Advancing Awareness, Transparency & Education for Greater Resilience in the Built Environment

Who We Are

Resilience Action Fund (RAF) is a US 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2015.

Resilience Action Fund (International) (RAF-I) is a UK charitable non-profit organization founded in 2016.

Our purpose is educating and guiding consumers and policy-makers to create stronger, more resilient homes and communities, able to withstand natural and climate hazards. This closely aligns with the goals of the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction: 2015-2030, signed by 187 countries in 2015. The COP21 Paris Agreement echoes the need for climate adaptation. RAF believes that hazard-resilient development practices are a critical and an often missing piece of green building policies.
RAF and RAF-I coordinate with a growing network of government institutions, leading universities, public-interest entities, insurance organizations, corporations, and grassroots advocacy groups to promote more resilient building policies and practices through awareness, research, and education.

What We Do

RAF and RAF-I are creating an endowment fund and intend to work synergistically on programs along four main axes: Publications, Education, Research, Action.

A network of leading universities, public-interest entities, insurance-related organizations, grassroots action groups and product/service providers, is being assembled to collaboratively execute various segments of the program. RAF-I will focus on international dimensions.

The organizations’ objectives include communicating the mission’s concepts, issues and programs in a language that can be easily understood by common people and made useful at personal, business and community levels.

It also includes acting as a public-interest watchdog with regards to building policies, codes and practices, highlighting both commendable (‘Hall of Fame’) and not-commendable (‘Hall of Shame’) actions.

Our Mission Focus

RAF and RAF-I both focus on resilience in the built environment (all private, commercial, institutional and public buildings and structures) for the following reasons:
The built environment is the ‘front line of defense’ against natural and other hazards. When it fails, humans, contents and encompassed activities are all exposed.
The built environment is humanity’s largest asset class in terms of value and represents a significant investment in natural resources.
Over the next half century, significant investment is forecast in the built environments of both developing and developed economies.
The built environment has experienced an escalating rate of failure in recent decades.
A resilient built environment is a key component for creating a sustainable future.
Resilience Action Fund - Aris Papadopoulos - Founder



Founding Chair

Aris Papadopoulos is founder and chair of Resilience Action Fund and Resilience Action Fund (International). He authored the book: ‘Resilience–The Ultimate Sustainability: Lessons from Failing to Develop a Stronger and Safer Built Environment’. He is a World Trade Center 9-11 survivor.

Aris holds the position of Distinguished Expert in Resilience at Florida International University’s Extreme Events Institute (FIU-EEI), serves on the Board of the United Nations Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (UN-ARISE), and was founding chair (2011) of the UN International Strategy on Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR) Private Sector Advisory Group. He represented the private sector at the 3rd UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and played an active role in developing the ‘Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-30’. He advocated the cause of resilience and disaster risk reduction in the built environment before four UN Global Platform Conferences and at Rio+20.

Aris has 35 years of experience in the construction, materials and energy industries. Until 2019 he chaired the board of ST Equipment & Technology (STET), a worldwide provider of industrial waste reclamation and water conservation equipment and technology solutions. In 2014 he retired from Titan America, a US building materials company, after serving as CEO for 20 years.

He was founding chair of the Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative (2009) and past chair of the Portland Cement Association. In 2013 he received the American Concrete Institute’s Sustainability Award. He served on the board of CTL Group, a construction research and consultancy firm, the editorial board of the US Green Concrete Council, and the advisory board of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub.
Aris earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees from MIT in Chemical Engineering (1978) and an MBA from Harvard University (1985). He lives in Miami, Florida and is a steward at the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church.
He enjoys speaking at relevant business, association or non-profit events on disaster risk reduction and resilience. In lieu of an honorarium, he will speak for a sufficient book order to RAF, plus travel expenses. Please contact for details and availability.



Founding Advisor

Margareta Wahlstrom, a founding advisor of Resilience Action Fund (International), has over 30 years of extensive national and international experience in humanitarian relief operations in disaster areas, and institution-building to strengthen national capacity for disaster preparedness, response and risk reduction.
In late 2015 she retired as UN Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Disaster Reduction, having led the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) since 2008. In that capacity she served as global ambassador for the cause of disaster prevention and risk reduction.

Margareta played an instrumental role in the development and adoption of the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030, signed in March 2015 by 187 countries. This milestone agreement is referenced in the COP21 Paris Agreement, which contained the strongest ever call for climate adaptation.

Her prior contributions include serving as Assistant-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (2004-2008), UN Special Coordinator for the Assistance to the Tsunami-Affected Communities (2004-2005), Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Relief, Recovery and Rehabilitation, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (2003-2004) and Under-Secretary-General for Disaster Response and Operations and Deputy Director Operations, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (1995-2000).

Margareta has an academic background in economic history, political science, social anthropology, archaeology and philosophy of science. She speaks English, Swedish, French and Spanish.
She enjoys speaking at relevant business, association and non-profit events on disaster risk reduction and resilience. Please contact for rates and availability.
Resilience Action Fund - Margareta Wahlstrom - Director




Director, RAF



Director, RAF



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Founding Director, RAF



Founding Director RAF-I, Director, RAF



Founding Director RAF-I



Founding Director, RAF