Hotel Resilient’s aim is to support resilience in the tourism accommodation industry to reduce risk from disasters and impacts of climate change.

The Hotel Resilient team is born out of the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). We led a consortium of university and private sector partners to develop the world’s only internationally recognized standards on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation for hotels and resorts. Hotel Resilient’s staff are also involved in intense academic and governmental research, teaching and training activities which allows Hotel Resilient to remain at the cutting edge of scientific and technical solutions for resilience in the the hospitality sector. Within such a fertile ground for collaboration, it should be no surprise that we can draw on a wide network of international experts in many fields to achieve excellence and rapid solutions in our projects and activities.

Dr. Bijan Khazai

Chief Executive Officer

Bijan is an expert in risk assessment and has more than 20 years of experience in foresight methods in disaster risk management. Bijan led an international consortium of universities and private sector partners to develop standards for multi-hazard disaster risk management for hotels and resorts as part of the Hotel Resilient Initiative of the Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management. He has also led teams of consultants and scientists as Project Manager or Principal Investigator in a number of international consulting and research projects on disaster risk management on behalf of the UN, World Bank and other multilateral agencies. He holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Trevor Girard

Director of Standards and Accreditation

Trevor is educated as an Architectural Project Manager. Trevor has extensive experience with construction standards and building certification systems. Trevor is a LEED® Accredited Professional. LEED® is a rigorous certification program for the construction and operation of buildings. Trevor has worked as a construction manager, sustainability consultant, and auditor on behalf of the Canada Green Building Council. His experience with sustainability standards has proven crucial for the successful development of the Hotel Resilient Standards and is instrumental in his role as Director of Standards and Accreditation at Hotel Resilient. He holds a doctoral degree from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.


Dr. Andreas Schäfer

Director of Technology

Andreas is an expert for advanced soft computing, developing self-adapting, dynamic and fast technologies for multi-hazard modelling. Since 2011 he was contributing to various risk assessment projects both in research and the private sector, mostly on the field of seismic hazard from Latin America to Central Asia. Since 2015 he has been developing cutting-edge risk modelling software for hydrological hazards (tsunamis, storm surge), while he is also active on risk communication, both on social media platforms and public stage. He holds a doctoral degree (Dr.-Ing) from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Andreas is responsible for development the Hotel Resilient web application as well as multi-hazard modeling technologies at Risklayer GmbH.

Dr. James Daniell

Director of Analytics

James specializes in global stochastic and real-time risk modelling for insurance and governments, as well as global data analytics, exposure and socioeconomic models. He is a Senior Disaster Risk Analyst with the World Bank in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South-East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. He holds a doctoral degree (Dr.-Ing) from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. James is in charge of the development of risk analytics for Hotel Resilient.

Matthias Niggel

Director of Communications

Matthias has more than 21 years of experience in corporate finance, regulatory frameworks, private sector engagement, multi-sector dialogue, not-for-profit and international development cooperation at rank-, management- and owner-level. Matthias is based in the Philippines and directs Hotel Resilient’s communication strategies in South East Asia and Worldwide. 

Lukas Edbauer


Lukas is passionate about tourism resilience, water, sanitation & hygiene, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation; especially in the context of sustainable development. Lukas has a Master in ‘Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security’ from the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security and the Univerity of Bonn, Institue of Geography.

David A. Ortegón-Martínez


David is CEO and Founder of KAI Sustainable Coaching, a company based in México, created to assist Tourism Businesses and Destinations Worldwide, in the development and implementation of Integrated Management Systems, combining International Quality, Health & Safety and Sustainability Standards. His background also includes the Coordination of Strategic Alliances with public and private organizations to develop Corporate Social Responsibility programs,  Natural Resources Conservation & Sustainable Development initiatives in Colombia, México, Jamaica and Dominican Republic as well as his work as Associate Technical Director & Accreditation Manager at the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). David holds a Master on Leadership & Environmental Management from the UCI Costa Rica and an International Master in Local/Rural Development from the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

Prof. Friedemann Wenzel

Scientific Director 

Friedemann specializes in hazard and risk evaluation, design and implementation of early warning systems, rapid damage prognosis, risk management and decision support. He has lead many international projects on multi-hazard risk assessments and acted as spokesman (2006 – 2012) of the multi-disciplinary Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Anita Benassi

Technical Advisor  

Anita is an experienced technical advisor with a demonstrated history of working in the tourism, sustainability and management consulting industry. Skilled in Sustainable Tourism Development, Climate Change, Regional Planning, and Green Economy, Anita brings strong business development skills to Hotel Resilient. Before HR she worked as an innovation manager on the establishment of innovation ecosystems in the German Food Sector. Her specialisation is on stakeholder engagement, capacity building and recently, agile project management. She holds a Diploma in Sociology focused in Business and Social Skills from the University of Trier. She gained her work expierences from across the continents starting in Peru over Ghana as well as the Philippines.