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Committee Membership Information

Project Title: Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Current Knowledge and Research Needs

PIN: DEPS-CSTB-09-04        

Major Unit:
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Sub Unit: Computer Science & Telecommuncations Board DEPS


Eisenberg, Jon

Subject/Focus Area:  Behavioral and Social Sciences; Computers and Information Technology; Engineering and Technology; National Security and Defense

Committee Membership
Date Posted:   02/16/2010

Mr. Ellis M. Stanley, Sr. - (Co-Chair)

Ellis Stanley, Director of Western Emergency Services, has 32+ years of work experience in emergency management beginning as Director of Emergency Management for Brunswick County, North Carolina in 1975. While in Brunswick County he was selected as the First Fire Marshal for the jurisdiction as well as served as Fire and Rescue Commissioner. There Mr. Stanley was very involved with hurricane planning and response as well as having developed one of the first fixed nuclear facility plans in the nation following Three Mile Island. Mr. Stanley was appointed in 1982 as the Director of the Durham-Durham County Emergency Management Agency where he worked very close with the world’s largest research park in the North Carolina Triangle area and was heavily involved with hazardous materials planning. In 1987 Mr. Stanley was appointed by the Governor of Georgia as the Director of the Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency. While in Atlanta, Mr. Stanley had extensive experience in major event planning (1988 Democratic National Convention, 1995 Mandela visit, and the 2006 International Olympic Games). Mr. Stanley was appointed in 1997 as Assistant City Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles and in 2000 as the General Manager of the Emergency Preparedness Department for the City of Los Angeles until his retirement in 2007. Mr. Stanley joined Dewberry, LLC in November 2007 as Director of Western Emergency Management Services. In March of 2008 Mr. Stanley was selected to be the Director of DNC Planning for the City & County of Denver, CO. Because of the success of the Democratic National Convention, August 29, 2008 was proclaimed “The Ellis Stanley Day in Denver.”

Dr. Jeanette Sutton - (Co-Chair)
Center for New Media and Resiliency

Jeanette Sutton is currently an Assistant Research Professor, Adjoint at the Trauma Health and Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Sutton most recently worked as a research faculty member at the Natural Hazards Center where she coordinated a number of research projects on community preparedness, regional collaboration and the Urban Areas Security Initiative, warning systems for extreme events, and most recently, the uses of social media during disasters and crisis events.

Dr. Louise Comfort
University of Pittsburgh

Louis Comfort is a Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches in the field of public policy analysis, information policy, organizational theory, and sociotechnical systems. She holds degrees in political science from Macalester College (B.A.); University of California, Berkeley (M.A.), and Yale University (Ph.D.). She is Principal Investigator, Interactive, Intelligent, Spatial Information System (IISIS) Project, 1994-present: Recent publications related to disaster management include: "Crisis Management in Hindsight: Cognition, Communication, Coordination, and Control." 2007. Public Administration Review. Special Issue, Administrative Failure in the Wake of Katrina. December. Pp. S188-S196. "Communication, Coherence, and Collective Action: The Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Infrastructure." 2006. Public Works Management and Policy. Vol. 11, No. 1, 1-16; and "Risk, Security and Disaster Management." 2005. Annual Review of Political Science. Vol. 8: 335-356. June. Dr. Comfort is currently engaged in four large-scale research projects on crisis management. She is concluding in August, 2009 a five-year National Science Foundation-funded research project on Secure CITI: A Critical Information Technology Infrastructure in which she served as a co-principal investigator with two computer scientists. The project examined the design of networks of information infrastructure for urban regions. Dr. Comfort is currently the principal investigator on a three-year NSF-funded project on Designing Resilience for Communities at Risk: Improving Decision Making to Support Collective Action under Stress. This project focuses on the design and development of a computational model for an early tsunami detection system for a testbed off the coast of Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia. Further, she is engaged in the development of a testbed for information systems to be implemented with the collaboration of practicing agencies in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Region, Pennsylvania. She is also a Project Lead Investigator on a research arm to develop an electronic dashboard for a large research project, Public Health Adaptive Systems, that is examining the adaptive capacity of the public health system. This project, conducted jointly with three other research arms, is directed by Margaret Potter, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh and funded by the Centers for Disease Control. In her research, Dr. Comfort has focused on the design, development, and integration of information processes to support decision making in urgent, uncertain environments.

