Aaron Clark-Ginsberg

Photo of Aaron Clark-Ginsberg
Behavioral/Social Scientist
Off Site Office

Education

B.A. in American studies, Kenyon College; B.A. in environmental studies, Kenyon College; M.S. in humanitarian action, University College Dublin; Ph.D. in humanitarian action, University College Dublin

Overview

Aaron Clark-Ginsberg (he/him) is a behavioral/social scientist at the RAND Corporation who has been researching disasters for more than 10 years. His projects span the disasters gambit, with a recent focus on three primary areas of inquiry: disasters and community, disasters and health, and disasters and measurement. Clark-Ginsberg leads projects and has published broadly in these areas. He also leads RAND's Mass Migration Strategy Group, where he supports RAND's community of researchers engaging in mass migration. Clark-Ginsberg earned his Ph.D. at University College Dublin; his dissertation focused on disaster governance, and included fieldwork in 10 developing countries with the international NGO Concern Worldwide. Before joining RAND, Clark-Ginsberg was a postdoc researching critical infrastructure cybersecurity regulations at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Commentary

  • Lower Ninth Ward area residents walk by the reconstructed wall of a levee at the Lower Ninth Ward canal in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 16, 2015, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Hurricane Ida Is Part of a Cycle of Disasters—Mitigating Their Impact Means Building Back Better

    Building back better means focusing on recovery that not only restores damage from a disaster but also reduces future risk. To meet that goal today, we need to look at the ways our disaster preparedness and response systems actually create risk themselves, by reinforcing things like wealth inequality, systemic discrimination, or access to crucial services.

    Sep 13, 2021 CNN

  • Firefighters knock down hot spots while protecting a rail bridge from the Dixie Fire near the town of Quincy, California, August 5, 2021, photo by Fred Greaves/Reuters

    Climate Change Is Only One Driver of Explosive Wildfire Season—Don't Forget Land Management

    The fire seasons that have been scorching huge areas and wiping entire towns from the map appear to be the future. Accepting that wildland fires are a part of our environment and working to live with fires rather than continuously fighting against them may be the most responsible path forward.

    Aug 16, 2021 The Hill

  • Firefighters mop up hotspots in the northwestern section of the Bootleg Fire in Oregon as it expands to over 210,000 acres, Klamath Falls, Oregon, July 14, 2021, photo by Mathieu Lewis-Rolland/Reuters

    As Fire Season Heats Up, Burnout Looms

    Increasingly intense fire seasons are taking a physical and mental toll on wildland firefighters. Without more direct attention paid to firefighters' mental health, burnout could decimate the ranks of those who protect lives and property across the West.

    Jul 21, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • A worker holds bags and a box of humanitarian aid in the opposition-held Idlib, Syria, June 9, 2021, photo by Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

    Four Strategies to Reduce Disaster Risk in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Contexts

    Addressing the circumstances for the more than two billion people living in fragile and conflict-affected contexts is crucial for delivering on the United Nations commitment for disaster risk reduction. Four strategies can help reduce risk and improve resilience for these communities.

    Jul 9, 2021 PreventionWeb

  • After losing their home to wildfires, Nick Schumacher and his dog Charlie prepare to move into a FEMA trailer in Mill City, Oregon, January 29, 2021, photo by Abigail Dollins/Statesman Journal via Reuters

    For Americans Uprooted by Climate Change, Mental Health Is the Next Crisis

    The challenges climate migrants face are not limited to basic needs, such as housing and employment; displacement may also create trauma. It's imperative that policymakers take mental health into account when devising climate change policies.

    Mar 15, 2021 The Hill

  • People walk down the street at a camp for displaced people while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 3, 2016, photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

    Climate Change Migration: Developing a Security Strategy for All

    Over the past decade, an average of 21.5 million people annually have been forced to move due to the impacts of extreme weather. Building an understanding of the intersection between climate change, migration, and security is crucial and should take into account that many who face the most direct impacts of climate change are already among the most vulnerable.

