She has 35 years of extensive experience in disaster relief operations and disaster risk management in relation to development and political work with the United Nations, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the private sector.
In 2009-2015 she was the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, and Head of UNISDR, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Under Wahlström’s leadership UNISDR designed and supported the inclusive consultations for the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, and subsequently the inter-governmental negotiations leading to the adoption of the framework by all UN member states in March 2015. The Sendai Framework is the first of the 2015 global policy directions for the coming 15 years.
- The Philippines
- Southern Africa
- South America
- Conflict and non-conflict emergencies
- Long-term issues of sustainable development