William (Bill) Averette Anderson (1937 – 2013) was an accomplished scholar, researcher and policy developer in the field of hazards and disaster mitigation. His career spanned over 50 years and was spent analyzing and taking actions to mitigate the causes and consequences of hazards and disaster risk. In particular, he sought to understand and address the extent to which marginalized groups suffer the worst impact and recovery when disasters strike.
As a gifted researcher, writer and professor whose tenure included esteemed positions at the National Science Foundation, the World Bank, the National Academies and Arizona State University, Bill served as a mentor and role model to countless new researchers and practitioners in the field. He also worked tirelessly to ensure that funding be dedicated to studying vulnerable populations and ensuring that racial minorities be recruited into all hazards and disaster professions – from frontline hazard management to critical hazards research.
Since his passing, Bill's vision, mission and goals for the field of hazard and disaster science have been carried on by his wife, Norma Doneghy Anderson, a cadre of committed hazard and disaster peers and mentees of Bill Anderson, as well as the next generation of hazard and disaster students.