Conference addresses disaster relief

By Alex Ruf

Four speakers will discuss the complexities of disaster relief at an on-campus conference Friday.

The annual James and Mary Lassiter Distinguished Visiting Professor Conference will feature Nina J. Crimm, James and Mary Lassiter Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law.

Crimm organized the event and will also be speaking.

The conference is titled “Helping and Hindering Disaster Relief: Law, Policies and Politics Impact Aid.”

The conference is open to all students and the community.

The other three speakers were selected because of their expertise in the three major caregivers of relief aid: nonprofit organizations, the U.S. military and government agencies.

Other speakers include retired Brig. Gen. James P. Cullen and Greg Elder, the regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

William Canny, director of emergency operations for Catholic Relief Services, will be discussing how nonprofits are affected by policies. Catholic Relief Services is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the world, present in more than 100 countries and territories, according to its website.

“It is inevitable that enormously growing numbers of people across the globe will be adversely affected by natural or man-made disasters and thus in need of humanitarian aid,” Crimm said.

Crimm hopes this conference sheds light on some of the unseen hindrances to international aid.

“There are numerous complexities behind such delivery of disaster relief aid that usually is not clear from media reports,” Crimm said. “The lack of that insight allows people to wonder why the delivery of aid is not consistently a smooth, fast, and efficacious process.

Crimm is the second Lassiter Distinguished Visiting Professor.

Lassiter professors are expected to teach a course and hold topical conferences each year regarding law.

Crimm has published numerous books regarding the First Amendment and is highly knowledgeable about nonprofit organizations.

“She had the gravitas of the kind of person we wanted to attract to the law school,” said Mary Davis, associate dean of administration for the College of Law.

If you go

When: Friday from 9:30 a.m. to  noon

Where: College of Law courtroom

Admission: Free