Ed Laatsch, director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s (FEMA) Planning, Safety, and Building Science Division, has been selected by the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Planning Committee as the recipient of the prestigious Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award. Members of the U.S. standards and conformance community will honor Laatsch during the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day (WSD) on Thursday, October 13, 2022.
Named for the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the Ronald Brown Award recognizes demonstrated leadership in promoting the important role of standardization in eliminating global barriers to trade.
At FEMA, Laatsch oversees programs and initiatives including the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program; the National Wind Hazard Impact Reduction Program; the National Dam Safety and Security Program; the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program; as well as high-wind, flood, earthquake, tornado, wildfire and other natural hazard mitigation activities in support of disaster-resistant codes and standards.
Laatsch was instrumental in spearheading the FEMA Building Codes Strategy, the blueprint for organizing and prioritizing FEMA activities to advance the adoption and enforcement of hazard-resistant codes and standards for FEMA programs. The strategy promotes integrating codes and standards across FEMA, strengthening nationwide capability and expertise, and driving public action.
In furtherance of these efforts, the White House in 2022 launched a National Initiative to Modernize Building Codes, Improve Climate Resilience, and Reduce Energy Costs, which recognizes that the Building Codes Strategy will strengthen partnerships with other federal agencies, other levels of government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. The initiative also emphasizes the important role of resilient and sustainable codes, and calls to provide incentives and support for communities to adopt current building codes and standards by providing technical assistance, implementing proven strategies and best practices—such as those in the Building Codes Strategy.
On the international stage, Laatsch has served as a key participant in the Global Resiliency Dialogue, a joint initiative to inform the development of building codes that draw on both building science and climate science to improve the resilience of buildings and communities to intensifying risks from weather-related natural hazards. The group includes building code stakeholders from the U.S., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
About World Standards Day
Celebrated annually, World Standards Day pays tribute to the thousands of volunteers around the world who participate in standardization activities, and helps to raise awareness of the role that standards play in addressing national and global priorities. The event has been held since 1970 and is recognized in nations around the globe.
The U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day is an annual event that honors the U.S. standards and conformity assessment community and recognizes its efforts to promote American competitiveness in a global marketplace, safeguard the environment, and improve the quality of life for workers and consumers around the world. U.S. activities are organized annually by a planning committee consisting of representatives from across the standards and conformity assessment community. The International Code Council (ICC) is serving as this year’s administrating organization.
WSD 2022 Theme: Sustaining the U.S. Standards Model and American Standards Leadership
The 2022 U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day theme, Sustaining the U.S. Standards Model and American Standards Leadership, recognizes how voluntary codes and standards have protected public health, safety, and security; constituted a backbone of commerce; provided the building blocks for innovation; and served as the basis for quality and interoperability for more than a century.
More information about the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day, including sponsorship registration, is available at www.wsd-us.org.