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Humanity Road Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary, New Board Members
By: Humanity Road
BOYDTON, Va. - Jan. 23, 2020 - PRLog -- Humanity Road, a Virginia-based disaster response organization that helped pioneer the use of social media for humanitarian support, is celebrating 10 years of worldwide operations in January and welcoming four new members to its Board of Directors.
"The use of social media and digital listening for disaster response efforts has changed dramatically in the past decade, but there is still so much work to do," said Christine Thompson, Humanity Road's president and co-founder. "As we look forward to our next decade of operations, we believe our new board members — and our many other partners, volunteers, and supporters — can help us navigate the ever-changing digital landscape to provide even greater support to those in need."
Humanity Road's four new directors bring decades of disaster response expertise, honed in military, government, and industry crisis response organizations. Joining the board are:
- Jose Beitia — Mr. Beitia has supported U.S. federal response to international disasters for eight years, including more than five large-scale disaster responses and disaster risk reduction activities in more than 15 countries. Over his career, Mr. Beitia's roles have included systems trainer, technical communications specialist, and regional operations manager for the Department of Commerce, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of State. He holds a bachelor's degree in management information systems from Atlantic University College.
- Dr. Joyce "JB" Blanchard — Dr. Blanchard joined the Defense Department's Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance in 2014, and serves as a senior disaster management and humanitarian assistance advisor specializing in crisis action planning and civil-military coordination in the Asia-Pacific Region. Dr. Blanchard retired as a U.S. Navy officer following 27 years on active duty, spending her final seven years on the staff of the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. There she held the positions of deputy for functional plans, crisis action and exercise planner, and served as the Pacific Fleet's civil-military coordinator. Dr. Blanchard holds a bachelor's degree in geography, master's degree in foreign affairs, and doctorate in organizational leadership.
- Scott "Cobra" Keefer — Mr. Keefer is a retired U.S. Army officer with extensive and diverse experience as a Civil-Military Operations Officer during global humanitarian and disaster response operations. Mr. Keefer currently leads the all-hazards exercise program at a major financial institution, designing and developing training events that provide opportunities to practice disaster response and business continuity plans and procedures. Mr. Keefer also brings prior board experience to Humanity Road, having served as the Board President for the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, a 501(c)(19) veterans organization. During his military career, Mr. Keefer participated in combat, disaster response, and humanitarian operations around the world, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Cuba, Iraq, Kosovo, and the United States. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science and government from Clarion State University.
- Katie Nelson — Ms. Nelson is the social media and public relations coordinator at the Mountain View Police Department in Northern California. Since 2015, Ms. Nelson has managed the department's social media accounts and outreach campaigns, focusing primarily on the department's engagement efforts, as well as serving as the agency's public information officer. She presents across the country on social media best practices and crisis communication strategies, serves as an instructor with the California Office of Emergency Services, and is the secretary of the International Association of Chiefs of Police PIO Section. Prior to joining the department, Katie was an award-winning journalist covering public safety in the Bay Area. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature from the University of California, Berkeley.
During the past 10 years, Humanity Road has been honored for its efforts by numerous influential organizations, including the United Nations Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In 2018, Christine Thompson was honored by TIAA as one of the top 100 Difference Makers in the United States.
Humanity Road continues to connect people, animals and emergency officials with help and resources when disaster strikes, using the power of the Internet to gather and share information and aid during times of crisis. To learn more about our online situation reports and other relief efforts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at www.humanityroad.org.
New Board of Directors
- Washington Post - Jul 2019 Forced from Paradise - Leaving home after one of America's deadliest wildfires
- Business Wire - Oct 2018 TIAA Unveils Difference Maker 100 Recognizing Extraordinary People
- Fast Company - Sep 2018 How Facebook's Disaster Maps is helping Aid Organizations serve people affected by Florence
- The Day - Sep 2017 Cadets Create Maps to Help Coast Guard with Harvey
- Department of Homeland Security - Jan 2017 Best Practices for incorporating Social Media into Exercises
- Armed with Science - Sep 2016 Pacific Endeavor 2016 Integrates Real-World Lessons, New Capability
- U.S. Dept of Defense - Aug 2016 Training Exercise Integrates Real World Lessons
- Huffington Post - Jan 2016 How Digital Humanitarians Are Closing the Gaps in Worldwide Disaster Response
NBC News - Jun 2015 FEMA Taps Google, Microsoft For Disaster-Response Tech Team
Government Technology Jul 2013 First Responders Experiment with Social Media in Disaster Response
Emergency Management Magazine - Jan 2013 Using Social Media to Enhance Situational Awareness
CNN - Aug 2012 How to Include Pets in your family emergency plan
- Emergency Journalism - Dec 2012 Philippines: Google Crisis Map for Typhoon Pablo (Bopha)
- CNN - Dec 2011 Social Networks - The New Resource to Monitor Diseases
- USA Today - Apr 2011 The World To The Rescue – USA Today
- The Takeaway - Nov 2010 Digital First Responders Fight Cholera in Haiti