Louise Comfort

University of Pittsburgh

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Louise K. Comfort is professor emerita and former director of the Center for Disaster Management at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a visiting researcher at the Policy Lab at the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society of the University of California, Berkeley. Comfort is also affiliated faculty of the School of Government at Nanjing University. She is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration since 2006 and received the 2020 Fred Riggs Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Section on International Comparative Administration, American Society for Public Administration. Her recent books include Comfort, L.K. 2019 The Dynamics of Risk: Changing Technologies and Collective Action in Seismic Events, Princeton University Press; Comfort, L.K. and M. L. Rhodes, Eds. 2022. Global Risk Management: The Role of Collective Cognition in Response to COVID-19, Routledge Publishing; and Comfort, L.K. and H. P. Rahayu, Eds. 2023. Hazardous Seas: A Sociotechnical Framework for Early Tsunami Detection and Warning, Island Press. Comfort currently serves as chief editor for Social Sciences and Natural Hazards Review, board member for the International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum, and on the American Review of Public Administration and the Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management editorial boards. She has done field studies of 24 earthquake response systems in 14 countries, including a small social science reconnaissance study following the 6 February 2023 earthquakes in Türkiye. Her research focuses on decision-making in response to natural hazards and other urgent events: earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, wildfires, and COVID-19.