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Liesel Ritchie

Distinguished Senior Fellow

Dr. Liesel Ritchie is Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Disasters and Extreme Events at Oklahoma State University and an Associate Professor in OSU’s Department of Sociology. During her career, Ritchie has studied a range of disaster events, including the Exxon Valdez and BP Deepwater Horizon oil spills; the Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash release; Hurricane Katrina; and earthquakes in Haiti and New Zealand. Since 2000, her focus has been on the social impacts of disasters and community resilience, with an emphasis on technological disasters, social capital, and renewable resource communities, and she has published widely on these topics. Ritchie has more than 30 years of experience in research and evaluation. Prior to joining OSU, she served for 10 years as Associate Director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and a research professor with joint appointments in CU Boulder’s Institute of Behavioral Science and Environmental Studies Program. Ritchie was a Senior Research Associate at the Evaluation Center (Western Michigan University) and served for six years as Coordinator for the Social Science Research Center’s Evaluation & Decision Support Laboratory (Mississippi State University). Ritchie has been PI or co-PI on more than 80 projects and authored or coauthored more than 75 technical reports working with agencies including NASA, NIST, NSF, USGS, FEMA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, NOAA, and U.S. Department of the Interior. She is a National Institute of Standards and Technology Disaster Resilience Fellow, as well as a Distinguished Senior Fellow with Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute. Ritchie is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee for Measuring Community Resilience, and also serves on two National Academies Advisory Boards—one for the Gulf Research Program and another for the Koshland Public Engagement Program.