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Photograph by Annie Marie Musselman

Meet Claire Bonilla, Microsoft's Disaster Response Maven

Senior Director, Disaster Management, Microsoft
Redmond, Washington

Bonilla, 37, coordinates emergency communication solutions for stricken communities.

"In a time of disaster, you're often stuck starting with a damaged structure. We partner with NetHope, a nonprofit that brings satellite and wireless Internet connectivity to disaster sites, so we don't have to rely on the infrastructure in the area; our work can be done in the cloud, hosted at Microsoft's global data centers. Together, we provide situational awareness and mapping capabilities, and improve goods distribution. In both Haiti and Chile, we provided before-and-after satellite imaging through Bing, letting governments assess damage in areas they couldn't reach.

We create tabletop disaster simulations so we immediately know the appropriate protocol when disaster strikes. Within hours of the event, my core team reaches out to Microsoft staff in the impacted area, and we become a geo-diverse virtual team working around the clock. Projects that would normally take a year are completed in five days."

Photograph by Annie Marie Musselman

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  • Claire Vancleeve

    Claire Bonilla works in Sales Operations at Microsoft - she is a "sales" person.  She is marketing Microsoft products and is "opportunizing" disasters for such. She has no background in disaster response or crisis management outside of any Microsoft sales/marketing context.  Her experience extends only to  Microsoft product marketing.  Those close to her report that her communications and coordination skills are self-promoting only.  Take these pieces for what they are: Microsoft marketing.

  • David Johnson

    Sounds like a great way to get to grips with the disaster as quickly as possible. Longer-term something like the recently patented provides an excellent immersive reality system - great for training and development.