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Akiko Toya

Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Specialist

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Akiko Toya works as a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Specialist in the Urban Development and DRM unit at the World Bank HQ in Washington, D.C. Akiko developed her passion for environmental justice and resilient development through her experiences growing up in Japan where people experience frequent natural disasters. Since her field research on environmental conflicts in Guatemala and the Ecuadorian Amazon, her career focus has been the integration of risk management into infrastructure projects. Since joining the World Bank in 2016, she has supported the publication of the World Bank’s first Environmental and Social Framework by coordinating various sectorial and thematic teams and identifying exemplary guidance materials of international industry practices for each Environmental and Social Standard, prepared by multi-lateral development finance institutions. Akiko has also managed the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)’s largest financial portfolio in the Africa region and Resilient Infrastructure Thematic Program through leading cross-sectorial analytical and lending operations. In 2020, Akiko has published the Road Geohazard Risk Management Handbook and Case Studies and free E-learning Program by collaborating with policy and decision-makers responsible for transport and rural infrastructure projects. Akiko’s current focus is advancing urban resilience, climate change adaptation, and DRM agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as, supporting regional analytical work and urban resilience projects in Bolivia. Prior to the World Bank, Akiko worked in enterprise risk management and political risk advisory at private insurance and consulting firms. Akiko holds a master’s degree in public affairs from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental economics from Soka University of America including a semester abroad at La Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador.