APB is a Global Speaker, Celebrity & Entertainment Agency
Dr. Alison  Thompson

Dr. Alison Thompson

Humanitarian, "Doyenne of Disasters," Director & Author of The Third Wave - A Volunteer Story & Recipient of The Presidential Lifetime Service Award

Dr. Alison Thompson

Humanitarian, "Doyenne of Disasters," Director & Author of The Third Wave - A Volunteer Story & Recipient of The Presidential Lifetime Service Award


Dr. Alison Thompson is a global humanitarian volunteer, running large refugee camps, field hospitals and resilience command hubs in natural and man-made disasters around the world for the past 23 years, including the Syrian, Afghan, Venezuelan and Ukraine refugee crisis.

Thompson’s full-time volunteer work started as a first responder at the Sept 11th 2001 attacks in NYC, where she worked at Ground Zero for 9 months and founded Third Wave Volunteers. Thompson holds a Doctorate of Letters in the Humanities, and is a Mass Incident Commander and rescue paramedic.

For the past year of 2022, Thompson and her volunteer teams have been on the front lines of the Ukraine war, rescuing special needs orphans and families from the red zones, training 1000’s of civilian soldiers in combat medics to help save lives, and delivering food aid to the re-captured front line villages. Thompson believes that the secret to happiness is service to others.

In 2022, Thompson received “The Presidential Lifetime Service Award” from President Biden.

2020, Thompson was appointed to the Advisory Board of the United Nations Chaplains Association, and to the board of MACtown disabled homes.

2019, Thompson won the Governors Hurricane Service Agency award, the Hope Prize at TEDX Talk, the Dr. Martin Luther King humanitarian award, the Rethink Energy Florida award, and was selected as the 2019 Woman of Peace.

Third Wave Volunteers non-profit was founded on Sept 11th 2001, in the NYC attacks, and has grown to a network of over 30,000 first responder volunteers, who support and co-ordinate direct aid for disasters and displaced people. Programs include pandemics, natural and man-made disaster search and rescue and aid, medical/ tele-health, resilience hubs, disaster preparedness, clean water, and solar lighting up the darkest areas of the world.

2020, During the covid pandemic the Third Wave ‘Women in White Masks” delivered over 2 million N95 masks across America to 50 states, including 1000’s of underserved communities, nursing homes, prisons, the Navajo and other tribal nations, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Peru, and Haiti.

In the United States, Thompson spearheads large volunteer campaigns in back to back hurricane, tornado, flooding and bushfire disasters, including Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico for one year and on-going missions after Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Other USA hurricanes include; Katrina, Matthew, Laura, Harvey, Irma, Maria, Michael, Florence, Dorian, Ida, Fiona and Ian, where 1,000’s of Third Wave Volunteers have deployed.

2017, After hurricane Irma, Thompson co-founded the first Community Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) in the heart of the most vulnerable communities in Miami. There she collaborates with 180 other local organizations, providing food programs and aid and empowerment with CERT emergency response training for future disasters.

2015-2017, Thompson volunteered tirelessly on the island of Lesvos, Greece in the epicenter of the Syrian refugee crisis, helping rescue 10,000’s of refugees from the Argean sea and delivering over 100,000 solar lights to dark refugee camps.

2012, Thompson was appointed as the first official Ambassador to the Haitian Ministry of Environment, focusing on reforestation, clean water and sustainable energy. Thompson managed the planting of over 1.5 million canopy and food trees and helped deliver 21 variety seeds to over 25,000 farmers after hurricane Matthew wiped out 96% of the crops in southern Haiti.

2016, Thompson represented Haiti at the 2016 COP 22 United Nations Climate Change meetings in Marrakesh, where she later helped ratify the Paris Agreement in the Haitian Parliament.

2010, Thompson managed a 75,000-person IDP camp and field hospital in Haiti, after the earthquake killed 300,000 people and injured over 1 million. There she worked alongside, actor Sean Penn, and US Army General Simeon Trombitas and the 82nd Airborne, reporting directly to the CDC and Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations.

2010, Thompson was awarded the 'Order of Australia' by the Australian Government, the Paul Harris award by Rotary International and the Commanders Award of Excellence by US Army General Simeon Trombitas of Southern Command for her collaboration with the 82nd Airborne and Operation Haiti Task Force in Haiti.

2010, Thompson co-founded We Advance, a gender based violence rape clinic for women and girls in the Citi Soleil slums and later volunteered for 8 months in the Haitian cholera outbreak in the Artibonite river region in Haiti where 100’s of people died in her arms.

2008, Australia moved a motion of Apology to Indigenous Australians. Thompson spent months visiting the Kimberley tribes, documenting the apology with the Nomad project and participated in a global art collaboration with Australian photographer Russell James.

2004-2022, Thompson co-founded CTEC, the first Community Tsunami Early-warning disaster Center and children’s learning museum which protects 100’s of villages along the Sri Lankan coastline. She was nicknamed “The Angel of Galle” after her help with the tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka, where she managed a busy field hospital and oversaw the rebuilding of a new hospital, school and village.

Her award-winning documentary, The Third Wave, chronicles her volunteer experience in Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami and was screened at the 2008 Cannes film festival in a presidential jury screening presented by Sean Penn and Bono. She followed up with a book, The Third Wave- A Volunteer Story.

With love and humility, Thompson inspires everyone to action and tailors her message on how “everyone is needed.”

“It’s easy to be in the wrong place at the wrong time but its Leadership to be at the wrong place at the right time.”

Speaker Videos

TEDx: Everyone’s Needed, No Skills Required

Third Wave Volunteers- Everyone's Needed

Just Do Something - Alison Thompson from the Beaches of Lesvos

Giving Light to Syrian Refugees

Who is Dr. Alison Thompson?

Relief in Action

Loyola University Chicago College of Arts & Sciences Commencement Speech

The Body Collector

Solight for Refugees in Greece

Speech Topics

WANTED: Volunteers, No Skills Required

Mark Twain said 'the two most important days of our lives are the day you are born and the day you find out why.'

Dr. Alison Thompson takes us on a global adventure of service and love in action embracing humanity as a frontline witness to mankind at its very best and at its very worst. She has learned first hand that the antiquated aid models no longer work and that resilient sustainable community hubs recognize that everyone is needed. With simplicity and humility, Thompson inspires everyone to service and tailors her message on how ‘anyone can volunteer’, from a global scope to our own backyards.

Earthquakes, Fires, Hurricanes, Tornados, Typhoons, Floods & Man-Made Wars: Stop the World I Want to Get Off

Thompson has spent decades working in 6 continents navigating a complex system of 'Disaster Inc' preparing for future disasters. She discusses the role of the magic gene of social media in disasters and how Love and a bottle of Chanel #5 can save your life. Thompson discusses 'Un-developing' countries, grassroots volunteer movements, sustainable renewable energy and the need for a super 'disaster' task force the size of the military to soldier up on what has already began with climate change.

Women Issues & Gender-Based Violence: Solutions

Based on the UN statistic that one in 3 women on the planet will be raped/or beaten in her lifetime (that is over one billion women). Thompson explores gender based violence and the #METOO movement through the eyes of her own work in the Cite Soleil slums of Haiti to Mar Largo in Florida and beyond.

Corporate Social Responsibility

"I'm not asking you to shave your head and chant on a hill but to imagine a world where we all do our part that the karma banks are overflowing with blue-chip stocks and compassion and we are all billionaires on the inside." Topics range from how businesses can cash in on the 'love token' of service, Bitcoin, Crypto and the charity 501c3 model and how the analytical business mind is the missing algorithm in the complex world of Aid.