David A. Friedman (M. EERI 1988) has been named a 2024 EERI Honorary Member in recognition of his devotion to world-wide seismic risk reduction and advancing community seismic resilience. He has solved numerous structural and earthquake engineering challenges during his career with a specialty in seismic engineering and retrofitting of existing structures, particularly those with historic designation. Honorary membership of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute is awarded to recognize members who have made sustained and outstanding contributions to the field of earthquake engineering and/or to EERI and the pursuit of its objectives.
Friedman is retired Senior Principal, Emeritus Chair of the Board of Directors, President and CEO of Forell|Elsesser Engineers. He has over 48 years of professional practice in structural and earthquake engineering.
Friedman’s strength, gained over the breadth and depth of his career, is a holistic perspective of a projects’ planning, design and construction and the collaborative integration of creative structural solutions with architects, engineers and builders. Principal examples of his projects include: the base isolation retrofits of San Francisco City Hall and the Asian Art Museum, the adaptive reuse and retrofit for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the seismic safety corrections and remodeling of UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium.
Friedman’s notable contributions to the Institute include serving on the Board of Directors from 2011-2013 and as EERI President in 2017-2018, during which he oversaw a successful Executive Director transition. In 2001, he and his family endowed the Visiting Professionals program, which now provides lectures to hundreds of students each year. He has also played an integral role in the creation and success of the Learning From Earthquakes Endowment Fund, which launched in 2019.
Friedman has also been deeply involved in many additional civic, philanthropic and not-for-profit organizations, including serving on the boards of The San Francisco Foundation, SPUR, the UC Berkeley Foundation, the Jewish Home of San Francisco, and GeoHazards International.