    Mar 15, 2021 The National Interest

  • Smart city and communication network concept, photo by metamorworks/Getty Images

    Tech Alone Isn't Enough to Create a Successful Smart City

    Smart-city initiatives are popping up in small communities and large metropolitan regions alike. But these initiatives have run into significant hurdles. Some cities have developed frameworks to overcome these challenges, but many continue to struggle.

    Feb 10, 2021 Route Fifty

  • Tongass National Forest, Alaska, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tongass_National_Forest_17.jpg">photo</a> by <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Gillfoto">gillfoto</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>

    Local Communities Need a Voice in How to 'Build Back Better'

    Long before it was popularized and made its way into political slogans and economic recovery battle cries, the phrase “building back better” was a central tenet of disaster recovery and community resilience. How should community voices be incorporated into “building back better” processes?

    Jan 12, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • Joel Martinez takes a photo of Washington Gardens Apartments, which collapsed from winds brought by Hurricane Zeta in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 28, 2020, photo by Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

    Disaster Reporting and Its Impacts on Policy and Inequities

    Disaster news tropes may capture audience attention, but they ultimately frustrate progress in mitigating the short- and long-term effects of disasters on communities. It's more important than ever that news stories about disasters frame the effects of environmental phenomena in meaningful ways.

    Nov 16, 2020 Poynter

  • Members of the Cajun Navy transport loggers to clear power lines after Tropical Storm Florence caused massive flooding in Whiteville, North Carolina, September 17, 2018, photo by Randall Hill/Reuters

    What's Missing From Community Disaster Response? The Whole Community

    Across the United States, significant gaps exist in disaster response needs and capabilities. Community volunteers have stepped up to fill those gaps where possible. They may need more support and resources.

    Nov 9, 2020 The National Interest

  • A firefighter works on the Blue Ridge Fire burning in Yorba Linda, California, October 26, 2020, photo by Ringo Chiu/Reuters

    Another Record-Breaking Fire Season Shows the Need for a Comprehensive Strategy

    Year after year, fires across western U.S. states scorch forests, rangeland, and neighborhoods, wreaking havoc on rural economies and pushing smoke into cities. Policymakers should consider a coordinated and comprehensive effort that brings together the best minds in government, communities, and academia.

    Nov 6, 2020 United Press International

  • Man wearing a hard hat facing away looking at electricity pylons and wires, photo by xijian/Getty Images

    The Downside of a Lean Electric Grid

    The electric grid is central to U.S. national security. Recent disasters provide an example of the downsides of leanness. It's more costly to be less lean, but given our dependence on the electric grid and the increasing prevalence of disasters, safety and resilience may be greater priorities.

    Oct 13, 2020 The Hill

  • Residents watch water flowing over the road at the dam of the Guajataca lake after Hurricane Maria in Guajataca, Puerto Rico, September 23, 2017, photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

    How COVID-19 Sheds Light on Disaster Policy's Need to Prepare for Multiple, Sequential Emergencies

    The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities many disaster-affected households face. As lawmakers debate a second relief package, they could reconsider how the emergency management framework responds to the effects of simultaneous hazards on individual-assistance and community-recovery programs.

    Aug 11, 2020 Urban Wire

  • Aerial photograph of the devastation caused in the greater New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina, August 30, 2005, photo by Vincent Laforet/Pool/Reuters

    Planning for the Upcoming Hurricane Season in Light of COVID-19

    What if Hurricane Katrina had hit during a pandemic? Emergency planners can prepare for this scenario by evaluating current response system capacity, evacuation and sheltering procedures, food and supply issues, and more.

    May 4, 2020 Vox

  • Kevin Keeley, who has been experiencing homelessness for eight months and may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, stands outside a quarantine tent in Boston, Massachusetts, April 2, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Emergency Homeless Services During the COVID-19 Crisis

    The recently passed $2 trillion stimulus package includes a suite of measures designed to support households that are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. But policymakers may want to consider what protections the package offers to a particularly high-risk group: people experiencing homelessness.

    Apr 7, 2020 The RAND Blog

Publications