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The Mary Fran Myers Award

Mary Fran Myers

The Mary Fran Myers Award, established in 2002 by the Gender and Disaster Network, recognizes that vulnerability to disasters and mass emergencies is influenced by social, cultural, and economic structures that marginalize women and girls. Research and practice that reduces women’s and girls loss of life, injuries, and property can make a difference. The goal of the Gender and Disaster Network is to promote and encourage such research and practice.

Mary Fran Myers, Co-Director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder received the Award in 2002. The Mary Fran Myers Award was so-named in order to recognize her sustained efforts to launch a worldwide network among disaster professionals, for advancing women’s careers and for promoting research on gender issues in disaster research in emergency management and higher education.

Who is Mary Fran Myers?

Mary Fran Myers was codirector of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado for 16 years until her untimely death. Reducing disaster losses, both nationally and internationally, was her life’s work.

During her tenure as codirector, Mary Fran was instrumental in maintaining the Natural Hazards Center’s international reputation as a driving force in hazards research and mitigation. Her work helped to bring about a fundamental change in national and international perspectives regarding hazards and helped institute new, more farsighted, and sustainable ways of dealing with extreme environmental events.

Mary Fran was much more than her job title. She provided leadership, guidance, grace, and laughter, and established a standard of excellence that her colleagues both admired and strived to emulate. She was an innovator, a mentor, and a creative spirit who touched many lives and whose legacy has had a lasting impact on the global hazards community.

(Text from Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado at Boulder)

The latest winner in 2020

Dr Marina Hamidzada's main focus during the past 19 years has been on gender equality and vulnerabilities of Afghan women in different areas. She conducted a nationwide Training of Trainers on Peace Education for young women of government agencies and NGOs. She has been closely working with IDPs and returnee communities in all regions of Afghanistan. Read more here

List of award recipients

Mary Fran Myers Scholarship

Each summer, the Natural Hazards Center hosts an invitational Hazards Research and Applications Workshop in Colorado. The workshop brings together more than 400 members of the hazards community who are working to alleviate the pain and loss inflicted by disasters. Read more.