The Center for Disaster Management at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) advances the study and practice of emergency management through research, analysis, education, and collaboration with scholars and practitioners. The Center conducts research and analysis on timely policy issues related to disaster risk reduction and management that cross organizational, disciplinary, and jurisdictional boundaries. Since its founding by Dr. Louise Comfort, the Center has contributed innovative research on understanding risk, dynamic decision-making in complex environments, and methods of building community resilience. The Center maintains significant collaboration with scholars and practitioners in emergency management and related disciplines.
The Center also provides educational opportunities and support to students interested in careers in emergency management and related disciplines. The fundamental purpose of emergency management is to coordinate resources across diverse organizations to prevent crises from happening, and to address and lessen the impacts of crises when they do occur. Because of this, the field of emergency management is multidisciplinary and relevant not only to students interested in emergency management careers, but also to those studying public health, public administration, security and intelligence, human and social services, agriculture, energy, environmental science, commerce, and others. At GSPIA, students have the opportunity to pursue a minor in Civil Security and Disaster Management and to participate in educational and professional development opportunities throughout the academic year.