Jack Harrald, research professor, Virginia Tech Center for Technology, Security, and Policy has been appointed chairman of the Disasters Roundtable, a standing committee of the National Research Council (NRC) which functions under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Harrald, who has been a member of the Disasters Roundtable for the past six years, will serve as chairman for the next three years.

The mission of the NRC is to improve government decision making and public policy, increase public education and understanding, and promote the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in matters involving science, engineering, technology, and health.

As Disasters Roundtable chair, Harrald said he plans to reach out further to both researchers and practitioners in the policy community and to increase the coordination of disaster and emergency management studies conducted within the various boards in the National Academies.

“I also want to assure that there is adequate and appropriate input from scientists and technology experts to help us achieve our policy and operational goals. I am confident that this is the type of collaboration that the new administration is encouraging to help us successfully move forward,” Harrald said.

The Disasters Roundtable sponsors three workshops annually to facilitate and enhance the exchange of ideas among scientists, practitioners, and policy makers concerned with urgent and important issues related to natural, technological, and other disasters. Harrald will chair the next workshop, Children and Youth in Disasters: Closing Gaps Among Research, Practice, and Policy, scheduled at the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, Washington D.C., on June 25.

Harrald is executive editor, The Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (JHSEM), an electronic journal established in 2003 by Berkeley Press, and is the associate editor of The International Journal of Emergency Management (IJEM), published by Inderscience Enterprises LTD. He has authored numerous articles in refereed journals, conference proceedings, periodicals, research reports, books, book chapters, and monographs.


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