Executive Committee

Dr. Katya Armistead (UC Santa Barbara)

In 2007, Katya was appointed Assistant Dean of Student Activities in Student Life, where she later became an associate dean and director of the Office of Student Life (OSL). In 2012, she received her doctorate (Ed.D.) in educational leadership from a joint program between UCSB and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. And since 2015, Katya has served as Dean of Student Life. Katya’s most memorable contributions to Student Life include working with groups of students to bring their ideas for events and initiatives to fruition, especially in the wake of adversity, crisis, and even tragedy. Her aspirations for the near future as AVC/DOS are to foster increased collaboration among Student Life units and to foster a sense of campus community such that all students feel they truly belong.

Dr. George W. Rutherford (UC San Francisco)

George W. Rutherford, MD, professor of epidemiology, preventive medicine, pediatrics and history, is Head of the Division of Infectious Disease and Global Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He has worked extensively in public health, with an emphasis on the epidemiology and control of communicable diseases, both domestically and internationally. He has served as state health officer and state epidemiologist for California, director of the AIDS office for the San Francisco Department of Public Health and director of immunizations for the New York City Department of Health. Dr. Rutherford currently serves as an advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and has been involved in the public health response to SARS-CoV-2 since the earliest days of the pandemic.

Dr. David Zilberman (UC Berkeley)

David Zilberman has been a professor in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at UC Berkeley since 1979. He holds the Robinson Chair, is the cofounder and co-director of the BEAHRS Environmental Leadership Program (ELP), and is the director of the Master of Development Practice (MDP). David writes both for professional journals and the general public, and aims to integrate economic theory to real world problems in both developed and developing countries. He is also an extension specialist, and co-editor of ARE Update.

David is Wolf Prize Laureate and a member of the US National Academy of Science. He is a fellow and past president of the American Agricultural Economics Association and a fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. He has published in various fields on the Economics of agriculture, environment, technology and risk. David completed his B.A. in Economics and Statistics from Tel Aviv University in Israel and his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from U.C. Berkeley.

Dr. Robert T. “Chip” Schooley, MD (UC San Diego)

Robert “Chip” Schooley  is the Interim Faculty Director of Global Education at the University of California San Diego where he is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health. Dr. Schooley is the Vice Chair of Academic Affairs, Senior Director of International Initiatives, and Co-Director at the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics, at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Schooley is an infectious disease specialist and an expert in antivirals and viral disease, especially HIV and hepatitis C infection and treatment. He brings experience in international global health collaborations across Africa, India, Thailand, Haiti and Latin America. Dr. Schooley has served as Chair of the NIH’s AIDS Clinical Trials Group and as Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCSD.

Dr. David Oglesby (UC Riverside)

David D. Oglesby is a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. He is a seismologist that is particularly interested in the physical processes taking place during earthquakes, addressing questions like “what makes some earthquakes particularly big and damaging, while others remain small and benign?” He uses numerical simulations of earthquakes to investigate the basic physics of earthquakes, as well as how large an earthquake might be expected on specific fault systems, such as the San Andreas in California. Dr. Oglesby also is very interested in how strong, damaging ground motion is generated, and how people can prepare for and ameliorate the dangers of earthquakes. He regularly teaches classes on earthquakes and other natural hazards, and enjoys outreach on earthquakes and earthquake safety to the general public.

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS: Advisory Board Chairperson, University Council Co-Chairpeople, Executive Director


Dr. Joe Leitmann, Executive Director and Ex-officio member of Executive Committee

Joe Leitmann is the Executive Director of the UC Disaster Resilience Network and the former Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank, heading teams on Resilient Recovery and Urban Resilience at the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Joe was GFDRR’s focal point for humanitarian and fragility/conflict issues. Previously, he spent four years managing the $400 million Haiti Reconstruction Fund which supports post-earthquake recovery in partnership with the Government and the international community. At the same time, Joe supported the creation of crisis response and development funds in a number of fragile and conflict-affected states (Somalia, South Sudan, & Sudan). He also developed and managed the $650 million Multi Donor Fund to help rebuild after the tsunami in Indonesia. Joe has over 35 years of development experience with the World Bank in resilience building, disaster risk management, climate change, natural resource management, urban development, forestry, and clean energy. He has worked in over 40 countries and held long-term assignments in Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia, Haiti, and the South Pacific (the latter as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer). Joe holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley and a Master’s from the Harvard Kennedy School. He is the author of a textbook on urban environmental management “Sustaining Cities” and numerous articles. See https://blumcenter.berkeley.edu/joe-leitmann-on-the-new-era-of-disaster-risk-management/

