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Governance Board

The NEES Governance Board works closely with the NEEScomm Management team to oversee the direction of NEEScomm and to promote the ideas and activities of NEEScomm in order to benefit the NEES community.


Christopher Rojahn, Applied Technology Council, Chair This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mr. Rojahn has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of earthquake engineering and structural engineering, including extensive research on the earthquake response of buildings, bridges, and other structures. During his tenure at ATC, he has served as PI on more than 50 major projects involving earthquake and natural hazard mitigation issues. Prior to joining ATC, Mr. Rojahn served as a Research Civil Engineer for the Seismic Engineering Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey. His work there focused primarily on the acquisition and analysis of earthquake strong-motion data from instrumented structures as well as the development of methods for instrumenting buildings and bridges. While at the Geological Survey he also participated in post-earthquake investigations. Mr. Rojahn has testified before the U. S. Congress and has advised the White House Office of Science Technology Policy on issues relating to earthquake hazard mitigation. He earned his BS in Cvil Engineering at Buchnell University and his Engineering and MS in Civil Engineering at Stanford Univesity in 1967 and 1968 respectively.

Dr. Lelio Mejia, PE, GE - URS Corporation, Vice ChairThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dr. Lelio Mejia, is VP and Principal Engineer in the Oakland, California office of URS Corporation and is an Earthquake Engineering Practice Leader for URS. He is a registered civil and geotechnical engineer with over 25 years of professional experience. His main disciplines of practice are dam engineering, earthquake geotechnical engineering, and foundation engineering. Within URS, Dr. Mejia has progressively held positions as a Senior Project Engineer, Project Manager, Manager of URS’ Oakland 70-person Engineering Department, and URS’ Regional Earthquake Engineering Practice Leader. In his professional practice, Dr. Mejia has been involved with a broad range of engineering projects and has directed numerous dynamic response analyses and seismic stability evaluation and design studies of dams, levees, and other earth structures. He has conducted soil-structure interaction analyses of hydraulic structures, bridge foundations, power plant and harbor facilities, and buildings.

Mark Benthien - University of Southern California, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mark Benthien is Director for Communication, Education and Outreach for the Southern California Earthquake Center, headquartered at the University of Southern California. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geophysics from the University of California Los Angeles in 1995, and a Master of Public Policy degree from USC in 2003. Mr. Benthien communicates earthquake knowledge to end-users and the general public in order to increase earthquake awareness, reduce economic losses, and save lives. To do this he coordinates productive interactions among SCEC scientists and with partners in science, engineering, risk management, government, business, and education; manages activities that increase earthquake knowledge and science literacy at all educational levels; leads efforts to improve earthquake hazard and risk assessments; and promotes earthquake preparedness, mitigation, and planning for response and recovery.

Dr. Olga A. Cabello - State Department, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dr. Olga A. Cabello joined IRIS as Director of International Development Seismology in September 2009, bringing twenty years of experience as an academic scientist combined with extensive experience in science diplomacy and science policy. Prior to joining IRIS, Olga Cabello served as a AAAS Fellow in the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State. In this capacity, she focused on engaging the talent and intellectual power of the U.S. scientific academic community as a core resource in U.S. diplomacy and served as the principal liaison between the Office of the Science Adviser and the U.S. scientific academic community. Olga Cabello received her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico, and a doctoral degree in Molecular Biophysics from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.

Dr. John Cobb, Ph.D. - Oak Ridge National Laboratory, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
John is a researcher at the OakRidge National Laboratory specializing in introducing high performance computing andcyberinfrastructure for different areas ofscience and engineering research, particularly experimental and observational data sciences and areasthat have not traditionally used thesetools to accelerate and increase the impact of their research. His professional preparation includes a doctorate is in theoretical physics specializing in large scale computational plasma physics modeling and simulationapplied to alternative fusion energyconcepts. He has worked in several science areas, all with the unifying theme of applying advanced computation to solve research problems. His previous positions include: scientific computer user advisory committee chair for ORNL, CIO, IT staff, and computer Security officer during the construction period forthe Spallation Neutron Source; ORNL TeraGrid resource provider principal investigator; and Co-investigator for the National Science Foundation's DataONE Datanet project.

Dr. Greg Deierlein, Ph.D. - Stanford University, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Greg is the Director of John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center; Director, Blume Center: Earthquake Engineering Affiliates; Associate Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering. Deierlein's research focuses on improving limit states design of constructed facilities through the development and application of nonlinear structural analysis methods and performance-based design criteria. Recent projects include the development and application of strength and stiffness degrading models to simulate steel and reinforced concrete structures, seismic design and behavior of composite steel-concrete buildings, analysis of inelastic torsional-flexural instability of steel members, and a fracture mechanics investigation of seismically designed welded steel connections. Greg received his BS from Cornell University; MS from University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. from University of Texas, Austin.

Prof. Kenneth Elwood, Ph.D. - University of British Columbia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dr. Elwood received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002, M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995, and B.A.Sc. from the University of British Columbia in 1993. From 1995 to 1998, Dr. Elwood worked for Buckland and Taylor, Ltd. of North Vancouver. Dr. Elwood is actively involved in research related to the seismic response of existing structures. In 2006, he chaired a committee for the American Society for Civil Engineers to update the concrete provisions in the Seismic Rehabilitation Standard (ASCE 41). Dr. Elwood is Chair of the American Concrete Institute Committee on Seismic Repair and Rehabilitation (ACI 369).

Dr. Nancy Healy, Ph.D. - National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, Georgia Tech, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dr. Healy is the Education Coordinator for National Nanotechnology InfrastructureNetwork (NNIN), an NSF-funded partnership of 14 universities. The NNIN Educationand Outreach Office is located at Georgia Institute of Technology. From this office,she coordinates the education efforts of the NNIN sites as well as outreach programsfocused on Georgia. Dr. Healy received her PhD in Geological Sciences from theUniversity of South Carolina. She conducted research and taught at the University ofSouth Carolina from 1978 through 1994. In 1994, she joined the staff of the S.C.Commission on Higher Education where her efforts were focused on math andscience education and teacher education issues and initiatives. She joined GeorgiaTech as a Senior Academic Professional in July 2004.

Ron Klemencic, President of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
an award-winning structural and civil engineering firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with offices in Shanghai, Riyadh, and Chicago. Ron earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 1985 and his Masters in Structural Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986. Over the course of his 24-year career, he has acquired a reputation as an “idea guy”, offering creative engineering solutions, value-added innovations, and an innate ability to see the big picture. In addition to presenting on a variety of structural design issues at professional conferences around the world, Ron has instructed graduate students at the University of Washington, University of California Berkeley, and University of Illinois, among others. His published research papers in the field of tall buildings including research results on post-tensioned floor slabs and reinforced concrete core wall connections, large-scale reinforced concrete link (coupling) beams, dual-plate composite core walls (steel plate shear walls), and more. He recently led the development and adoption throughout the U.S. of "Performance-Based Seismic Design" (PBSD) methodology for high-rise buildings, which provides buildings with increased safety, reliability, and flexibility at a reduced cost. Ron was named 2008 Structural Engineer of the Year by the Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings Journal, and he was also a 2008 Top 25 Engineering News Record Newsmaker for his work advancing PBSD. Ron is Past Chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Concrete Institute and the Charles Pankow Foundation, a voting member of multiple American Concrete Institute committees, and a member of the Chicago Committee on High-Rise Buildings, the Concrete Technology Advisory Committee of the Portland Cement Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Urban Land Institute, to name a few. He is a registered engineer in 13 U.S. states with designs covering the spectrum of project types and materials. Ron’s international experience includes projects in 20 countries, such as 112-story Doha Tower and Convention Center in Qatar, 49-story 21st Century Tower in Shanghai, the 73-story High Cliff Apartments in Hong-Kong, and the Peer Review of the 1km tall, Kingdom Tower in Jeddah.


Dr. Farzad Naeim, Ph.D., S.E., Esq., John Martin and Associates, Past Chair, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dr. Naeim is Vice President and General Counsel for John A. Martin & Associates, Inc. He is the Principal in charge of setting and implementing policies with respect to technical, analytical and legal issues involved in operation of this unique international firm. Dr. Naeim is recognized world-wide as an authority in evaluating design ground motion issues as they relate to the design of structural systems. He has served as technical director for analysis and design of numerous award-winning JAMA structures, including Excellence in Concrete – 2009 by the American Concrete Institute – Intermountain Chapter Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT, and Best of 2008 – Performing Arts Award of Merit McGraw-Hill Construction Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live!, Los Angeles, CA. The structural engineering community has honored Dr. Naeim's contributions to earthquake engineering with numerous awards, including the prestigious 2007 Fazlur Khan Medal Award for outstanding structural design in high-rise building construction.


Dr. Padma Raghavan, Ph.D. - The Pennsylvania State University, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Padma Raghavan conducts research in high performance computing and its applications for cyber-enabled discovery and design. Research by Raghavan's group at the Scalable Computing Lab (SCL) concerns sparsity as a unifying abstraction toward increasing computational performance by constant factors to orders of magnitude. Sparse representations of data arise from many different contexts: e.g., from largely local connections in a system represented as a sparse graph or network or from partial differential equations models where the number of nonzeroes in an associated matrix is bounded by a small constant times its dimension. Raghavan's work impacts cyber-enabled discovery and design "at scale" in various disciplines, for example, physics-based simulations in mechanics and materials by design, and more recently scalable systems for computational social science.


Prof. Glenn J. Rix, Ph.D. - Professor and Group Leader, Geosystems Engineering, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
Dr. Glenn J. Rix is a Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Rix earned his BSCE from Purdue University in 1982 and his MSCE and PhD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 and 1988, respectively. His primary research and teaching interests are in soil dynamics and geotechnical earthquake engineering including laboratory and in situ measurement of dynamic soil properties, site response analysis, and liquefaction hazards. Current research projects are focusing on continued development of array-based surface wave methods, frequency dependence of shear modulus and material damping ratio, earthquake hazards in the Central and Eastern U.S., and seismic risk mitigation for ports. Dr. Rix is active in a variety of professional organizations including the ASCE, EERI, SSA, EEGS.


Past Members



Sergio M. Alcocer, Secretary General of the National University of Mexico,UNAM, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
Mr. Alcocer’s teaching activities are courses at the graduate level at UNAM on Reinforced concrete structures and systems, Reinforced concrete members, and Masonry structures. He was the President of the Mexican Society of Structural Engineering, 2003-2004. Full Member of ACI technical committees: Technical Activities Committee, 318, 352 (Joints in monolithic structures). Chair of ACI technical committee 374 (Performance-based seismic design of concrete buildings). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico City: B.Sc., Civil Engineering, 1986. The University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA: Ph.D., Civil Engineering (Structures), 1991.


Dr. Roberta Balstad, Columbia University, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
Dr. Balstad (formerly Roberta Balstad Miller) is Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University and a Senior Fellow with CIESIN. Dr. Balstad has published extensively on science policy, information technology and scientific research, remote sensing applications and policy, and the role of the social sciences in understanding global environmental change. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including City and Hinterland: A Case Study of Urban Growth and Regional Development (1979) and editor, with Harriet Zuckerman, of Science Indicators: Implications for Research and Policy (1980). Her publications have been translated into French, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish. Dr. Balstad received the Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1974. She was a senior fellow at Oxford University in 1991-1992 and a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 1994. She is currently chair of the U.S. National Committee on Science and Technology Data (CODATA) and chaired the Priority Area Assessment panel on Scientific Data and Information of the International Council of Science (ICSU). She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the U.S. National Committee for IIASA. Before joining Columbia University, Dr. Balstad was previously the Director of the Division of Social and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation, the founder and first Executive Director of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), and President/CEO of CIESIN. In 1998, she led CIESIN's transition from Saginaw, Michigan to become part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, where she served as CIESIN's Director through April 2006. She has lectured widely, both in the United States and abroad. From 1992 to 1994, she was Vice President of the International Social Science Council and has also served as chair of the NRC Steering Committee on Space Applications and Commercialization, the NATO Advisory Panel on Advanced Scientific Workshops/Advanced Research Institutes, the AAAS Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy, and the Advisory Committee of the Luxembourg Income Study. She currently serves as chair of St. Antony's College Trust (Oxford University) in North America. She has published translations of the poetry of Jorge Luis Borges (Spanish) and N.P. van Wyck Louw (Afrikaans).


Prof. George Cybenko, Ph.D., Dartmouth College, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
George Cybenko is the Dorothy and Walter Gramm Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth. Professor Cybenko has made key research contributions in signal processing, neural computing, parallel processing and computational behavioral analysis. He was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE/AIP Computing in Science and Engineering and IEEE Security & Privacy. Professor Cybenko is a Fellow of the IEEE and received his BS (University of Toronto) and PhD (Princeton) degrees in Mathematics. His current research interests are: Computational Behavioral Analysis, Machine Learning of Processes, Mission, Network and Computer Security, Insider Threat Analysis, Human Terrain of Computer Networks, Computer Network Operations (CNO) Planning.


