Desiree Matel-Anderson

Desiree Matel-Anderson is the chief wrangler of the Field Innovation Team (FIT) and CEO of the Global Disaster Innovation Group, LLC. FIT has deployed teams to several disasters including the Boston Marathon bombing, assisting at the scene with social media analysis; the Moore, Oklahoma, tornadoes, leading coding solutions; the Philippines Typhoon Haiyan, through the building of cellular connectivity heat maps; and the Oso, Washington, mudslides, with unmanned aerial system flights, which resulted in a 3D print of the topography for incident command. The team also deploys to humanitarian crises, which has included running a robot petting zoo at the US/Mexico border and leading a women empowerment recovery movement after the Nepal earthquakes. Recently, her team deployed to Lebanon for the Syrian Refugee Crisis, supporting artificial intelligence for access to health care, establishing the power grid, and empowering refugees through evacuation routes utilizing 360-degree virtual reality capture video.

Previously, Desi was the first chief innovation advisor at FEMA. Desi lectures on innovation at Harvard, Yale and UC Berkeley, and serves as consultant on innovative practices and infrastructure for agencies and governments. Desi attended the National Preparedness Leadership Institute at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and School of Public Health and served on the advisory board of Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Institute in 2013. She holds a Juris Doctorate from Northern Illinois University.