Dennis Mileti


Dennis S. Mileti, Ph.D.

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Dennis Mileti is a retired professor from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he directed the Natural Hazards Center—our nation’s clearinghouse for social science research on hazards and disasters.

Publications. He is the author of over 100 publications. Most of these are on the societal aspects of hazards and disasters. His book Disasters by Design summarized knowledge in all fields of science and engineering regarding natural hazards and disasters, and made recommendations for shifts in national policies and programs. It was the most cited source on hazards in the nation, and was required reading in more university emergency management courses in America than any other for almost a decade.

Projects. Dennis has: (1) synthesized research findings from the last half-century to bridge the gap between theory and practice about how to motivate people to prepare for and respond to disaster warnings; (2) he was part of the American Society of Civil Engineers panel overseeing the work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about why the levees failed during Hurricane Katrina—for which he was awarded the U.S. Army’s Civilian Medal of Honor; and (3) he designed the National Institute of Science and Technology’s congressional study of evacuation of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11.

Advisory Boards. Dr. Mileti has served on a variety of advisory boards including as: (1) Chair of the Committee on Disasters in the National Research Council of the National Academies, (2) Chair of the Board of Visitors to FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute, and (3) as a Board Member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

Political Appointments and Consulting. He was appointed by the Governor as a California Seismic Safety Commissioner. And he’s worked as a consultant in both the private and public sectors in matters related to emergency management and risk communication including, for example, utilities with nuclear power plants, and federal and state agencies.

Currently. Dennis is currently a research affiliate with a Department of Homeland Security’s national center of excellence for research on terrorism at the University of Maryland, and he leads an investigation to test the effectiveness of imminent threat public warning messages for mobile devices for the Department of Homeland Security.

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