SOURCE: Save the Children

June 30, 2008 16:04 ET

Save the Children's Mark Shriver Elected to Chair National Commission on Children and Disasters

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 30, 2008) - Members of a new national commission on children and disasters have elected Mark K. Shriver, Vice President and Managing Director of Save the Children's U.S. Programs, as the commission's first chair.

The National Commission on Children and Disasters was created by an act of Congress last December. Shriver and the nine other commissioners (full list below) recently were appointed by President Bush and bipartisan members of the congressional leadership to serve on the commission.

The panel of experts will recommend changes that federal, state and local governments need to make to meet the needs of children in emergency planning, response and recovery efforts.

"This is an incredible opportunity to help kids all across the country. America must do a better job of preparing to meet children's unique needs during disasters," said Shriver.

"In the wake of the devastating flooding in the Midwest and as we start the second month of hurricane season, it is especially important that children's needs -- such as physical and mental health services, functioning child care centers, and continuity of schooling -- are taken into account. The recommendations of the commission will help communities make sure their children are taken care of when disaster strikes."

Save the Children has decades of experience working with children in humanitarian and disaster relief efforts around the world, but Hurricane Katrina clearly demonstrated that there was no national mandate to safeguard children before, during and after disasters. Save the Children led a coalition of nonprofit organizations in advocating for the legislation and mobilizing support for the creation of a National Commission on Children and Disasters.

Large-scale disasters are on the rise in the United States. The number of Presidential disaster declarations has risen steadily over the past two decades from 38 to an average of 57 per year.

Below is a complete list of the commission's members:

--  Chairman:  Mark K. Shriver - Vice President and Managing Director of
    Save the Children's U.S. Programs
--  Vice Chairman: Dr. Michael Anderson - Assistant Professor, Case
    Western Reserve University; Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital
--  Ernie Allen - Co-Founder, President & CEO, National Center for Missing
    & Exploited Children
--  Merry Carlson - Emergency Management Specialist, State of Alaska,
    Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
--  Hon. Sheila Leslie - Member, Nevada General Assembly; Specialty Courts
    Coordinator, 2nd Judicial District Court
--  Bruce Lockwood - Public Health Emergency Response Coordinator, Bristol-
    Burlington Health District
--  Graydon "Gregg" Lord - Sr. Policy Analyst, Homeland Security Policy
    Institute, George Washington University
--  Dr. Irwin Redlener - Professor of Clinical Public Health and
    Pediatrics, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; Director,
    National Center for Disaster Preparedness
--  Dr. David Schonfeld - Director, Division of Developmental and
    Behavioral Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center;
    Director, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement
--  Lawrence Tan - Chief, Emergency Medical Services Division, New Castle
    County Department of Public Safety

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Mike Kiernan