Gavin Smith


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Gavin Smith is the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence, a consortium of universities located across the country. He is currently engaged in a number of planning and policy-related research projects within the center, including an assessment of the role governor’s and state agency officials play in disaster recovery. As director, he leads the 10-hour graduate certificate program in natural hazards resilience. Smith is also a research professor in the department of city and regional planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Following Hurricane Matthew, Smith was appointed as a senior recovery advisor to Governor Cooper and the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management. In this role, he advises the state on disaster recovery policy, assists communities develop disaster recovery plans, and links the resources of the University of North Carolina system with unmet state and local needs.

Smith has published numerous book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles, and technical reports addressing a range of topics including hazard mitigation, disaster recovery, and climate change adaptation. In 2011, Smith completed the text, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: A Review of the United States Disaster Assistance Framework (Island Press) as well as several book chapters addressing the linkage between hazards analysis, planning, and sustainable development. Smith is the co-editor of the text, Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning (Springer 2014).