For Immediate Release
January 23, 2008


SAN FRANCISCO – Calif., May 19, 2008 – Fritz Institute, a San Francisco- based nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the capacity of communities around the world to withstand the effects of catastrophic disasters, today announced the appointment of Paul Jacks as the program director of BayPrep, an initiative that seeks to make the Bay Area the most disaster prepared community in the US. Previously, Jacks served as a Deputy Director, Response & Recovery Division, for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES).

"Paul brings extensive disaster response and recovery experience at the statewide level to this position and as a former deputy director for the California OES, we know he will advance BayPrep’s commitment to preparing the region and its most vulnerable communities,” said Bob Sproul, CEO of Fritz Institute. “He is a recognized leader in this sector and the knowledge he brings from serving the state during more than 30 federally-declared disasters will only enhance the BayPrep program."

As program director of BayPrep, Jacks will work closely with Rich Eisner, BayPrep Government Liaison and Laurie Johnson, BayPrep Corporate Liaison to continue to foster cross-sector collaboration and bring cutting edge research to disaster resilient organizations around the Bay Area. The multi-year program is supported by a lead grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, with additional funding from The San Francisco Foundation, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Jacks was appointed Deputy Director for the California OES in 2000 by former Governor Gray Davis and was re-appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November 2004. As a Deputy Director, Jacks had overall management responsibilities for the office’s response, recovery, mitigation, and preparedness operations. In addition, Jacks also served the governor’s office as the Chief of the Disaster Assistance Division Resources Branch, where he was responsible for establishing and maintaining fiscal policy and coordinating audits for disaster recovery and mitigation programs.

For more than 20 years, Jacks served California in various capacities including Public Assistance Officer, Governor’s Authorized Representative and State Coordinating Officer during federally-declared disasters. Jacks also worked as a consultant following the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, representing clients such as the city of Santa Monica, the Chancellor’s Office of the California State University system and the University of California at Los Angeles.

addition to working for the California OES, Jacks held other management positions in the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) and the California Conservation Corps (CCC). He entered state service after attending Yale University and working overseas as a projects officer, coordinating development projects and emergency relief efforts with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in southern Africa. Recognized for his contributions, Jacks received the California Emergency Services Association President’s Award for outstanding contributions to emergency management in California in 2003.

“The Fritz Institute takes a unique and objective approach to global disaster preparedness and humanitarian relief,” said Jacks. “During my years of public service, I witnessed first-hand the suffering caused by the lack of disaster preparation and I am honored to be able to extend my experience and understanding of the sector to serve our most vulnerable communities. The Fritz Institute has a history and reputation that I admire and respect.”

About Fritz Institute

Fritz Institute is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with governments, non-profit organizations and corporations around the world to create innovative solutions and facilitate the adoption of best practices for rapid and effective disaster response and recovery. Fritz Institute was founded in 2001 by Mr. Lynn Fritz, a social entrepreneur and philanthropist, who recognized that effective front-line humanitarian operations must be supported by strong back-room capabilities: effective operational processes, appropriate uses of enabling technologies, well-trained logistics personnel, objective performance metrics, and institutionalized learning.

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