Program Description

Call for Applications: 2014 EERI HOUSNER FELLOWS

EERI is announcing a call for its second class of Housner Fellows, to begin in April 2014. 

The strategic objective of the Housner Fellow program is to recognize and equip promising and motivated young to mid-career professionals with the confidence, skills and sense of responsibility needed to become lifelong leaders and advocates of earthquake risk reduction.

Applications may be submitted HERE:

Applications are due at EERI by March 1, 2014.  Selected Fellows will be announced by April 15, 2014.

 Leadership Outcomes

By the end of the two-year program, each EERI Housner Fellow should be able to demonstrate:

  1. In-depth knowledge and a holistic view of safety issues facing communities, including the multidisciplinary nature of earthquake risk reduction, and how earthquake hazard and risk considerations fit into public policy.
  2. Advocacy knowledge and skills needed to promote seismic safety or risk reduction.
  3. Collaboration and change management skills, including the ability to identify and attract technical and financial resources
  4. The ability to adapt personal leadership styles to the needs of different stakeholders and situations.
  5. Abilities to communicate effectively, in oral and written form, to diverse stakeholders including technical and lay audiences, elected officials, and the media.

 Program Components

 Housner Institute—a mandatory week-long program of classroom training, homework, group work, exercises under the direction of EERI member and professor Lucy Arendt (For the second class the Institute will be held at Alyeska Resort in Alaska, July 16—20, 2014)

Mentoring—a one-on-one mentoring program with a leading EERI member whose experience aligns with the Fellow’s specific interests. Through regular, scheduled communication, the mentor will provide guidance on the individual or group project, and assist the Fellow to build networks and develop intangible leadership skills. Mentor relationships will begin in September 2014 and continue formally for two years.  EERI will facilitate matching, with assignments subject to mutual interest. This will be offered as a resource and is not mandatory, but highly encouraged;

Activities—a tailored set of activities including participation in EERI, an individual project and the group project, community policy development activities, and providing information to the EERI membership. These activities may also include participation in an EERI reconnaissance trip or trip related to the group’s project. It is expected that Housner Fellows will meet regularly at the EERI Annual Meeting and may present the group project there;

Group Project—mandatory participation in a group project that will benefit EERI and/or promote seismic safety policy. Each Fellow is expected to play a significant leadership role in the project. The inaugural class of Housner Fellows selected promoting seismic safety in schools in Ghana as their project. A portion of the Institute time will be dedicated to selecting and developing the group project further. Each Fellow will then be responsible for working with the other Fellows and his/her mentor to complete the project.

Ongoing Communication—Mandatory participation in regular communication, including monthly conference calls, with other Fellows, some of whom will be located worldwide.

 Selection Criteria

  •  Commitment to earthquake risk mitigation (track record, accomplishments, fields of interest, willingness to assume responsibilities, ethical, concern for others, etc)
  • Abilities (experience, credentials, preparation and desire to work with diverse groups of people),
  • Support (possible outside funding, employer agreement)
  • Clear sense of leadership strengths and development needs
  • Basic communications skills
  • EERI membership

 Application Process

Please refer to the detailed description of the Application Process. The application package consists of the following:

  1. Contact information for the applicant
  2. Answers to a set of essay questions
  3. A professional resume, summarizing educational background, significant work assignments, current position, involvement with EERI and other major volunteer activities
  4. 2 letters of recommendation, including one from your current employer
  5. Suggested names (up to 3) for your mentor (optional)
  6. Supporting material (optional) that represent a sample of your work—for example, articles or other publications you have written, other work that could demonstrate your interest and experience in public policy and/or the promotion of seismic risk reduction.


Earthquake engineering and seismic mitigation have advanced dramatically over the past 70 years in part due to the advocacy and persistence of industry thought leaders. Many of EERI’s members over that time have served in such leadership roles and the Institute is dedicated to development of future generations. None have made a more significant contribution to the advancement of earthquake safety than Professor George W. Housner (1910—2008).

Professor Housner left a substantial gift to EERI “to advance the objectives of EERI”. Professor Housner was an educator, a leader of our profession and an advisor on public policy. He was a founding member of EERI and served as president for 11 years. He advanced earthquake safety through his research and writing, by training students, and as an advisor to government agencies. He served on the Newmark-Stever panel that laid the foundation for the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, counseled Senator Alan Cranston on the need for the program, and served on panels investigating the 1971 Sylmar, 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earthquakes. He was a founder of the International Association for Earthquake Engineering and sought to increase understanding of earthquakes, to develop engineers of the highest caliber and to use the knowledge to improve earthquake safety worldwide.

The Board of Directors decided to use his gift to train future earthquake engineering policy advocates and thought  leaders through  the Housner Fellows Program, which has now been underway since the fall of 2011. The inaugural class of Fellows was selected in early 2012. Information on this class is available here: