University Wide Council


Secretary Napolitano is a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the Founder and Faculty Director of the Center for Security in Politics at UC Berkeley. She served as the twentieth president of the University of California, the nation’s largest public research university with ten campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program. Prior to joining the University of California, Professor Napolitano served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013. She is a former two-term Governor of Arizona, a former Attorney General of Arizona, and a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. In 2019, Napolitano published How Safe Are We? Homeland Security Since 9/11.  Professor Napolitano earned her B.S. degree, summa cum laude, in Political Science from Santa Clara University, and her J.D. from the University of Virginia. She is based in Berkeley, CA.

“Disasters continue increasing in their scope, frequency and magnitude, presenting an existential threat to our welfare, and society. With unparalleled talent housed across the University of California’s ten campuses, 3 national labs, and five medical centers, our world-class system can represent one of the most powerful resilience clusters in the world.”


Dr. Amir AghaKouchak is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine.  His research focuses on natural hazards and climate extremes and crosses the boundaries between hydrology, climatology, and remote sensing. One of his main research areas is studying and understanding the interactions between different types of climatic and non-climatic hazards including compound and cascading events.


Dr. Borja G. Reguero is an associate research professor at the University of California Santa Cruz. His research is centered on ocean waves, climate change, the physical processes that govern coastal flooding and erosion, how ecosystems influence them, including how environmental degradation contributes to climate risks. His work focuses not just on basic research, but also on connecting science with applications and solutions such as innovations in nature-based engineering, sustainable financing and environmental management. He develops his work in close partnership with different organizations including the US Geological Survey, the Natural Capital Project, and The World Bank Group. He also serves in different committees and working groups with the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Reguero holds a Ph.D. in Civil engineering and a M.S. in Coastal Engineering from the University of Cantabria in Spain and a M.S. in Applied Economics.


Dr. 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.

RIVERSIDE Dr. Chris Chase-Dunn

Christopher Chase-Dunn is Distinguished Professor of Graduate Division and Co-Director of the Institute for Research on World-Systems at the University of California, Riverside. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University in 1975. Chris has done cross-national quantitative studies of the effects of dependence on foreign investment, and he studies cities and settlement systems in order to explain human sociocultural evolution. His research focuses on interpolity systems, including both the modern global political economy and earlier regional world-systems. Chris is the founder and former editor of the Journal of World-Systems Research and the Series Co-Editor of a book series published by Springer Verlag. In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2002, he was elected President of the Research Committee on Economy and Society (RC02) of the International Sociological Association. And, in 2008, Chris was elected Distinguished Senior Scholar of the International Political Economy (IPE) section of the International Studies Association.


Prof. Montañez holds degrees in geoscience from Bryn Mawr College (B.S., 1981) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Ph.D., 1989). She was an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, UC Riverside before joining the faculty in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Davis in 1998, where she is currently a Distinguished Professor and Chancellor’s Leadership Professor and Director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment. As a paleoclimatologist, her research focuses on reconstructing past global and regional climates, in particular those during warming and major climate transition. Isabel is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of several professional societies, a past Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, as well as the recipient of multiple national and international awards and medals. She served as President of The Geological Society of America from 2017 to 2018 and is currently the Chair of the Board of Earth Sciences and Resources, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 


Dr. Evans is a Professor of Sociology and the Provost of Eleanor Roosevelt College at the University of California, San Diego. Ivan received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986. He joined the UC San Diego faculty in 1990 after serving as a Lecturer at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and as a Visiting Professor at UCLA. His publications include Bureaucracy and Race: Native Administration in South Africa and Cultures of Violence: Lynching and Racial Killing in South Africa and the American South. For more than three decades, Ivan has committed himself to teaching, diversity, and the student experience. He teaches courses on change in modern South Africa; race and ethnicity; political sociology; violence and society; social movements; and environmental sociology. Ivan’s current research focuses on global climate change and the politics of water management in southern Africa.


