Expert Profile

Dr Muralee Thummarukudy

Dr Muralee Thummarukudy - Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction at the United Nations Environment  Programme

Muralee has more than 20 years of experience in environmental and disaster management and has advised governments around the world on post-disaster recovery issues. Between 1995-2003, Muralee was a Corporate Advisor to Shell operated oil companies in South East Asia and the Middle East, dealing with oil industry-related emergencies.  He has handled offshore oil spills, on shore blow outs, oil well fires and clean-up of oil field contamination.

Since joining UNEP’s Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch in 2003, he has been involved in responses to the major recent natural disasters of the 21st century, ranging from the South-East Asian Tsunami in 2004 to the 2011 floods in Thailand.


In 2008, following the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China, Muralee coordinated a series of training and capacity building events for national officials on disaster waste management. In 2010, Muralee was deployed to Haiti to help deal with the massive volumes of disaster debris generated by another major earthquake, and the associated collapse of waste management infrastructure and systems. He has led UNEP’s International Expert Team to Japan to coincide with the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2012, and visited tsunami-impacted areas in May 2011.

Muralee holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. He is an Alumni of the United Nations University and a Beahers fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.