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Elizabeth Hausler

Founder and CEO, Build Change


Dr. Elizabeth Hausler is the Founder and CEO of Build Change, an international non-profit social enterprise based in Denver, Colorado, USA, with operations in Indonesia, Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nepal, the Philippines, and formerly, China. Build Change saves lives in earthquakes and windstorms by working with people in emerging nations to design, build and finance disaster-resistant schools and houses, creating jobs and building human capital in the process.
Dr. Hausler 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, a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur, and was a Fulbright scholar to India in 2002-2003. Build Change won 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. 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.

Elizabeth is a skilled brick, block, and stone mason with an M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado, and a B.S. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Elizabeth was inducted into the UC-Berkeley Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Academy of Distinguished alumni in 2014, and delivered the Fall 2015 distinguished lecture. Before graduate school, she spent five years in the engineering consulting industry in Chicago and Denver. Elizabeth has written or contributed to publications on NGO, public, and private sector involvement in preventing and rebuilding after disasters.