2017 Housner Fellows

Dana Brechwald, MUP Dana Brechwald is thrilled to be part of this year’s Housner Fellows Program. She is excited to learn from her peers and mentors to gain the skills to make a bigger impact in earthquake risk reduction and community resilience building and expand what it means to have a career devoted to helping people lead better, safer lives in harmony with natural disasters. Dana is a Resilience Planner at the Association of Bay Area Governments in San Francisco where she works with local governments, professionals, community groups, and residents on hazard mitigation and long‐term disaster recovery planning for the San Francisco Bay Area. She has led several projects aimed at increasing resilience in the Bay Area, including a Soft Story Retrofit Program Development Policy Guidance Document and Model Ordinance, and the Stronger Housing, Safer Communities project, designed to create safe, smart residential growth. She has also played a leading role in re-branding and updating the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan process and worked with the City of Oakland to develop long-term recovery plans and ordinances. Dana currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of EERI’s Northern California chapter and holds a B.A in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley and Masters of Urban Planning from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Her approach to resilience is holistic, multi-hazard, and multi-disciplinary, combining smart science with policy, and building capacity to enact change locally.

Karl Telleen, SE Karl Telleen is a Senior Engineer with Maffei Structural Engineering in San Francisco. He has twelve years of professional experience including seismic evaluation and retrofit of existing buildings, design of new steel and concrete structures, seismic peer review of high-rise buildings, and design and analysis of solar arrays subjected to wind and seismic forces. In 2010, he completed a Fulbright Fellowship studying structural design and high-performance concrete materials in Switzerland. He performed post-earthquake reconnaissance work studying concrete buildings in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake, and he participated in the ATC-94 project Seismic Performance of Reinforced Concrete Buildings in the 2010 Chile Earthquake. Karl currently serves as Director and Treasurer of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California. Karl is thrilled to participate in the Housner Fellows Program! Professional experience has taught him to revere the talent of current and foregoing leaders, and to recognize how much further our field of earthquake engineering can go to expand and implement knowledge to serve society. He is eager to collaborate with his Housner classmates and to work together to encourage leadership and advocacy in the earthquake engineering community.


Erik Bishop, PE Erik Bishop works as a structural project engineer at Reid Middleton, Inc., in Everett, WA and has over 7 years of experience working on a variety of projects throughout the western United States, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates. Erik’s structural practice includes new design, seismic evaluation and rehabilitation design, seismic resiliency studies, and the implementation of seismic instrumentation and earthquake response technologies. Erik has also had opportunities to participate in reconnaissance efforts after several of the large earthquakes and tsunamis that have occurred around the world and observe their devastating effects first-hand. As a result of these experiences, he is passionate about seismic safety. He has worked in several capacities in order to improve the seismic safety and resiliency of our communities, including providing post-earthquake safety evaluation trainings, working on the development of innovative earthquake response tools for emergency managers, and participating in various earthquake preparedness advocacy efforts. Erik applied for the Housner Fellows Program for the unique opportunity to collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team of colleagues who share a similar passion, learn from them and thought leaders in the industry, and participate in the effort to “move the needle” forward in supporting public policies and solutions that will further seismic risk reduction efforts domestically and abroad.

Debra Murphy, PE Debra Murphy is a licensed professional engineer based out of Oakland, California, working as an Associate Principal Engineer for Slate Geotechnical Consultants. She co-founded Slate in 2018 with over a decade of consulting experience, a Master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College, Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on geotechnical and earthquake engineering projects for sites throughout the United States and abroad for new and existing buildings, dams and offshore structures. Recently, she has worked closely with leaders in the seismic hazard field to implement advances in modeling which is complemented by her role as the chair of the Ground Motions Subcommittee for the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California. Debra is looking forward to the opportunities for additional knowledge and experience provided by the Housner Fellows Program to connect the engineering analysis to the people through policy work and team collaboration.

Veronica Cedillos, PE Veronica Cedillos is President at GeoHazards International in Menlo Park, California. She is a licensed Civil Engineer and much of her structural engineering experience has been on managing projects focused on reducing the impacts of natural hazards. She has managed various earthquake and tsunami risk mitigation projects in several countries, including major projects in Armenia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Peru, and the United States, and has participated in post-earthquake investigations following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, 2009 Padang earthquake, and 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Veronica has experience managing and working with interdisciplinary groups, including universities, government, international agencies, and non-profit organizations and has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international conferences and events. In recognition of her international work, Veronica was selected as the 2010 American Society of Civil Engineer’s New Faces of Engineering and was awarded the 2011 Shah Family Innovation Prize. Veronica is Co-Chair of EERI’s School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI) Executive Committee. She holds an M.S. in Structural Engineering from Stanford University and B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Veronica applied for the 2017 Housner Fellows Program because of her interest in continuing to develop her skills in order to become an even more effective leader and advocate for seismic safety worldwide.

Rebecca Laberenne, PE Rebecca Laberenne is the Associate Director for Innovation in the Built Environment at 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, which is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to physical, social and economic challenges. A licensed professional engineer and a structural engineer, she previously worked as Associate Partner at Guy Nordenson and Associates, and as a Program Manager for Build Change. She serves on the Board of Trustees at GeoHazards International and has conducted post-disaster field work following Hurricane Sandy, the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, the 2008 Great Sichuan Earthquake, the 2007 Peru Earthquake, and the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster. She holds a Bachelor of Science and Engineering (BSE) in Civil and Engineering and Architecture from Princeton University; an M.S. in Structural Engineering Mechanics and Materials from University of California, Berkeley; and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from New York University. Rebecca is passionate about reducing natural hazard risk in rapidly urbanizing and expanding cities around the world through technically and culturally appropriate approaches that respond to local political and economic conditions.