Ebru Gencer is the Executive Director of the Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (CUDRR+R) and President of the Board of Directors.
Ebru Gencer is an urban planner specialized in disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and sustainable development. She has a Ph.D (Urban Planning) and M.Phil (Urban Planning/Architecture) from Columbia University, New York and MSc (Urban Preservation and Renewal) and Diploma (City and Regional Planning) from Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul.
Dr. Gencer is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, the Co-Chair of the Urban Planning Advisory Group to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction and to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), and a member of the Board of Directors of ISOCARP’s (International Society of City and Regional Planners) Center for Urban Excellence.
Before founding CUDRR+R, Dr. Gencer was involved in DRR and research projects in South-Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Americas and the Caribbean with different capacities. She was the International Consultant for Urban Planning and Disaster Resilience for UNISDR, analyzing disaster risk reduction practices of the local governments in Western Balkans and Turkey. As an associate researcher at CMCC, she worked on developing a toolbox for resiliency profile of cities as part of the EU (FP7) funded CASCADE (Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Water Resources and Human Livelihoods in the Coastal Zones of Small Island Developing States) project. As a think-tank member of the EU CATALYST and a consultant with the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) in Venice, she developed research on the vulnerability characteristics of urban settlements in the Central America and the Caribbean Region.
During her term at Columbia University, Dr. Gencer was an adjunct research scientist where she was the coordinating lead author of a Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Management Report prepared for the Government of the Dominican Republic. Previously, she was a researcher with Columbia U.’s Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics for the “Development of an Integrated Methodology for Risk Assessment and Risk Mitigation of Major Metropolitan Areas Subjected to Natural and Man-Made Hazards,” and an adjunct professor at Columbia U.’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning co-teaching the Urban Planning Studio on Disaster Resilient Planning.
Ebru Gencer’s previous research/work experiences included Informal Settlements Upgrade with the Kadikoy Municipality in Istanbul, Neighborhood Revitalization Project with the Architectural Centre in Vienna and Post-War Reconstruction of Mostar Project with IRCICA. Dr. Gencer is also the previous recipient of the World Bank / ProVention Consortium’s Disaster Risk Reduction Applied Grants and was a Fellow at the UNU-EHS and the Munich Re Foundation’s Academy on Social Vulnerability.
Dr. Gencer has been an invited participant at distinguished events at the Atlantic Council (Washington DC), Future Dialogue (New Delhi), and Keystone Conference (Bonn) among others. She has been a reviewer of several academic journals and the author of scholarly articles and books including A Handbook for Local Government Leaders: How to Make Cities Resilient (UNISDR 2017); Local Government Powers for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR 207); A Compendium of DRR Practices in Cities of the Western Balkans and Turkey (UNISDR and WMO 2014), The Interplay between Urban Development, Vulnerability and Risk Management (Springer 2013), and Natural Disasters, Vulnerability and Sustainable Development (VDM Verlag 2008).