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The Center for Southeast Asian Studies organizes and sponsors a number of events such as lectures, film screening, workshops, symposia, conferences, exhibits, and performances throughout the year.  Several of these events are in collaboration with other U-M units, and are often free and open to the public. To see what we have planned for this semester, please visit our 2020 Lecture Series page.

CSEAS Lecture. How Governments Declare Disasters: Thoughts from Southeast Asia

Aaron "Michael" Stern, Foreign Service Officer, USAID
Monday, September 13, 2021
12:00-1:00 PM
1010 Weiser Weiser Hall Map
Open to the public. Register at

This event is followed by:
1:30-2:30 PM EST: Career Talk: A Discussion with Dr. A. Michael Stern on career building in Asian Studies"
In Person at Weiser Hall 1010- see listing on our events page.

Governments most often declare disasters in response to natural events (storms, flooding, earthquakes, etc.) and to a lesser degree other human-generated crises (e.g., internal violent conflicts that cause people to be displaced from their villages). International guidance and the literature on the decision to declare a disaster and appeal for international assistance are mainly technically oriented. However, the political dimensions of these decisions are crucial to understanding what motivates a disaster declaration and when governments are willing to take the sometimes sensitive step of accepting outside help to address the disaster. This talk will draw on the presenter's practical experience with disaster responses internationally, offering thoughts on this question, using examples from Southeast Asia, and addressing the significant intersections between governance and disaster management.

Aaron "Michael" Stern (PhD, University of Michigan) is currently a foreign service officer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He joined USAID in 2007 and has served in Washington, the Philippines, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Frankfurt (supporting Iraq), and Madagascar. He is currently the deputy country representative for USAID in Laos. He received his BA from Columbia University (Economics), his masters from the University of Washington in Seattle (public administration and international relations), and his doctorate from the University of Michigan (political science, comparative politics). He is a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship alumnus and also received a fellowship from the Ford Foundation for area studies work while at the University of Michigan. Before joining USAID, he worked at the US Department of Energy, the University of Michigan, and the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). He also worked as a Researcher at Chulalongkorn University’s Institute of Asian Studies in Bangkok, Thailand.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Career, center for southeast asian studies, Cseas Lecture Series, Discussion, Lecture, Southeast Asia
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Southeast Asian Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures