Omar Abou-Samra is the Director of Preparedness for the American Red Cross and he also leads the Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC), a partnership between the American Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Since 2012, Omar has lead the development of innovative activities and programs including the Universal App Program, the WhatNow Service, and the Business Preparedness Initiative. Omar has also been instrumental in the development and cultivation of important partnerships with Airbnb, Google, UPS and the Walt Disney Company as well as a leader in the wider Red Cross and Red Crescent network in areas of early warning and the use of new technologies as they relate to disaster preparedness.
Prior to joining the International Services Department, Omar served as a leader in the American Red Cross Disaster Operations Department, there he worked closely with American Red Cross chapters, volunteers and staff to implement key programs and initiatives related to disaster service delivery in addition to the responsibilities of leading disaster response on large relief operations including the Superstorm Sandy response.
Omar holds a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.