From the fist of April 2016, Norio Okada is Advisor to the Institute of Disaster Area Revitalization, Regrowth and Governance (IDiARRG) On March 31, 2016 he retired as Director of and Professor of Policy Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University, Kobe-Sanda Campus, Japan.
He is Professor Emeritus of Kyoto University and also visiting professor of Kumamoto University, Japan. He is currently visiting professor at Disaster and Development Centre, Northumbria University, New Castle upon Tyne, UK.
He was also Honorary Visiting Professor at Beijing Normal University, China, and Honorary Visiting Professor at Beijing Institute of Technology, He was also adjunct professor at Department of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada (between 1985-1995), and Honorary Professor at Dongbei University, Changchun, China, and Honorary Professor at Chongqing Jiaotong University, China.
On March 31, 2013, he retired as Director of the Implementation Research and Education System Center (IRESC), Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, Japan.
Till March 31, 2012, he had been professor at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University, and was Director of DPRI for the period April 2009- March 2011. Since September 2010 he has been the first President of the International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM Society). He is also the former President of the Japan Society for Natural Disaster Science, and the former Chairman of the Japan Council of Natural Disasters.
He was also Professor at the Department of Urban Management, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University. He teaches Risk Management, Social Systems Engineering Theories and Strategic Thinking Methods at the Graduate School of Engineering, Graduate School of Management, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies and Faculty of Integrated Human Studies at Kyoto University. He is a recipient of the Japan Society for Civil Engineering Research Award, the Research Award of the Society for Risk Analysis – Japan Section, 2012 Distinguished Research Award of IDRiM Society..
In 1995, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Engineering (DEng) Honorius Causa from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Moreover, he is currently an Honorary Visiting Professor at Beijing Normal University, China, an Honorary Visiting Professor at Beijing Institute of Technology, Honorary Professor at Dongbei University, Changchun, China, and Honorary Professor at Chongqing Jiaotong University, China. In 2012 he was awarded by the University of Waterloo, Canada as the 2012 TD Walter Bean Award Visiting Professor in Environment.
His major research interests are twofold: methodological development and application, and field-based research for planning and management of physical and human systems, particularly related to natural disasters, the environment, water resources and infrastructure systems. His methodological foci include i) risk management and governance, ii) conflict management and game theoretic approaches, and iii) adaptive management of complex systems under high uncertainty. Since 2001, he has been leading an extensive international research initiative to establish a new cross-disciplinary research area called Integrated Disaster Risk Management, by organizing a series of international conferences and workshops in collaboration with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria. This research initiative has resulted in the formation of the new academic society called “The International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM Society) of which he has become elected as the first President since September 2010.
He is Fellow and the former Council Member of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers, Council Member of the Society for Risk Analysis – Japan Section, and a member of many domestic and international academic societies such as the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC) Society. He has served on advisory committees for many government agencies in Japan on environmental and risk management as well as urban planning. Additionally, he has been contributing to global initiatives related to international research and policy development activities by serving as a member of the Scientific Technical Council of the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC), Geneva, and by leading its new project on “Risk Governance of Maritime Global Critical Infrastructure under Extreme Events.” Till 2012 he has also served on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s special advisory committee.