Comfort is a known expert in decision-making in crisis, disaster preparedness, and the use of technology to inform managers operating under urgent conditions. Graduating with a PhD from Yale University, she engaged in field studies following 23 earthquakes in 15 countries and has authored multiple books. 


Teaching and Research Areas

Comfort’s research focuses on these key areas:

  • Disaster response management 
  • Organizational theory
  • Complex adaptive systems 
  • Decision making under uncertainty


Select Publications and Funded Research

  • Hazard SEES Type 2: From Sensors to Tweeters: A Sustainable Sociotechnical Approach for Detecting, Migrating, and Building Resilience to Hazards, National Science Foundation, #1331463, September 2013-August 2019. 
  • The Dynamics of Risk: Changing Technologies and Collective Action in Seismic Events. Princeton University Press, 2019.
  • Designing Resilience: Preparing for Extreme Events. Lead editor with Arjen Boin and Chris C. Demchak. University of Pittsburgh Press. 2010.
  • Shared Risk: Complex Systems in Seismic Response. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 1999.


Awards and Honors

  • Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, University of Pittsburgh, 2008
  • Fellow, National Academy of Public Administration, 2006


Consultancies and Public Service

  • Consultant to the Municipality of Bogota, Columbia, 2005
  • Consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank, 2003