Nicolás Alberto Pascal, MA – Lead Specialist, UC-wide Initiatives and Strategic Development

Nico has spent the better part of a decade having the pleasure of organizing with some of the finest faculty, students, and administrators across the University of California’s world-class system. Alongside them he has had the honor of founding the Associated Students’ Human Rights Board at UCSB; the University of California Haiti Initiative (UCHI 2010-14); and now the University of California’s Disaster Resilience Network (UC DRN). His experience representing all ten UC Chancellors and Office of the President with UCHI has fundamentally informed not just UC DRN but also Nico’s PhD interest in learning about the evaluation and assessment of innovative models of the University of California – particularly those system-wide manifestations aiming to address society’s most critical challenges. For his work, Nico has been recognized by the UC Regents (Excellence in Student Leadership, 2012), and UCSB (Excellence in Teaching. multiple nominee).


Ricardo Arreola, UC DRN Dean’s Fellow, UC Santa Barbara

Ricardo Arreola is a 4th year Sociology Major aspiring for a minor in applied psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has worked on many different miscellaneous projects ranging from marketing and advertising to video production. He enjoys writing, cycling, drawing, socializing, and listening to music. Ricardo hopes to further learn and expand his interests in the skills and education they potentially offer.

Sonnet Richmond, UC DRN Dean’s Fellow, UC Santa Barbara

Richmond is a Dean’s Fellow at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) working with the UC Disaster Resilience Network (UC DRN). Currently, Sonnet is a fourth-year undergraduate student who is about to graduate with a degree in Environmental Studies. In addition to her education, Sonnet spent three months conducting a research project on surface-water plastic pollution from the Windward Islands to Bermuda. These experiences are what developed her passions for Environmental Planning and Justice, Disaster Resilience, Island Studies, and Oceanography. As a member of UCSB’s UC DRN Campus Based Committee (CBC), Sonnet works on projects that improve disaster resilience on campus and in the broader community. Her projects engage a variety of skills, including funding, research, networking, and database development.

Jack Stein, UC DRN Dean’s Fellow, UC Santa Barbara

Jack Stein is a 3rd-year student at UCSB who majors in Political Science as well as Data Science & Statistics. He grew up in Los Angeles California and joined the team in late 2021. In addition to his education, Jack has spent the previous year serving as a Senator in Associated Students at UCSB. As a part of the campus-based committee of UCDRN at UCSB, Jack has been developing a grant writing course designed to allow students to aid underserved communities develop disaster resilience in line with UC DRN’s core mission. 

Jackie Evanchik, UC DRN Disaster Resilience Fellow, UC Riverside

Jackie Evanchik is currently majoring in English and Philosophy, with a strong focus on bringing disaster resilience courses to UC Riverside. They recognize the significance of equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills to effectively respond to, and recover from, crises. In line with this Jackie is committed to developing and implementing a wide range of disaster resilience courses at UC Riverside with a special focus on the social sciences. This has the aim of developing a more holistic idea of disaster resilience – understanding both how disasters occur and how they impact the natural world, but also how they shape the people who experience them. They firmly believe that education plays a pivotal role in building a more resilient society. By empowering students, faculty, and staff with essential tools and knowledge, they aim to foster a culture of preparedness and proactive response.

Christine Seaman, UC DRN Disaster Resilience Fellow, UC Riverside

Christine Seaman is a fourth-year undergraduate who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. She is working as a research associate in the  Institute for Research on World-Systems with Professor Christopher Chase-Dunn. Her role as a U.C. Disaster Resilience Network Fellow focuses on planning a compound disasters enactment and getting the UC-Riverside student body involved with disaster preparedness and resilience organization. She has also conducted research into environmental justice, community disaster response, and conservation efforts in the Inland South. Christine is very active in the community, having worked with several non-profits and local public officials, and was interviewed by the White House Gender Policy Council. She plans to go to graduate school in Sociology and to work with the U.C. Disaster Resilience Network to prepare for, and mitigate, the challenges posed by global climate change and to reorganize world society as a more sustainable, resilient, peaceful and just system.