Colloquium: Louise Comfort

Louise K. Comfort is Professor of Public and International Affairs and Director, Center for Disaster Management, University of Pittsburgh. She holds a B.A. in political science and philosophy, Macalester College, a M.A. in political science, University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in political science, Yale University. She is a Fellow, National Academy of Public Administration, and author or co-author of six books, including Designing Resilience: Preparing for Extreme Events, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010 and Mega-Crises: Understanding the Prospects, Nature, Characteristics and the Effects of Cataclysmic Events, Charles C. Thomas, 2012. Her primary research interests are in decision making under conditions of uncertainty and rapid change, and the uses of information technology to develop decision support systems for managers operating under urgent conditions. She teaches courses in organizational theory and design, systems thinking, and public policy. She has published articles on information policy, organizational learning, and sociotechnical systems, and is Editor, Safety Science, and Book Review Editor, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis.  She has engaged in field studies following nineteen earthquake disasters in fourteen countries, including the EERI reconnaissance study of September 30, 2009 Padang Earthquake, Indonesia, an NSF RAPID response study of the January 12, 2010 Haiti Earthquake, and a recovery study of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, Japan.

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