Board of Directors and Executive Leadership

Paul VanderMarck
Board Chairman

Paul VanderMarck is chief products officer of Risk Management Solutions, the world's leading provider of products, services, and expertise for the quantification and management of catastrophe risk. In this role, Paul has overall responsibility for definition and execution of the firm's product strategy. Since joining RMS in 1992, he has played a central role both in the development of RMS' global catastrophe modeling capabilities as well as in advancing the state of practice for using modeling to manage catastrophe risk. In 2003, Paul was recognized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for his contributions to the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management with the Shah Family Innovation Award. Paul holds a B.S. in civil engineering and an M.S. in structural and earthquake engineering, both from Stanford University.

Dr. Martin J. Fisher

Dr. Martin J. Fisher is the co-founder and executive director of KickStart, a non-profit organization that develops and markets technologies that are bought by entrepreneurs to kickstart profitable small businesses. Over 38,000 new businesses have been started using manually operated irrigation pumps, hay balers, and oil seed presses, generating over $37 million per year in new profits and wages. KickStart was founded in 1991 and employs over 80 staff in Kenya, Tanzania, and San Francisco. Martin and his partner, Nick Moon, are 2002 Schwab Social Entrepreneurs and were named "European Heroes" by Time Magazine in 2003. ApproTEC International has won the Beacon Prize for Creative Giving, AGFUND International Prize for Development Projects, and the 2002 San Jose Tech Museum Award for Technologies Benefiting Humanity in the Accenture Economic Development category. Martin has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Joshua Litwin

Joshua Litwin is the founder of Memento Press, the world’s first photobook store. He was a Henry Luce Scholar in 1990. He was posted in central Java with the leading NGO developing appropriate technology at the time and witnessed what worked and what didn't in that world. Josh is a director for Surfline, the company that pioneered surf prediction, changing the sport. He is also a board member at the Randall Museum in San Francisco. Joshua grew up in Venezuela and is fluent in Spanish. He earned an MBA from Stanford University and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering & computer science from Princeton University.

M. Timothy Louis
Board Secretary and Treasurer

M. Timothy Louis is the director of finance and administration at Build Change. Tim has over 15 years' experience performing complex financial analysis in a number of settings. For 9 years, Tim worked in the litigation support arena, providing economic analysis and expert witness testimony on commercial litigation matters. Prior to that, Tim focused on the financial valuation of independent and alternative energy plants, and since then Tim has focused on determining and effectively communicating the economic impacts of certain technologies in various environments. Tim earned his M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and his B.S. in Finance from Miami University (OH).

Executive Leadership

Elizabeth Hausler StrandDr. Elizabeth Hausler Strand, Founder & CEO

The major driving force for Build Change's founder, Dr. Elizabeth Hausler Strand, is the repeated, avoidable loss of life during earthquakes in developing countries. Elizabeth is compelled by the failure of current approaches to permanently change construction practice, and motivated by the lack of opportunities for poor people to make money - if they had enough money, they could build a house that is earthquake-resistant, as shown clearly by the low number of fatalities in recent earthquakes in the developed world. But we can’t afford to wait for economic development – people are dying today.

Elizabeth Hausler Strand is the Founder and CEO of Build Change, an international, 501(c)(3), non-profit social enterprise based in Denver, Colorado, USA, with programs in Indonesia, China and Haiti.  Build Change designs earthquake-resistant houses in developing countries and trains builders, engineers, homeowners and government officials to build them.

Elizabeth was named a 2011 US Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Schwab Foundation, and is the winner of the 2011 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability. Elizabeth is a 2004 Echoing Green Fellow, a 2006 Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow, a 2009 Ashoka-Lemelson Fellow, and was a Fulbright scholar to India in 2002-2003.  Build Change was the winner of the 2013 SEAOC Award of Excellence, the 2008 Tech Award for Technology Benefiting Humanity in the Equality Category for making earthquake-resistant housing solutions available to homeowners regardless of income level and the 2006 SEAONC Award for Excellence in Structural Engineering.  Elizabeth was a panelist at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, and a member of the 2007 cohort of the Global Social Benefit Incubator Program at Santa Clara University.

She is a skilled brick, block, and stone mason with an M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado.  Before graduate school, she spent five years providing engineering consulting services at Peterson Consulting in Chicago and Dames & Moore in Denver. She has lectured on sustainable, disaster-resistant construction in 11 countries and served on the 2002-2003 US National Research Council Committee to develop a long-term research agenda for earthquake engineering. Elizabeth and Build Change’s work have been featured in the New York Times, BBC website, NPR All Things Considered, abcNEWS World News Tonight Person of the Week, Elle Magazine, and Bloomberg Businessweek.