Ms. Elizabeth Riley​

Executive Director (Ag.), Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)

Biography - Elizabeth Riley​

CFO & Founder

Ms. Riley joined the team at the CDEMA Coordinating Unit in 2001 and was appointed Deputy Executive Director in April 2012. She also acted in the Deputy position between 2009 and 2012.


Ms. Riley has over 20 years experience in the area of disaster management at the regional and international levels in various capacities. As Deputy, she held overall responsibility for the Agency’s technical programming and provided strategic guidance in the areas of Preparedness and Response, Mitigation, Recovery, Education and Training and Information Management. At the operational level, Ms Riley has played a leadership role in the coordination of regional responses to Hurricanes Ivan (2004), the Haiti Earthquake (2010); Tropical Storm Erika (2015), Hurricanes Joaquin (2015), Matthew (2016), Irma (2017), Maria (2017) and Dorian (2019). Her field experience includes the leadership of CDEMA deployment teams in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma (2017) and Dorian (2019). Ms. Riley is currently playing a leadership role in the coordination of the region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


She has written, presented, and published technical papers in disaster management and environmental management whilst attached to CDEMA and prior to that during her tenure at the University of the West Indies and the Ministry of Physical Development and Environment in Barbados. Ms Riley has also lectured in Disaster Management at the University of the West Indies, Mona and Cave Hill. At the international level, she has contributed to a range of technical advisory committees and is currently Vice-Chair of the ICG/Caribe Early Warning Systems Group of Experts on Coastal Hazards. She also sits on the Regional Advisory Group leading the implementation of the Regional Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean on Disaster Risk Management in the Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Sectors.

Ms. Riley holds a M.A (Econ) in Environment and Development from University of Manchester, United Kingdom, BSc. (Hons) in Geography from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica and a Masters Certificate in Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation and Information Systems from the University of Laval, Quebec.