Information Exchange: People

Rae Zimmerman

Professor of Planning and Public Administration (ICIS Director and PI), New York University

Rae Zimmerman is Principal Investigator and Director of ICIS. She is Professor of Planning and Public Administration at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and formerly Director of the School's Urban Planning Program. In 1997, she was President of the Society for Risk Analysis, a 2,400 member international, interdisciplinary professional society of natural and social scientists and engineers from academia, industry and government. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Risk Analysis. Dr. Zimmerman's teaching and research interests are in environmental planning, management, and impact assessment with a special focus on environmental health risk assessment, environmental equity, and institutional aspects of global climate change; urban infrastructure and its measurement and performance in light of social objectives; and risk management and public perceptions of complex technologies. She has directed numerous multidisciplinary research grants in these areas. She is the PI of an NSF workshop on a research agenda in connection with the September 11th attacks as well as a study of infrastructure before, during, and after those attacks. Her earlier work in infrastructure includes a workshop on information technology and infrastructure; case studies on infrastructure performance; an infrastructure needs assessment for the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee; a feasibility study of an offshore island complex; and an early outreach program for the statewide (NYS) transportation master plan. In the environmental field, she currently directs a U.S. EPA study of environmental issues in the South Bronx. Other U.S. EPA-funded research has covered farmers' attitudes toward agricultural practices protective of water quality, and demographic patterns near inactive hazardous waste sites. Professionally, she has worked closely with engineers, planners, and scientists for risk and environmental impact evaluations, regulatory support, and public outreach for large infrastructure facilities for water treatment, transportation, waste disposal, and other civil infrastructure. Current professional appointments include member of the NAS Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program Committee, U.S. EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors, the Science Advisory Board Relative Risk Subcommittee, and the NYS Comparative Risk Committee, and she was previously a member of the National Research Council's Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment. She has been a consultant to the U.S. EPA's Superfund program (Region II) on environmental equity and hazardous waste sites, water resources management, and environmental impact assessment. Education: B.A., Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley; M.S., City Planning, University of Pennsylvania; and Ph.D., Planning, Columbia University.

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