Elizabeth Hausler is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Build Change and an expert on resilient building and post-disaster reconstruction. Elizabeth’s leadership has grown Build Change from a few employees in 2004 to over 230 strong working on 3 continents in 2018. Her emphasis on rebuilding to withstand future disasters has profoundly influenced global development policy by making resilience a major consideration for reconstruction efforts. Her extensive field experience in the developing world, including a Fulbright Scholarship in India, led Elizabeth to found Build Change to ensure reconstruction efforts would be safe and sustainable. She is recipient of many honors, including the 2011 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Schwab Foundation and, with Build Change at large, a 2017 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2018, she received the University of California, Berkeley’s Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award. She holds a Ph.D. from UC-Berkeley in Civil Engineering, as well as an M.S. degree from the University of Colorado and a B.S. from the University of Illinois. She has lectured on disaster resistant construction in venues around the world and she and Build Change’s work have been featured in some of the world’s leading media outlets.
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- Hybrid Social Enterprise
- Engineering and Construction; Global Risks; Education and Skills
- Areas of Impact
- South Asia, North America, Latin America, ASEAN, Colombia, Haiti, Indonesia, Guatemala, Philippines, Nepal
Build Change saves lives in earthquakes and windstorms by working with people in emerging nations to build houses and schools that do not collapse in them. Build Change is a proven, systems change catalyst in the field of disaster-resilient housing and schools, having helped to revolutionize how NGOs rebuild houses after disasters. Now, focused on prevention, Build Change brings together their money-technology-people theory of change to disaster-prone countries. The right building or retrofitting technology has to be locally available, culturally appropriate, affordable, and easy to implement using local skills and tools.
Build Change works in post-disaster reconstruction in Indonesia, Haiti, the Philippines, Nepal and the Caribbean, and works in Colombia and Guatemala to strengthen buildings before a disaster strikes. Build Change supports homeowners, schools, local construction workers, governments and the international community through various activities and technical assistance. Build Change provides technical assistance to homeowners and school committees that (re)build their homes and schools through training and supervision. Build Change develops and conducts hands-on training on safe construction practices for engineers and construction professionals to ensure that the right skills are available on the local market. Build Change works with governments and develops technical resources, guides and tools to increase the access to practices and standards for construction professionals, engineers and other stakeholders. Build Change organizes information sessions with communities to spread information on the importance of using good construction materials, good construction professionals, and good practices to protect their families in safe homes.
Thus far, through its work, the organization has achieved 55,500 safer buildings, 291,000 safer people, 16,500 jobs created, 36,500 people trained, and 51 organizations changed.