Dr. Anthony Fiorato, Ph.D. - Consultant Barrington, Illinois, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
Dr. Fiorata provides consulting services on engineering properties and durability of concrete; on design, construction, performance characteristics, and rehabilitation of concrete structures; and on codes and standards for concrete. He is an active contributor to development of the American Concrete Institute building code, and ASTM International materials and testing standards. He has been active in research and consulting,and has authored over 60 publications on cement and concrete technology. He is a fellow and past president of the American Concrete Institute, and a fellow and past Chairman of the Board of ASTM International. Dr. Fiorato is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Fiorato holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Drexel University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering fromthe University of Illinois. He is a licensed structural engineer in Illinois and a professional engineer in Arizona,Michigan and Ohio. His technical activities interface engineering properties and durability of concrete withstructural design, construction and performance characteristics.


William T. Holmes, Chair, Rutherford & Chekene, Past Chair, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
Bill has over 38 years of practical experience in all aspects of designing structures. Seismic design is his specialty and has been involved with research and development projects funded by FEMA, the Building Seismic Safety Council, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. He also makes time for pro bono code development. His current involvements include development of performance-based seismic design, improvements of seismic protection of ceilings, partitions, and fire sprinkler systems, development of new design parameters for structural systems, and development of simplified seismic design provisions for zones of moderate seismicity. Bill is active in many professional organizations, including the EERI and the CUREE. He also serves on the board of directors of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California. He earned his BS in Civil Engineering and his MS in Structural Engineering at Stanford University in 1962 and 1963 respectively.


Roberta Johnson, director of Education and Outreach at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR),
has been named executive director of the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA). Her voluntary appointment begins on April 6. Johnson will continue in her position at UCAR. NESTA is a nonprofit educational organization that works to advance and improve Earth science education at all levels. The organization, which has nearly 1,000 members, provides classroom resources and support for educators, participates in professional meetings, publishes a quarterly journal, and more. "NESTA represents the national community of teachers on the front lines of K-12 geoscience education who seek to bring the wonder of our science to life for students across the country," Johnson says. "I'm eager to work with the organization's leadership and membership to improve geoscience education, develop new opportunities for professional development, and build community among teachers and the geoscience research community." Johnson has been at UCAR since 2000. She serves on numerous advisory boards for projects in science education, outreach, and diversity, and has extensive experience advising NASA, the National Science Foundation, and a variety of professional societies. She has been an active member of the National Science Teachers Association, with which NESTA is formally associated, since 1996. Before coming to UCAR, Johnson was a research scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she started Windows to the Universe, an award-winning Web-based educational tool. In addition to her role in Education and Outreach at UCAR, Johnson is a research scientist in the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which is managed by UCAR. She holds a doctorate in geophysics and space physics. As executive director of NESTA, Johnson will focus on supporting the needs of members, implementing new programs to provide opportunities for in-service professional development, linking classroom teachers to advances in geoscience research, and planning for the future of K-12 geoscience education. "Roberta has a refreshingly clear understanding of the needs of the K-12 education community, as well as the ability to work seamlessly with both the scientific community and governmental agencies," says Parker Pennington IV, president-elect of NESTA. "She's great at bringing people together and allowing synergy to happen." UCAR is a consortium of 69 universities offering Ph.D.s in the atmospheric and related sciences.


Dr. Horst Simon, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
He was named Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab in 2004. In his role as the ALD for Computing Sciences, Horst represents the interests of the Lab’s scientific computing divisions, NERSC and Computational Research, in the formulation of Laboratory policy, and leads the overall direction of the two divisions. He also coordinates constructive interactions within the computing sciences divisions to seek coupling with other scientific programs. Horst joined LBNL in early 1996 as director of the newly formed NERSC Division, and was one of the key architects in establishing NERSC at its new location in Berkeley. The NERSC Center is DOE’s flagship supercomputing facility for unclassified research funded by DOE’s Office of Science and is currently supports 2,677 users at more than 300 institutions. Under Horst’s leadership, NERSC has enabled important discoveries in fields ranging from global climate modeling to combustion to astrophysics. Horst is also the founding director of Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division, which conducts applied research and development in computer science, computational science, and applied mathematics. His research interests are in the development of sparse matrix algorithms, algorithms for largescale eigenvalue problems, and domain decomposition algorithms for unstructured domains for parallel processing. Horst's recursive spectral bisection algorithm is regarded as a breakthrough in parallel algorithms for unstructured computations, and his algorithm research efforts were honored with the 1988 Gordon Bell Prize for parallel processing research. Horst was member of the NASA team that developed the NAS Parallel Benchmarks, a widely used standard for evaluating the performance of massively parallel systems. He is also one of four editors of the twice-yearly “TOP500” list of the world’s most powerful computing systems.

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