Ben Smilowitz

Ben Smilowitz witnessed the bungled Hurricane Katrina response while managing a high-volume Red Cross Client Service Center in Gulfport, MS. Soon after, Ben launched Disaster Accountability Project, an independent watchdog, to confront the root causes of the failed Katrina response and maximize the impact of billions of dollars of disaster relief and humanitarian aid.

Disaster Accountability Project has advocated successfully for the release of millions of dollars of disaster relief and recovery funds after Superstorm Sandy, investigated deficiencies in emergency planning surrounding 19 commercial U.S. nuclear power plants, and improved the transparency of nearly 2 billion dollars of disaster relief donations after disasters in the U.S., Haiti and Nepal. 

Under Ben’s leadership, DAP’s reports, advocacy and op-eds have been covered by global news media including the The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and CNN. Many of DAP’s successes over its ten years are attributable to the hundreds of volunteers from around the world that Ben has recruited and managed.

With a background in youth civic engagement and issue advocacy, Ben wrote successful legislation in Connecticut and created a Youth Cabinet in Missouri. Ben studied Political Science and Nonprofit Management at Washington University in St. Louis. After graduating from UCONN Law, Ben visited 26 countries in an epic around the world trip. Ben is now a member of the Maryland bar and an Echoing Green Fellow.