University of Colorado Natural Hazards Center
Liesel Ritchie is 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. 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. Prior to joining CU, she 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 served as PI or co-PI on more than 80 projects and authored or coauthored more than 70 technical reports working with agencies including NASA, NSF, USGS, FEMA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, NOAA, and U.S. Department of the Interior. Ritchie is a National Institute of Standards and Technology Disaster Resilience Fellow and is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Gulf Research Program Advisory Board and Study Committee. Most recently, she was appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee for Measuring Community Resilience.