Profiles in Leadership – Lily Yumagulova

Profiles in Leadership – Lily Yumagulova

By Ernest MacGillivray, CRH Net

Lily Yumagulova’s story is a compelling one. Humble beginnings. Some adversity, overcome through hard work. An adventurous path, taking her from Russia, to the UK, to Sweden to Canada. She has numerous notable achievements and awards. She has served as CRH Net’s Secretary, and more recently, as the founder and chair of CRH Net’s Young Professionals Committee.

So, why profile Lily? As she tells it, when she was first looking for opportunities in Canada it was CRH Net that helped with orientation to the emergency management research community. CRH Net members welcomed her, provided advice and made introductions. Those interactions in turn led to research projects and contributed to Lily’s decision to settle in Vancouver and further her research into disaster resilience and institutional adaptation in Cities. Her research interests, shaped in part by her mentor Mark Pelling of King’s College London, align precisely with CRH Net’s mandate. They focus on the social relationships that shape vulnerability and institutional adaptation to natural disasters and environmental change.

When asked why she is so heavily invested in networking students and young professionals, Lily says she is just returning the favour to those who invested their time and energy in helping her. “It’s an investment in our future”, She says.

Lily’s Young Professionals Group currently comprises 130 people, who network through Facebook, periodic teleconferences and some regional student and young professionals oriented events. Lily’s has found funding to help students with the cost of attending the CRH Net Symposium. She has organized what she calls “signature events” to cater to the needs of young professionals, such as a Publishing Panel and Speed Networking Events. She has promoted student participation at the National Disaster Risk Reduction Roundtable and CRH Net Symposium.

In short, Lily has worked hard to create opportunities for students and young professionals as others did for her when she was establishing herself. At the same time, she is harnessing the energy and enthusiasm that young professionals bring to bear and inviting and encouraging their contributions to CRH Net’s work.

Lily’s leadership and support for others’ learning and development bring considerable credit to CRH Net. By championing the interests and needs of students and young professionals she is helping to grow our network and build new capacity for the future. She is also challenging all of us to think about how we as an institution can extend our and influence.

Lily is currently working on her PhD at the School of Community & Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. You can find her bio and a profile of her research at http://www.scarp.ubc.ca/people/lily-yumagulova.

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