Richard P. Appelbaum, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former MacArthur Chair in Sociology and Global & International Studies at UCSB; he is also Professor at Fielding Graduate University, where he heads the doctoral concentration in Sustainability Leadership. He has published extensively in the sociology of work and labor; science, technology, and society (with a focus on China’s turn to technology-based economic development); the globalization of business; urban sociology; and social theory. He is author or co-author of more than a dozen scholarly books and nearly two hundred articles and book chapters. His most recent books include Innovation in China: Challenging the Global Science and Technology System (Polity Press, 2018) and Achieving Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy (Cornell University Press, 2016).  He is also co-author of a widely used introductory textbook, Sociology, now in its 12th edition (W.W. Norton, 2021). Dr. Appelbaum received his B.A. from Columbia University (1964), M.P.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (1966), and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1971). He is also Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus and former MacArthur Foundation Chair in Global and International Studies and Sociology at UCSB.


Dr. Weiser is a Professor of Medicine and internist at UC San Francisco’s Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Her research over the past 20 years focuses on the impact of food insecurity, extreme weather events, and other social and structural factors on treatment outcomes for HIV and other chronic diseases both domestically and internationally. She has published over 190 manuscripts on these topics, and has been the principal investigator on over 25 research grants in the area, including 9 NIH grants. In that role, she has led multi-country grants and large, diverse teams, and has mentored over 60 faculty, post-doctoral fellows and students. She currently has an active NIH K24 mentoring award where she is focusing on mentorship in the area of health disparities, HIV and aging. Dr. Weiser co-founded and is co-directing the new University of California (UC) Center on Climate Change, Health and Equity where she is working to expand climate and health research, education and clinical initiatives. She also co-led the University of California-wide Climate and Health Education Faculty Development initiative which has trained faculty members across the University of California Health Science schools to integrate climate and health into their ongoing courses.


Dr.. Bozorgnia is a professor  within the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences. Dr. Bozorgnia’s expertise includes earthquake engineering and ground motion hazard, with emphasis on multidisciplinary aspects of earthquake science and engineering. He has extensively published scientific papers on earthquake ground motion models, seismic hazard analysis, and structural earthquake engineering. Bozorgnia received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer (PE) in the State of California. He has been a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) since 1998. In 2019, EERI, COSMOS and SSA jointly awarded Bozorgnia with the Bruce Bolt Medal for his extensive contributions to seismic hazard analysis and earthquake engineering.


Vice President Maldonado was appointed Vice President for Research & Innovation in March 2020. Dr. Maldonado’s academic career spans 29 years, including at four other universities: The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M Health Science Center, and The University of Texas at Arlington, with nearly 20 years in various research strategic and administrative roles. Dr. Maldonado has extensive experience at the federal level in advancing engineering research, education, and commercialization initiatives. From Jan. 2011 to Oct. 2014, she served as a division director in the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF). She was responsible for a $135M budget in support of interdisciplinary research centers, research translation, innovations in engineering education, special initiatives in support of military veterans, broadening participation in engineering, and workforce development programs. Her initial appointment at NSF was in 1999 to 2001, when she served as a program director in the Engineering Research Centers program and represented the Engineering Directorate on several NSF-wide committees.

Student Regent (Designate) – MARLENEE BLAS PEDRAL

Marlenee L. Blas Pedral is the 2021-22 Student Regents-designate and 2022-23 Student Regent. She is a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, received her M.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of Vermont, and has a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Ms. Pedral was a career counselor at UC Riverside and later served as associate director of UC Riverside’s Center for Social Innovation. While there, she co-founded the Butterfly Project, which provides internships and professional development for undocumented students, and the UC Riverside Career Closet, which provides students with professional attire for interviews and career fairs. During her first year at Berkeley Law, she was elected as a graduate representative and served on the Political and Election Empowerment Project. Ms. Pedral was born in an Otomi indigenous community in San Pedro de Los Metates, Mexico and was raised in the Inland Empire. She is a first-generation student and has earned several accomplished awards. After completing her master’s degree in higher education, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Brazil. Ms. Pedral is passionate about promoting access to an affordable, quality education for all Californians and providing an inclusive campus climate for the entire UC community.


Ms. Atsilvsgi-Zaragoza is the 2021-22 Student Regent. She is an undergraduate transfer student at the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Geography.Ms. Zaragoza is a McNair Scholar studying the rural spatial imagination for students of color in access to higher education and plans on pursuing Ph.D. programs in Democracy or Political Sociology upon graduation in 2022. Previously she studied at Modesto Junior College earning honors degrees in Geography and Political Science and certifications in Ethnic Studies and Communications. Her undergraduate honors research projects are in the areas of public education, voting rights, and democracy.