DeeDee Bennett Gayle

DeeDee Bennett Gayle

Associate Professor, Chair of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Department
College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity
Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security



PhD, Fire and Emergency Management, Oklahoma State University 

MS, Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology 

BS, Electrical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology 

DeeDee Bennett Gayle

DeeDee M. Bennett Gayle, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She is the lead director of the Extreme Events, Social Equity, and Technology Lab. Her research broadly examines the influence and integration of advanced technologies on the practice of emergency management and for use by vulnerable populations, in particular older adults, people with disabilities, as well as racial and ethnic minorities. Recently, her studies have also focused on workforce development and participation in disaster management fields.

Dr. Bennett-Gayle has led several research grants and contracts as PI or Co-PI, including from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security. Employing experimental designs, qualitative one-on-one and focus group interviews, and quantitative survey analysis, her research explores ways to increase disaster preparedness, reduce vulnerability, and shorten recovery primarily in the United States. Her work spans all hazards, focused on micro-level impacts from tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme winter weather, infectious diseases, wildfires, and flooding, among others. Her studies also include investigating the use of a wide range of technologies for disaster preparedness, such as mobile wireless devices, social media platforms, mobile applications, virtual reality, personal intelligence devices, and artificial intelligence.

Dr. Bennett Gayle's work has been used in the formation of policy. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging regarding disaster planning for people with disabilities and older adults and presented in town halls for the NYS Assembly members regarding COVID-19. She is co-author on five Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory filings and White House comments, many of which were cited in rulemaking. Her work has been covered or quoted in Spectrum News, Washington Post, Newsweek, USA Today, CNBC, WURD Philadelphia, and Honolulu Civil Beat, among others.

With over 60 publications, her work is published in various journals and conferences related to emergency management, disability, wireless technology, and future studies. She co-authored the book Empowered or Left Behind: The Use of Technology During COVID-19 and co-edited the edited book volume Social Vulnerability to COVID-19: Impacts of Technology Adoption and Information Behavior. In 2023, she was selected as one of the Ocean Decade Champions by the National Science Foundation and the Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation for research on marginalized populations. Dr. Bennett Gayle received her PhD in Fire and Emergency Management from Oklahoma State University. She has a unique academic background, receiving her MS in Public Policy and BS in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.


CEHC Courses Taught 

CEMH 192 Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in EMHS

CEHC 101 Introduction to Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity

CEHC 299 Exploring Crises Management with Popular Culture Cinema

CEHC 345 Leadership and Ethics in EHC

CEHC 398 Field Experience in EHC

EMH 401/405 Recovery and Mitigation

EMH 405/505 Crises and Vulnerable Populations

CEHC 495 Special Topics: Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)

CING 721 Information and Security


Research Interests

Emergency Management; Socially Vulnerable Populations during Disasters; Emergency Communications, Disaster Policy, Mobile Wireless Communications