Samuel Brody (co-PI), Ph.D., is a Professor and holder of the George P. Mitchell ’40 Chair in Sustainable Coasts in the Departments of Marine Sciences and Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University. He is the Director of Center for Texas Beaches and Shores and the Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Coastal Communities. Dr. Brody’s research focuses on coastal environmental planning, spatial analysis, flood mitigation, climate change policy, and natural hazards mitigation. He has published numerous scientific articles on flood risk and mitigation, and recently authored the book, Rising Waters: The causes and consequences of flooding in the United States published by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Brody teaches graduate courses in environmental planning and sustainable/resilient coastal development. He has also worked in both the public and private sectors to help local coastal communities to environmental and flood mitigation plans. For more information, please visit or

Robin Dillon-Merrill, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Professor Dillon-Merrill seeks to understand and explain how and why people make the decisions that they do under conditions of uncertainty and risk. This research specifically examines critical decisions that people have made following near-miss events in situations with severe outcomes including hurricane evacuation, terrorism, cybersecurity, and NASA mission management. She has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security through USC’s National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis for Terrorism Events. She has served as a risk analysis and project management expert on several National Academies Committees including the review of the New Orleans regional hurricane protection projects and the application of risk analysis techniques to securing the Department of Energy’s special nuclear materials. She has a B.S./M.S. from the University of Virginia in Systems Engineering and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. She can be reached via e-mail at

Ann-Margaret Esnard, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Public Management and Policy at Georgia State University (GSU). Her expertise encompasses urban planning, disaster planning, hazard and vulnerability assessment, and GIS/spatial analysis. Esnard has been involved in a number of related research initiatives, including National Science Foundation funded projects on topics of population displacement from catastrophic disasters, long-term recovery, and transboundary impacts of the 2010 Haiti earthquake disaster. She is the coauthor of the book “Displaced by Disasters: Recovery and Resilience in a Globalizing World” published in 2014 by Routledge Press. Esnard has served on a number of local, state and national committee including: the Steering Committee for Evaluation of the National Flood Insurance Program, the Disasters Roundtable of the National Academy of Sciences; the National Research Council’s committee on Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience, and the State of Florida Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning initiative. She holds degrees in Agricultural Engineering (B.Sc., University of the West Indies-Trinidad), Agronomy and Soils (M.S., University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez) and Regional Planning (Ph.D., UMASS-Amherst). She also completed a two year post-doc at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Brian Gerber (co-PI), Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver. He is also the director of the concentration in Emergency Management and Homeland Security in the School’s MPA program. Brian received his PhD from Stony Brook University (SUNY) in 2000. His research specialization areas include disaster policy and management, homeland security policy and administration, and environmental regulatory policy. Previously, he has served as Executive Director of the Buechner Institute for Governance at the University of Colorado Denver, as Research Director for the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute at Louisiana State University, and has been a Research Associate with West Virginia University’s Regional Research Institute. Publications with co-authors received national research article-of-the-year awards in 2008 and 2009. He sits on the executive committee of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships, is a member of the Denver Board of Environmental Health, is an editorial board member for Policy Studies Journal and for Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy.And of most relevance here, he is a proud alum of the Next Generation of Hazards Researchers program—gaining his exposure to the field with the second cohort of fellows.

Jamie Kruse, Ph.D., is recognized for her research in economics and decision making under uncertainty especially as it relates to natural hazards. She completed her doctoral work at University of Arizona under dissertation advisor, Vernon Smith (2002 Nobel Laureate). Dr. Kruse has published over fifty refereed journal articles in addition to proceedings, abstracts and reports. Her work has appeared in Econometrica, RAND Journal of Economics, Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Economic Inquiry, Natural Hazards Review, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, Environmetrics, Weather and Forecasting, Risk Analysis, Journal of Risk and Insurance and others. She has held faculty positions at the University of Colorado, Texas Tech University, East Carolina University and a visiting position at Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Her funded research has been supported by National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Niagara Mohawk, State of Texas and the State of North Carolina. She has been PI or Co-I of research projects totaling over $20 million.

During 2010 she held the position of Chief Economist at NOAA. Dr. Kruse’s responsibilities within NOAA included member on the NOAA Research Council and chair of the Research Council Social Science Committee. She was co-chair of the ad hoc committee for Scientific Integrity. At the interagency level, she served as a member of the OSTP Subcommittee on Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, OSTP Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology and was co-chair of the Ocean Social Science Interagency Working Group. On April 20 an explosion of the drilling rig known as the Deepwater Horizon triggered a response from NOAA that involved all line offices. Dr. Kruse was lead in the social science thematic area for the NOAA Deepwater Horizon Science Team and served on the National Incident Command Economic Solutions Team.

