2020 Shah Family Fund Distinguished Lecture, Stanford University, January 21, 2020.

Howard Kunreuther presents “Reducing Losses from Catastrophic Risks: The Role of a Behavioral Risk Audit”


“Human Biases: Why People Underprepare for Disasters.” January 19, 2020.

In his FEMA PrepTalk, Prof. Howard Kunreuther Co-Director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, discusses the processes and biases in decision-making under uncertainty. He also proposes a behavioral risk audit that couples protective decision-making with economic incentives, enabling individual and collective actions to achieve greater resilience.


“Harnessing the Power of Disaster Insurance.”  January 16, 2020.

In her FEMA PrepTalk, Dr. Carolyn Kousky, Executive Director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, demonstrates the essential role of #insurance in disaster recovery. She explains why not enough people have insurance coverage, and offers suggestions for how the public and private sectors can work together to overcome challenges to increasing insurance coverage across America.



In memory of Howard Raiffa

Paval Kabat, Director of IIASA, Joanne Bayer, Current Director of IIASA’s Risk Program and  Wharton Risk Center co-Director Howard Kunreuther, former Director of IIASA’s RISK program from 1980-1982, honored Howard Raiffa, the first Director of IIASA at a special memorial service at IIASA on October 17.

Howard Kunreuther then gave a talk on “Adaptation to Extreme Climate Events: Challenges and Opportunities” as a tribute to Howard Raiffa.


Living with Climate Change: Will Paris Make a Difference?

Dale Jamieson, Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy, New York University and Jennifer Jacquet, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, New York University. The twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris ended with an agreement that some call “the world’s greatest diplomatic success” while others insist it is “too weak” and full of “false hope.” This talk examines the challenges in assuring the agreement’s success, which ultimately rests not just on nations, but also on civil society and corporations.  February 16, 2016.    Video: Living with Climate Change: Will Paris Make a Difference?   Article

Podcast interview: Jay Fishman, Chair and CEO of the Travelers Companies, August 18, 2016.  Interview conducted by Prof. Michael Useem of the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management.  The Risk Center notes with sorrow Mr. Fishman’s passing on August 19, 2016.

Credits:  Sirius XM Channel 111, Business Radio Powered by The Wharton School

Howard Kunreuther receives the 2015 Shin Research Award: “Insuring Against Extreme Events: The Need for Public-Private Partnerships”

Prof. Howard Kunreuther received the 2015 Shin Research Excellence Award—a partnership between The Geneva Association and the International Insurance Society—for its academic quality and relevance.

Video: “Insuring Against Extreme Events: The Need for Public-Private Partnerships presentation” (with slides) (41 min.), June 16, 2015

Panel discussion (31 min.)

Interview with World Risk and Insurance News: “How to finance and protect against extreme events” (7 min.)

Howard Kunreuther on “How economics has evolved over the past 40 years.”

Prof. Kunreuther recorded this talk for the 40th annual Natural Hazards Workshop, organized by the Natural Hazards Center, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado Boulder, July 19-22.  The talk (with slides) is about 15 minutes and includes a nice tribute to some of Howard’s colleagues and mentors.

Low res version:

High res version:

Learning from Hurricane Sandy: A Panel Discussion on Reducing Future Disaster Losses

The Wharton Risk Center and the Penn Program on Regulation’s seminar brought together a panel of experts to discuss reducing future disaster losses and lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy. This expert panel discusses steps that are being taken to reduce losses from hurricanes and floods. Following Hurricane Sandy, over $75 billion in disaster relief was provided to aid the recovery process. The National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which passed three months before Hurricane Sandy, offers an opportunity to address how we can reduce future losses while providing better financial protection to disaster victims. But there are challenges in getting individuals to take these steps prior to a disaster, and affordability issues threaten to delay the implementation of key features of this legislation.

Video of the discussion is online at Learning from Hurricane Sandy
Accompanying slide deck is online at A Stronger, More Resilient New York


The Faulty ‘Mental Models’ That Lead to Poor Disaster Preparation
Robert Meyer, marketing professor and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center explains to Knowledge@Wharton why most people fail to adequately understand the threats they face as a result of natural and other disasters, and often those poor “mental models” lead to insufficient preparation.  July 7, 2014

“Helping Small Businesses Weather Economic Challenges and Natural Disasters.” U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. March 14, 2013

Howard Kunreuther and Jim Cantore. January 2013. (podcast)
by The Weather Channel
Why are people still unprepared when disaster strikes? Today, we welcome Dr. Howard Kunreuther who has spent years of his career trying to answer this question. We’ll discuss the inherent biases many of us have when it comes to disaster preparedness, and we’ll outline strategies he recommends to ensure we are prepared for the next catastrophe.

Global Risks 2012 – Erwann Michel-Kerjan
Relevance to the private and public sectors

Global Risks 2012 – Howard Kunreuther
Globalization and the results of interconnectedness