Dr. Susan L. 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—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 thirteen books, more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Her latest book, Hurricane Katrina and the Forgotten Coast of Mississippi (Cambridge University Press 2014), examines the post-disaster recovery along the coast and the role that historic, economic, and social factors play in producing the differential recovery that is so apparent today.
She has led post event field teams in examining Three Mile Island (1979), Hurricane Floyd (1999), September 11th World Trade Center attack (2001), Graniteville, SC train derailment and chlorine spill (2005), Hurricane Katrina (2005), and Hurricane Sandy (2012).
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 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 flood protection systems in New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina.
She also served as a juror in the HUD-sponsored Rebuild by Design competition which awarded innovative projects to increase resilience in the Hurricane Sandy affected region.
Dr. Cutter serves on many national advisory boards and committees including those of National Research Council (NRC), the AAAS, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Natural Hazards Center (Boulder, CO), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
She also serves as Vice-Chair of the international Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Science Committee supported by ISSC, ICSU, and UN-ISDR. Dr. Cutter is co-executive editor of Environment and Editor-in-Chief of Oxford University Research Encyclopedias: Natural Hazards Science.