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UAlbany's Thomas Birkland Appointed to Head National Science Foundation Hazard Response Program

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 13, 2006) -- Thomas Birkland, an associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy in the University at Albany's Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, has been appointed to serve for one year as a program director at the National Science Foundation.

Birkland will direct the Infrastructure Management and Hazard Response (IMHR) program in the NSF's Division of Civil and Mechanical Systems in the Directorate for Engineering. This program makes grants to academic and technical researchers studying the impact of natural and humanly-caused disasters on infrastructure and society.

"The opportunity to serve at NSF is very exciting," said Birkland. "The NSF is among the premiere scientific organizations in the world, and I know I will learn a great deal in my short year here."

Birkland, a political scientist, is a nationally-known expert on the politics and policies related to disaster response and planning, and has written two books and several articles on the subject. While at NSF, he is on leave as director of the Center for Policy Research in Rockefeller College.

The Center for Policy Research is the public policy research center of Rockefeller College. The Center's affiliated faculty conduct research funded by private and public organizations.

Ranked among the top-10 public affairs programs in the nation, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy's core mission is to discover, communicate, and apply knowledge about politics, governance, public policy, and public management. The college directly helps public managers, policymakers, and others deal effectively with the challenges they face, making democracy stronger and governments more effective around the world. For more information, visit Rockefeller College.


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages more than 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

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