Meet the Executives

  • Ray Shirkhodai, Executive Director

    Ray Shirkhodai, Executive Director

    Ray Shirkhodai provides leadership and oversight for PDC’s operation, management, administration, and program development. He joined PDC in January 2002 as Chief of Information Systems and also served as Chief Operating Officer prior to his appointment as Executive Director in 2006. Shirkhodai has overseen PDC’s expansion into the global hazard and risk information markets and directed the development of DisasterAWARE and Disaster Alert, PDC’s flagship early warning tool and mobile application, respectively. His experience in information management and senior leadership includes corporate governance, executive management, strategic planning, program development, and management of web-based applications and Information Technology infrastructure.

  • Chris Chiesa, Deputy Executive Director

    Chris Chiesa, Deputy Executive Director

    Chris Chiesa is responsible for PDC operations and program development, as well as client services. Since joining PDC in 2002, he has led the establishment and development of enterprise geospatial data services, the Center's GIS-based "Global Hazards and Vulnerabilities Atlas," and the PDC-hosted "Global Hazards Information Network," a geospatial information sharing service. During the past decade, Chiesa has been actively involved in disaster management activities throughout the Asia-Pacific region, directing programs in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. He is an active member of APEC’s Emergency Preparedness Working Group and Chairs the Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) Navigators Council. He has previously served as PDC’s Chief Information Officer and Director of the Data and Information Resources Division.

  • Scott Okada, Director of Finance & Administration

    Scott Okada, Director of Finance & Administration

    Scott Okada is responsible for PDC’s fiscal planning and management in all areas of budgeting, financial analysis, procurement, and business information technology applications. He has experience and training as a financial forecaster, auditor, tax-compliance officer, and report compiler for national and governmental organizations. His experience also includes high-level oversight of human resources management and loss prevention, as well as cash management and cost control functions.

  • Heather Bell, Director of Applied Science

    Heather Bell, Director of Applied Science

    Dr. Heather Bell leads risk and vulnerability assessment, modeling, and GIS analysis groups for PDC. She and her team develop information products and services that help inform disaster risk reduction decisions and humanitarian assistance initiatives at multiple levels. Recent contributions include leading a global risk assessment project, supporting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2010 – 2015, and leading an APEC Workshop on Hazard Mapping and Risk and Vulnerability Assessment.

  • Tristan N. Chitty, Director of Information Technology

    Tristan N. Chitty, Director of Information Technology

    Tristan Chitty is responsible for emerging and existing technology – including all aspects of software applications, computing, networking, and security. His work encompasses design, development, hardware, strategy, and implementation activities. He serves as the project director for the development and deployment of the DisasterAWARE platform, which includes the Global Hazards Atlas and Disaster Alert mobile app. Chitty is an accomplished business leader with extensive executive-level technology management experience in both domestic and international markets. 

  • Erin Hughey, Director of Disaster Services

    Erin Hughey, Director of Disaster Services

    Dr. Erin Hughey is responsible for bridging disaster risk research and practice by integrating the most recent advances in disaster risk reduction into national disaster plans and training curriculum. During her time at PDC, she has developed a six-course disaster management curriculum for the nation of Vietnam, provided technical support to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and developed a series of three knowledge exchanges between The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the U.S. Government, in support of USNORTHCOM, and worked with USSOUTHCOM to enhance DisasterAWARE.