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Susan Cutter Ph.D.

Susan Cutter, Ph.D.

Professor, University of South Carolina

Office Phone: 803-777-1590


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.  Her primary research interests are in the area of disaster vulnerability/resilience science.  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 for the September 11th World Trade Center attack (2001), Three Mile Island (1979), Hurricane Floyd (1999), and the Graniteville, SC train derailment and chlorine spill (2005). In 2006, she led a Hurricane Katrina post-event field team to examine the geographic extent of storm surge inundation along the Mississippi and Alabama coastline and its relationship to the social vulnerability of communities, as well as disparities in long term recovery, work that is ongoing.  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 including those of National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and is a member of the science committee of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (a program sponsored by the International Council of Science (ICSU), International Social Science Council (ISSC), and the United Nations International Strategy for Risk Reduction (ISDR). She served as a coordinating lead author on the IPCC Special Report (SREX) on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation and most recently chaired a National Research Council committee that produced the Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative report.   Dr. Cutter is co-executive editor of Environment and is an associate editor of Weather, Climate, and Society. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (1999), past President of the Association of American Geographers (2000), and past President of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) (2007-2008). Dr. Cutter presently holds the MunichRe Foundation Chair (2009-2012) on Social Vulnerability through the United Nations University-Institute for Environment and Human Security, in Bonn, Germany.  She has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Geography from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in geography from California State University, East Bay.