Our Mission


Publication: 2013-02-05



Name:Owen Ambur


Name:Disaster Accountability Project


DAP is the leading nonprofit organization that provides long-term independent oversight of disaster management systems.


  • Ben SmilowitzExecutive Director -- Ben Smilowitz witnessed the bungled Hurricane Katrina response while managing a high-volume Red Cross Client Service Center in Gulfport, MS. In his first year of law school, Ben started the Disaster Accountability Project to confront the root causes of the failed Katrina response. After the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Ben expanded DAP's focus to improve the effectiveness of billions of dollars raised after disasters by humanitarian aid/relief organizations through greater operational transparency and linking the distribution of post-disaster resources to each organization's capacity to deliver critical services. In August 2008, Ben and the Disaster Accountability Project received a highly competitive Echoing Green Fellowship, awarded to social entrepreneurs addressing the root causes of societal challenges by starting new, cutting-edge ventures. Since founding DAP, Ben has raised over one half million dollars of in-kind and probono support and the group's reports have been covered by The New York Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera English and Fox News. Ben Smilowitz grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut and was using the internet to organize high school students around the U.S. before he learned to drive. In 1998, Ben passed state legislation to create seats for students on the Connecticut State Board of Education and in 2002, created a Governor's Youth Cabinet for the State of Missouri. After spending a year working with social entrepreneurs at Ashoka's Youth Venture, Ben worked on the successful campaign to save Social Security's safety-net from privatization. Ben received a BA in Political Science and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Washington University in St. Louis and his J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he served as President of the Student Bar Association.

  • Daniella Gayapersad-ChanPresident -- Daniella Gayapersad-Chan is a Program Officer on the Africa Team in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In this position, she works on building capacity for counternarcotics and criminal justice sector operations in West Africa. Prior to this position, Daniella was a Presidential Management Fellow at the State Department. In this role, she served as a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and an EEO/Diversity Specialist at the State Department and also at USAID. Daniella graduated from Howard University School of Law and is a member of the Maryland Bar. During law school, she held a Sonnenschein Scholars Public Interest Fellowship and was president of the Howard Public Interest Law Society. Daniella holds a B.A. in Literature from American University.

  • Sondra Lintelmann-DellaripaVice President -- Sondra Lintelmann-Dellaripa has been involved in nonprofit development for 20 years. In her current position with Harvest Development Group, LLC, she is responsible for leading innovative nonprofits through audit and assessment, strategic planning, feasibility studies, program development and board training, toward successful outcomes in management and administration of fundraising programs, campaigns, technology integration and earned income products. Sondra is also partner and managing CEO of the Tech start up Donorfull develops and markets mobile and Internet technologies exclusively for non-profit organizations to help non-profits raise more money, better manage volunteers, and encourage advocacy. Previously, as Vice President of the ECHN Foundation, Sondra was responsible for Administration of a $4M organization, supporting a multi-facility healthcare network. Before that, she worked as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Connecticut Childrens Medical Center where she was responsible for the development and implementation of corporate social responsibility partnerships and foundation grant administration for a $180M children's hospital. Sondra is a published author, a guest lecturer and a faculty member of The Foundation Group.

  • An BuiSecretary -- An Bui is heads marketing for Motion Math, creators of fun mobile learning games that let kids play with numbers. An has worked with global brands, venture-backed startups, and small/medium businesses to develop actionable plans for building their internal and customer communities. An has led the implementation and execution of online brand and reputation management campaigns for Fortune and Global 500 companies and takes a metric-driven approach to social media marketing. Before her graduate work at The University of Pennsylvania and Tulane University, An graduated from Swarthmore College with Honors and a BA in Sociology/Anthropology. Previously, An had served as a summer clerk for the Federal Judiciary in the Eastern District of Louisiana and at Access to Justice Institute at Seattle University School of Law. She loves how technology connects people, brands, and real world experiences. An often speaks about social media, digital identity and online community at (un)conferences such as Social Media Camp, InfoCamp, and Social South as well as industry groups like the Colorado Bar Association.

  • Jennifer RagenMember of the Board of Directors -- Jenna is a student at Greenwich Academy, and is passionate about disaster accountability. She volunteered in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and began learning about the damage hurricanes and natural disasters cause. She later took a social entrepreneurship class and became interested in DAP. Jenna has experience fundraising for events and spreading awareness for nonprofit organizations.

  • Tom DevineChair, Advisory Board -- Tom Devine is co-founder and Legal Director of the Government Accountability Project. He is actively involved in a range of issues including national security and occupational free speech. Tom is responsible for the passage of twenty-five whistleblower laws, including all of those passed in the United States since 1979, and he has helped over 7,000 whistleblowers in the last three decades. He also serves as counsel on whistleblower reform legislation. Tom is a Phi Beta Kappa honors graduate of Georgetown University, and received his J.D. in 1980 from Antioch School of Law. In 1998, Tom was honored with the Fund for Constitutional Government's Defender of the Constitution Award for his work with whistleblowers, and in 2006, he was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame. Tom has authored a number of works; most recently, The Corporate Whistleblower's Survival Guide: A Handbook for Committing the Truth (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2011), which received the GetAbstract International Business book of the Year Award at last year's Frankfurt Book Fair. In 2009, 2010 and 2011 Washingtonian Magazine selected him as one of the capital's Top Lawyers in the Whistleblower category.