David has over 25 years experience working across the world in development and emergencies and is a Professor at UNSW’s Faculty of Built Environment. From 1994-98 David was a Project Manager at the Oxford Centre for Disaster Studies. David worked for eight years for the NGO CARE International UK, as head of policy and subsequently Regional Manager for southern and west Africa.
From 2006-2013 David was Director of CENDEP, a centre at Oxford Brookes University focusing on development and emergencies. Between 2013-14 he was a full time Visiting Professor at Harvard University, where he taught a course, 'Design for urban disaster', and from 2014-2015 was a Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). David was appointed the Inaugural Judith Neilson Chair of Architecture at UNSW in February 2016.
David has published articles and papers concerning urban livelihoods, shelter and disaster risk reduction. He has carried out a number of assignments for NGOs and donors across the world, and in recent years has led post-disaster reviews in Haiti, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines and Nepal.
He was editor of the 2016 IFRC World Disasters Report. David was trained in architecture and holds a masters degree in Development Practice and a PhD in urban livelihoods and vulnerability.
Visit for more information, and watch his talk "Making global aid more thoughtful" in this video recorded live at UNSOMNIA.