Richard S. Olson, Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise
Politics of Disaster, Politics of Disaster Risk Reduction, Critical Juncture Theory, Genocide, Latin American Politics

Contact
Email: olsonr@fiu.edu

Richard S. Olson, Ph.D.

“In the next 50 years, the world has to get it, or else.”

Director
Extreme Events Institute

International Hurricane Research Center
Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas

Richard Stuart Olson received his B.A. degree in from the University of California, Davis in 1967, an M.A. degree from UCLA in 1968, and a Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Oregon. He spent 1965-1966 at the University of Madrid and 1968-1969 as a Fulbright student in Colombia. He is currently Director of both the Extreme Events Institute and the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University.

Professor Olson was part of a research team to the 1972 Managua, Nicaragua earthquake and was subsequently involved in disaster response, research, and evaluation in more than 20 events, including Guatemala 1976 (earthquake); Chile 1985 (earthquake); Mexico City 1985 (earthquakes); Colombia 1985 (volcanic eruption and lahar) and 1994 (earthquake and landslide); Peru and Bolivia 1996-1998 (El Niño-Southern Oscillation); the Dominican Republic 1998 (Hurricane Georges); Honduras and Nicaragua 1998 (Hurricane Mitch); Belize 2000 (Hurricane Keith); and El Salvador 1986 and 2001 (earthquakes). He subsequently organized field research teams to the Chile and Haiti earthquakes of 2010.

Asked to select three single or co-authored publications that he enjoyed the most, Professor Olson chose (1) “Toward a Politics of Disaster: Losses, Values, Agendas, and Blame,” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters (2000); (2) “‘Special’ versus ‘Normal’ Time Corruption: An Exploration of Mexican Attitudes,” Cambridge Review of International Affairs (2000); and (3) “From Disaster Event to Political Crisis: A ‘5C+A’ Framework for Analysis,” International Studies Perspectives (2010).

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Aris Papadopoulos, M.B.A

Distinguished Expert in Resilience

Email: apapadop@fiu.edu

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Juan Pablo Sarmiento, M.D., M.P.H

Associate Director of Research

Email: jsarmien@fiu.edu

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Arindam Gan Chowdhury, Ph.D.

Director, Laboratory for Wind Engineering Research

Email: chowdhur@fiu.edu

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Shahid Hamid, Ph.D.

Director, Laboratory for Insurance, Financial & Economic Research

Email: hamids@fiu.edu

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Keqi Zhang, Ph.D.

Director, Laboratory for Coastal Research

Email: zhangk@fiu.edu

Team Members

Juan Pablo Sarmiento, M.D., M.P.H

Associate Director of Research

Email: jsarmien@fiu.edu

Gabriela Hoberman, Ph.D.

Assistant Director

Email: ghoberma@fiu.edu

Meenakshi Jerath, M.S

Coordinator, Research Programs

Email: mjerath@fiu.edu

Vicente Sandoval H., Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

Email: vsandova@fiu.edu

Richard S. Olson, Ph.D.

Director, Extreme Events Institute and International Hurricane Research

Email: olsonr@fiu.edu

Aris Papadopoulos, M.B.A

Distinguished Expert in Resilience

Email: apapadop@fiu.edu

Juan Pablo Sarmiento, M.D., M.P.H

Associate Director of Research

Email: jsarmien@fiu.edu

Arindam Gan Chowdhury, Ph.D.

Director, Laboratory for Wind Engineering Research

Email: chowdhur@fiu.edu

Peter Irwin, Ph.D.

Professor of Practice

Email: peairwi@fiu.edu

Walter A. Conklin, B.S.

Laboratory Manager

Email: conklinw@fiu.edu

Amal Elawady, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Email: aelawady@fiu.edu

Ioannis Zisis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Email: izisis@fiu.edu

Roy Liu-Marques, M.S.

Project Engineer

Email: rliumarq@fiu.edu

Dejiang Chen, Ph.D.

Research Specialist

Email: dechen@fiu.edu

Changda Feng, Ph.D.

Research Specialist

Email: cfeng@fiu.edu

Jason Gkountis, P.Eng (OIQ), M.Sc.

Site Operations Manager

Email: igkounti@fiu.edu

Shahid Hamid, Ph.D.

Director, Laboratory for Insurance, Financial & Economic Research

Email: hamids@fiu.edu

Shu-Ching Chen, Ph.D.

Co-PI and Eminent Scholar Chaired Professor

Email: chens@cs.fiu.edu

Raul Garcia, B.S.

Coordinator, Research Programs

Email: raul.garcia@cs.fiu.edu

Sneh Gulati, Ph.D.

Affiliate Professor, Department of Math and Statistical Sciences

Email: kibriag@fiu.edu

Golam Kibria, Ph.D.

Affiliate Professor, Department of Math and Statistical Sciences

Email: gulati@fiu.edu

Yuepeng Li, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Email: yuepli@fiu.edu

Diana Machado, B.S.

Coordinator, Research Programs

Email: diana.machado@cs.fiu.edu

Keqi Zhang Ph.D.

Co-PI and Director of Laboratory for Coastal Research

Email: zhangk@fiu.edu

Keqi Zhang, Ph.D.

Director, Laboratory for Coastal Research

Email: zhangk@fiu.edu

Yuepeng Li, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Email: yuepli@fiu.edu

Hugh Willoughby, Ph.D.

Affiliate, Distinguished Research Professor

Email: Hugh.Willoughby@fiu.edu

Ping Zhu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Email: zhup@fiu.edu

Zheng Cui, Ph.D.

IT Manager & Research Scientist

Email: cuiz@fiu.edu

Carolyn Robertson, M.S.

Associate Director, Planning & Administration

Email: crober@fiu.edu

Erik Salna, M.S.

Associate Director of Visualization, Communication, Public Education, and Engagement

Email: esalna@fiu.edu

Luz Maharaj

Grant Administrator

Email: maharajl@fiu.edu

Elizabeth Alvite

Sr. Administrative Assistant

Email: ealvite@fiu.edu

Wendy Zepeda

Office Assistant

Email: wyzepeda@fiu.edu

Zheng Cui, Ph.D.

IT Manager & Research Scientist

Email: cuiz@fiu.edu