Liesel Ritchie

Associate Director

University of Colorado Natural Hazards Center

Liesel Ritchie is associate professor at Oklahoma State University and former associate director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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 20 years of experience in evaluation and research. Before joining CU, she was a senior research associate at the Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University and served as coordinator for the Social Science Research Center's Evaluation & Decision Support Laboratory at Mississippi State University for six years.

Ritchie has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than 80 projects and authored or coauthored more than 70 technical reports working with agencies including NASA, the national Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Department of the Interior. She is a National Institute of Standards and Technology disaster resilience fellow and is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee for Measuring Community Resilience. Ritchie also serves on two National Academies Advisory Boards—one for the Gulf Research Program and another for the Koshland Public Engagement Program.