Our Mission

The mission of the Center for Disaster Management is to educate the next generation of researchers, analysts, policy makers and professional managers in disaster management-related disciplines through a world-class integrated program of innovative knowledge generation. It will enhance the quality of the educational experience for graduate and professional students who participate in the Center’s research and education projects.

Message from the Director

The Center for Disaster Management was established in 2009 by Dean John Keeler to advance the field of emergency management through research, analysis, education, and collaboration with scholars and practitioners. It was built on the work done by Dr. Louise Comfort since 1994, focused on building resilience to hazards by understanding the complex interactions between the physical, engineered, and sociotechnical systems in disasters. I was fortunate to be a graduate student researcher for Dr. Comfort in 2009, and am delighted to be returning to GSPIA a decade later to direct the Center. Read more.  

Recent News

GSPIA is pleased to announce that a water management innovator and GSPIA alumna has been hired to serve as a Visiting Senior Lecturer and Interim Director of its Center for Disaster Management. 


This summer, GSPIA’s Leadership During Crisis Podcast published two additional episodes exploring the behaviors of leaders who are effective in crisis. The podcasts cover responses to the 2010 Haiti earthquake and 2015 Charleston Church shooting. 


GSPIA's Leadership During Crisis Podcast -- sponsored by the Center for Disaster Management and the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum -- posted its second episode focused on Pittsburgh's water infrastructure crisis. This episode, led by PhD student Lucy Gillespie, explores crisis leadership from several unique dimensions in asking not only how local leaders are managing Pittsburgh's recent boil water alerts, but - more importantly - what they are doing in the mid and long-term to avoid a more significant water crisis like what occurred in Flint, Michigan.


Center for Disaster Management
3807 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260