tool. In 2018, in collaboration with Professor Caroline Buckee (Epidemiology), he co-led the Hurricane Maria Mortality Study.
Celi Leo Anthony Celi, MD, MSc, MPH
Leo Anthony Celi has practiced medicine in three continents, giving him broad perspectives in healthcare delivery. As clinical research director and principal research scientist at the MIT Laboratory of Computational Physiology (LCP), he brings together clinicians and data scientists to support research using data routinely collected in the intensive care unit (ICU). His group built and maintains the Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care (MIMIC) database. This public-access database has been meticulously de-identified and is freely shared online with the research community. It is an unparalleled research resource; over 2000 investigators from more than 30 countries have free access to the clinical data under a data use agreement. In 2016, LCP partnered with Philips eICU Research Institute to host the eICU database with more than 2 million ICU patients admitted across the United States. The goal is to scale the database globally and build an international collaborative research community around health data analytics.
Tshering Kinga Tshering
Kinga Tshering is a former Member of Parliament in the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Bhutan, and completed his mid-career Masters in Public Administration (MPA) at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2017. He has experience in national legislation and politics, organization building and restructuring in the energy sector with state enterprises like the Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC), Bhutan Electricity Authority (BEA), and Druk Holding and Investments (DHI). He also has experience in the financial sector, banking, energy and infrastructure projects in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer and a Board Member. Kinga led corporate restructuring, change management, strategy, and social enterprises, and is looking forward to making a profound impact and transformative change on the society through innovation in democracy, governance, and integration of the HAPPINESS index into mainstream economic theory and development works in the emerging nations. As a politician from a Buddhist country that transitioned from a religious monarchy to secular democracy in 2008, Kinga is planning to use his studies in multi-faith and Buddhist practices to navigate through political campaigns with conflicts, competing constituency demands and beliefs that could otherwise form deep political cleavages. He recently founded the Institute of Happiness (IoH)- in Bhutan to further promote his cause through policy dialogue and leadership training.
Dorji Sangay Thinley Dorji
Sangay Thinley Dorji has been working as a consultant in the areas of programme monitoring, evaluation and assessment. Currently he is involved with working with young people in a cooperative and developing cooperative farms in the country. He has also served as the Vice President for youth affaris in Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (political party). Prior to which he was engaged with the UN system in Bhutan working in areas of Disaster Management, Education and Environment. He has also been teaching entrepreneurship to undergraduates at the Royal Thimphu College. While engaged with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, he has also co-authored a paper on green bonds published by the IISD and also contributed towards a publication on Sustainable Consumption and Production in Bhutan. Sangay completed his undergraduate degree from Sherubtse College and went on to obtain an MBA from Assumption University of Thailand and a Master of Environmental Management from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University.
Marcelo Alvin B. Marcelo
Dr. Alvin B. Marcelo is a general and trauma surgeon by training who is currently chief medical information officer of the St. Luke’s Medical Center and executive director of the Asia eHealth Information Network ( Prior to this, he served as senior vice-president and chief information officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). As the director of the University of the Philippines Manila National Telehealth Center and chief of the Medical Informatics Unit, Dr. Marcelo established the Master of Science in Health Informatics program and conducts local and international research in the field of eHealth and health information systems development. He took his postdoctoral fellowship in medical informatics at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland with research interests in telepathology, mobile computing, and bibliometric analysis of MEDLINE content. He is certified in the governance of enterprise IT (CGEIT -, The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF -, and Archimate, and COBIT5 Foundation/Implementation.
Lee Meredith Lee, PhD
Meredith Lee is the Chief Technical Advisor to the Associate Provost of Computing, Data Science, and Society at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work focuses on technical foundations, applications, and implications of computing, information, and data, spanning multidisciplinary areas such as health and medicine, climate and sustainability, and human welfare and social justice. Under the Obama Administration, she led the White House Innovation for Disaster Response & Recovery Initiative and guided strategic data science research programs. Dr. Lee was previously the Founding Executive Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) West Big Data Innovation Hub, where she and her team launched public-private partnerships including global programs across academia, industry, and government. Earlier in her career, she served as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, contributing to interagency initiatives through,,, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Science and Technology Council. Meredith holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection. Dr. Lee serves on the Board of Directors for the California Water Data Consortium, the Advisory Committees for NASA DIRECT-STEM and the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) Data Transformation Initiative, and the National Leadership Council for the Society for Science and the Public. Her work has been featured by, ArsTechnica, The Washington Post, Forbes, WIRED, Harvard Data Science Review, Bloomberg, and Nature.
Loh Lawrence Loh
Dr. Lawrence Loh is Medical Officer of Health for Peel Public Health, which is the second largest public health department in the province of Ontario serving the communities of Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon in the Greater Toronto Area. Prior to his current role, he held positions at all three levels of government in Canada in two different provinces, serving as medical specialist in Vaccine Safety at the Public Health Agency of Canada, Medical Health Officer for Fraser Health Authority greater Vancouver, British Columbia, and Senior Medical Consultant to the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario. He completed medical training at the University of Western Ontario and Public Health and Preventive Medicine residency at the University of Toronto, during which he concurrently completely Family Medicine training at St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto and an MPH at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He holds board certifications in family medicine in Canada and in public health and preventive medicine in Canada and the United States. He lives in Toronto with his wife Jaime and his daughters Jessica and Lia.
Gichoya Judy Gichoya
Dr. Gichoya is a multidisciplinary researcher, trained as both an informatician and an Interventional radiologist. She is an assistant professor at Emory university in Interventional Radiology and Informatics. She is also a DATA scholar at the NIH where she serves as the liaison between NBIB and Fogarty to help with the Open Data Science Platform (OSDP) component of the DSI Africa Initiative to “Harness Data Science for Health In Africa”. With an extensive experience with open source communities and contextual knowledge in Africa, she hopes to leverage her skills to build capacity for data science in Africa. Dr. Gichoya’s research interests include global health and studying clinical disparities for minimally invasive procedures, validating machine learning models for health in real clinical settings, exploring explainability, fairness, and a specific focus on how algorithms fail.
Majumder Maia Majumder
Maia Majumder, M.P.H., Ph.D. is a ladder-rank faculty member in the Computational Health Informatics Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, as well as course faculty in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program. Her current research interests involve probabilistic modeling, artificial intelligence, and “systems epidemiology” in the context of public health, with a focus on emerging epidemics and digital data streams (e.g. search trends; news and social media). She also enjoys exploring novel techniques for data procurement, writing about data for the general public, and creating meaningful data visualizations.
Jain Shrey Jain
Engineering Science student from the University of Toronto, Shrey Jain is the founder and president of FLATTEN – an international not-for-profit focused on facilitating data-driven solutions to support communities fight against COVID-19. Shrey works in the Machine Learning for Health Research Group at the Vector Institute of Technology as well as competes for age group Team Canada Triathlon.