First response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster

September 7, 2005

The Gerald Ford School of Public Policy
University of Michigan
Contact: lklee[at]

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the School of Public Health and the School of Engineering are co-sponsoring a panel discussion "First Response to the Hurricane Katrina Disaster" on Friday, September 9th at 3:00 p.m. in the Pendleton Room of the Michigan Union on the campus of U-M. A panel of discussants will review what happened in the Gulf and why it has resulted in the largest natural disaster in U.S. history.

Coming to Ann Arbor to participate in this event is Professor Louise Comfort, a member of the faculty of public and urban affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. She is widely recognized for her work in organizational theory, studying disaster response management. She has consulted for a variety of organizations; include the Public Administration and Development Management Division of the United Nations.

Nik Katopodes, Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UM's School of Engineering will talk about his work in flood prediction and hydraulic engineering. He has written extensively on active flood hazard mitigation and the prevention of levee failure.

Matthew Boulton is in the Department of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Practice in the School of Public Health. He is working to develop a comprehensive strategy for the School of Public Health to improve the public health workforce, establish the academic health department model, and enhance applied research. He is the Director of both the public health/preventive medicine residency in the School of Public Health and the university-wide bioterrorism preparedness initiative.

The panel will be moderated by Matthew Naud, the Environmental Coordinator and Assistant Emergency Manager for the City of Ann Arbor and a 1990 graduate of the Masters of Public Policy Program at the Ford School.

Dean Rebecca Blank of the Ford School notes that "This panel aims to provide a forum for forthright discussion of the public policy issues and questions inherent in this terrible tragedy. The long-term effects of this disaster and the effectiveness of our response will affect the well-being of many thousands of people and influence both economic and political outcomes."

For more information please contact: lklee[at], Director of Outreach, Gerald R. Ford School