At East Carolina University, Dr. Kruse was inducted as one of the 2011 Women of Distinction. Since then she has been recognized by ECU’s Division of Research and Graduate Studies with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Creative Work and honored with the HCAS Distinguished Professorship.

David Mendonça, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research focuses on understanding and supporting individual- and group-level cognition in high stakes, time-constrained decision making. The main domain of inquiry is post-disaster emergency response and restoration. This research employs data collected from laboratory, field and archival sources, yielding both statistical and computational models, including computer-based decision aids. His research has been supported by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, including a CAREER award.

Lori Peek, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis at Colorado State University. She is currently involved in a participatory project on children’s recovery after the Joplin tornado and the Slave Lake wildfires; a five-year project on the potential mental and physical health effects of the BP Oil Spill on children; a study of long-term recovery among children and families in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy; a study of risk perception and evacuation behavior in hurricane-prone communities along the U.S. Gulf and Atlantic Coasts; a global examination of earthquake risk reduction activities; and a state-wide survey of disaster preparedness among childcare providers in Colorado. She is also the co-founder and co-director of the SHOREline youth empowerment and disaster recovery program and the co-leader of the Youth Creating Disaster Recovery project. Dr. Peek has published widely on vulnerable populations and the sociology of disasters. She is author of Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 9/11, co-author of Children of Katrina, and co-editor of Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora. Behind the Backlash received the Distinguished Book Award from the Midwest Sociological Society in 2012 and the Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity in 2013. In 2009, the American Sociological Association Section on Children and Youth honored Dr. Peek with its Early Career Award for Outstanding Scholarship. She serves on numerous professional committees dedicated to disaster risk reduction and is currently Chair-Elect of the Environment and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association, incoming chair of the Research Committee on Disasters of the International Sociological Association, and an appointed member of the National Academies Resilient America Roundtable. Dr Peek is deeply committed to teaching and mentoring, and has served on over 40 graduate thesis and dissertation committees.

Leonardo Duenas-Osorio, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas. His research focuses on the theoretical and computational modeling of interdependent infrastructure systems, particularly in terms of their performance and restoration when subjected to natural hazards. He also pursues field-based model validations via spatial-temporal restoration patterns, utility performance data, and human decision records from reconnaissance missions at disaster locations worldwide. He is the current chair of the emerging Task Group on “Risk Assessment of Structural Infrastructure Facilities and Risk-Based Decision Making” of ASCE’s Technical Council on Life-Cycle Performance, Safety, Reliability, and Risk on Structural Systems. He also serves as engineering Associate Editor for ASCE’s Natural Hazards Review and the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering since 2010. Dr. Dueñas-Osorio’s research is mainly funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense through its Army Research Laboratory, and the Office of Homeland Security of the City of Houston. His research on systems and disasters under uncertainty fuels his contributions as member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Association on Structural Safety and Reliability (IASSAR), and the International Civil Engineering Risk and Reliability Association (CERRA) among others.

Daniel Sui, Ph.D., is currently a Professor of Geography and Distinguished Professor of Social & Behavioral Sciences at the Ohio State University. He also serves as Chair of Geography (since July 2011) and Director of the Geographical Analysis Core, Institute of Population Research (IPR) (since September 2012). He served as Director of the Center for Urban & Regional Analysis (CURA) (2009-2012). Sui holds adjunct professorship at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Knowlton School of Architecture (City & Regional Planning Program), and College of Public Health at OSU. Prior assuming his current position at OSU in July 2009, Daniel Sui was a professor of geography (1993-2009) and holder of the Reta A. Haynes endowed chair (2001-2009) at Texas A&M University. He holds a B.S. (1986) and M.S. (1989) from Peking University and Ph.D. from University of Georgia (1993). His research current interests include GIScience theory, open/alternative GIS, spatial-temporal synergetics, volunteered geographic information, and crowdsourcing geographic knowledge production. Sui was a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, 2006 winner of the Michael Breheny Prize for best paper in environment and planning, and 2014 recipient of the distinguished scholar award from the Association of American Geographers. He also served on the U.S. National Mapping Science Committee for two terms (2007-2013) and currently serves as editor-in-chief for GeoJournal. More information about Sui’s current research can be found at: