PPC staff, speaker or author?
Event Speaker

Susan Cutter

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Title & Affiliation
Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography
Director of the Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute University of South Carolina

Dr. Susan Cutter is a Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of South Carolina where she directs the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute. She received her B.A. from California State University, Hayward and her M.A. and Ph.D. (1976) from the University of Chicago. Her primary research interests are in the area of disaster vulnerability/resilience science—what makes people and the places where they live vulnerable to extreme events and how vulnerability and resilience are measured, monitored, and assessed. She has authored or edited twelve books, more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.


Dr. Cutter has also led post-event field studies of the role of geographic information technologies in rescue and relief operations in (September 11th World Trade Center attack) and studies of evacuation behavior from Three Mile Island (1979), Hurricane Floyd (1999), and the Graniteville, SC train derailment and chlorine spill (2005), and Hurricane Katrina (2006). She has provided expert testimony to Congress on hazards and vulnerability and was a member of the US Army Corps of Engineers IPET team evaluating the social impacts of the New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Protection System in response to Hurricane Katrina.


Dr. Cutter serves on many national advisory boards and committees, and on the international Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Science Committee. She serves as co-executive editor of Environment and is an associate editor of Weather, Climate, and Society. Dr. Cutter was a coordinating lead author of Chapter 5 of Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. She also chaired the committee that produced the recent National Research Council report, Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative.  Dr. Cutter is an elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was past President of both the Association of American Geographers and the Consortium of Social Science Associations. In 2011 Dr. Cutter received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of American Geographers.