James O. Malley

Vice President


James O. Malley is a Senior Principal with Degenkolb Engineers of San Francisco, California. He received both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Joining Degenkolb after completing his Masters’ degree, Jim now has over 30 years of experience in the seismic design, evaluation and rehabilitation of building structures. His clients are primarily based in the health care sector and in the peer review of large and complex structures that incorporate new technologies and/or performance based earthquake engineering design methodologies.

Jim has specialized in the seismic design of steel frame structures throughout his career. He served as the Project Director for Topical Investigations for the SAC Steel Program. In that position, he was responsible for directing data collection and interpretation of steel frame buildings damaged by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and all of the analytical and testing investigations performed as part of the SAC Steel Project. In 2000, this work was recognized by AISC in presenting Jim with its’ Special Achievement Award. He is a member of the AISC Specifications Committee and the Chair of the AISC Seismic Subcommittee that is responsible for developing the AISC Seismic Provisions that are the basis of the International Building Code. His contributions to the steel industry were recognized by AISC in his receiving the 2010 T.R. Higgins lectureship and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Jim is a member of the ASCE Committee on Steel Buildings and the ASCE Seismic Effects Committee. He is also a member of the AWS D1.l Subcommittee on Seismic Welding Issues that publishes the AWS D1.8 Seismic Supplement to AWS D1.1.Jim was a member of the steel subcommittee of the ATC 33 project that developed FEMA 273/274, “NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings”, and is a member of the Building Seismic Safety Council Provisions Update Committee. He has made numerous presentations on the effects of the Northridge Earthquake on Steel Frame Buildings, as well as the seismic design of steel structures. The author of over fifty technical papers, Jim was the Co-Recipient (with the late Egor Popov) of the 1986 ASCE Raymond C. Reese Research Prize ASCE for the paper “Shear Links in Eccentrically Braced Frames”.

Jim has served as a member of the SEAONC and SEAOC Board of Directors, and was President of SEAONC in 2000-2001. He was President of SEAOC in 2003-2004. He was named a SEAOC Fellow in 2007. He recently completed a term on the Board of Directors of NCSEA, serving as President of NCSEA in 2010-2011.

Jim has been an active member of EERI for over 25 years. In 1992, he was selected to lead the EERI post-earthquake reconnaissance team that investigated the effects of a 6.7M event in Erzincan, Turkey. He led the development of the team’s investigation report and a series of seminars on the effects of the event. For the last five years, Jim has chaired the EERI Technical Seminars committee, focusing on developing programs that would be of interest to the diverse membership of the organization. He has also presented numerous lectures on seismic design to EERI student chapters through the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program.


I am truly honored to be a candidate for the EERI Board of Directors. From the very earliest days of my career, I recognized the important role of EERI in the advancement of earthquake engineering in professional practice and in the advocacy of earthquake risk mitigation in the United States and around the world. I was very fortunate early in my career to participate in an EERI Earthquake Reconnaissance Team; an experience which was very influential in setting the direction of my career. My admiration for the mission of the organization and its’ unique ability to engage the diverse expertise of earthquake professionals has continued to grow as the organization has expanded the breadth of its’ programs and their impact on seismic risk reduction worldwide.

Throughout my career, I have found virtually all of my professional activity to be fully aligned with EERI’s objective toreduce earthquake risk by advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering, improving understanding of the impact of earthquakes, and advocating measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes. My goal as a Director would be to assist EERI with improving existing approaches and finding new mechanisms for advancing this mission while bringing additional value to all of our members.

EERI’s role pursuit of this objective is already multi-faceted and highly effective. A large part of advancing the science and practice and improving the understanding of the impacts of earthquakes is rooted in the ability of the organization to generate outstanding technical information that bring state of the art information to the desks and screens of our members. EERI Spectra and Earthquake Reconnaissance reports through the Learning From Earthquakes program, the Work Housing Encyclopedia, NCEE Conference Proceedings and a host of others are all outstanding contributions to the technical literature. My hope is that we can bring all of this wealth of information more “to life” for our members and the public at large through web based mechanisms such as technical webinars, web based video vignettes on topics of interest, and social media venues for dialogue and interchange of ideas. Providing this type of additional content and access to our members’ expertise has the potential to more effectively engage our large and international membership, to help interest and entice young professionals to become members and to provide a valuable resource to the public.

Advocating for hazard reduction must continue to be done by the organization at the local, state, national and international levels. The key to success in this realm will rely on effectively communicating our message to the stakeholder community. EERI’s diverse membership provides the professional resources necessary to generate the tools required to effectively communicate seismic resiliency and other complex concepts that will help push forward our advocacy of earthquake hazard reduction. I am committed to helping the Board and the rest of the organization in this ongoing pursuit.

In closing, I would again thank EERI for the opportunity to be considered for membership on the Board of Directors. I will consider it a great honor if elected and pledge to wholeheartedly embrace the challenge to serve the membership and the entire earthquake community in our pursuit of EERI’s mission.