Dr. John R. Harrald
The George Washington University

John Harrald is the Director of The George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management ( and a Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering in the GWU School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is the Executive Editor of the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council’s Disaster Roundtable Advisory Committee Dr. Harrald has been actively engaged in the fields of emergency and crisis management and maritime safety and port security and as a researcher in his academic career and as a practitioner during his 22 year career as a U.S. Coast Guard officer, retiring in the grade of Captain. Dr. Harrald received his B.S. in Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, and an MBA and Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Mr. Richard Muth
Maryland Emergency Management Advisory

Richard G. Muth was appointed Executive Director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, by Governor Martin O’Malley on June 1, 2008. Director Muth has devoted his entire professional career to safeguarding the lives of Maryland citizens by improving public safety and emergency management practices on the Federal, State and local levels. Director Muth is a 33-year career and volunteer veteran of the Baltimore County Fire Department. He has previously chaired the Governor’s Emergency Management Advisory Council (GEMAC), served as a two-term President of the Maryland Emergency Management Association, was a committee member and subsequent Chairman of the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). In 1993, Director Muth was appointed the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness in Baltimore County. In 1998, he served as the on-scene coordinator of Maryland resources while battling massive wildfires in the State of Florida and was awarded a Governor’s Citation for his efforts. That same year, he was honored by the American Red Cross for establishing new protocols between Baltimore County and the Red Cross. In 1999, he was chosen to chair the Baltimore Metro Council Y2K Contingency Planning Group. In 2003, Director Muth was appointed by Governor Robert Ehrlich to serve as Baltimore County’s Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management where he oversaw the county’s Hazardous Materials Program, Advanced Tactical Rescue, Fire Department Communications, and the Chemical Stockpile Program. He has chaired the U.S. Defense Department’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Program - Domestic Preparedness Chemical team and has been recognized for his leadership roles in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel and as Maryland’s Emergency Resource Coordinator following Hurricane Katrina. As MEMA’s Executive Director, Muth oversees a staff of 75 people who work closely with State agencies and Maryland’s local jurisdictions coordinating and planning Maryland’s response to any disaster. When a disaster occurs, whether it is man-made or natural, Director Muth becomes the lead person having the primary responsibility of managing the emergency event and closely advising the Governor on preparedness and response strategies.

Dr. Dave Ropeik
Harvard School of Public Health

David Ropeik is an Instructor at Harvard University, author, and a consultant on risk perception and risk communication to government, business, health care organizations, trade and professional organizations, consumer groups, and educational institutions. He is a former Instructor of risk communication at the Harvard School of Public Health, and was co-director of the school’s professional education course ‘The Risk Communication Challenge’. He is author of How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match The Facts published in March 2010 by McGraw Hill. He is co-author of RISK, A Practical Guide for Deciding What’s Really Safe and What’s Really Dangerous in the World Around You, published by Houghton Mifflin in 2002. He is creator and director of the program “Improving Media Coverage of Risk”, a training program for journalists. Mr. Ropeik was a television reporter for WCVB-TV in Boston from 1978 – 2000, where he specialized in reporting on environment and science issues. He twice won the DuPont-Columbia Award, (often cited as the television equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), and seven regional EMMY awards. He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT 1994-95, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists from 1991-2000. He has taught journalism at Boston University, Tufts University, and MIT.

Dr. John H. Sorenson
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

John Sorenson is a staff member in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His research area is in emergency management, natural hazards, chemical and biological agents, emergency warning systems, and social impact assessment. Sorenson has consulted with businesses and agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and have produced about 10 DVDs and videos to spread the work on how to prepare for emergencies. He completed a Ph.D. in Geography in 1977 from the University of Colorado, Boulder.