The mission of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute is to save the lives of people and animals by continuously improving disaster management through leadership in applied research and executive education.

  • Close the gap between emergency management practitioners and academic researchers by causing collaboration.
  • Apply business principles and research to bear on disaster preparedness, mitigation, and recovery.
  • Produce applied research and disseminate best practices to individuals, businesses, and practitioners

Demonstrating thought leadership and operating leading programs, the Institute is making a difference in improving overall community and system resiliency against disasters and their aftermath. Stephenson Disaster Management Institute works with leading academic scholars to focus research on the particular problems of disasters, transitioning relevant research into information products and aligning subject matter expertise with disaster management decision makers. Stephenson Disaster Management Institute works with its research affiliates and senior fellows to collaborate on new projects and research proposals that will improve each phase of disaster events, from pre-event preparedness through post-event recovery.

Stephenson Disaster Management Institute has a deep bench of respected research affiliates. Additionally, its senior fellows enjoy recognition as respected experts in the various fields of disaster management practice.

What They Are Saying About SDMI:


“As a native Louisianan and someone who has seen the front lines of Katrina, I am encouraged to know that this institute is working to the left of disasters, before it’s too late. This proactive work will ensure that we see, understand, and act before disaster strikes, building a culture of preparedness. I fully support the mission of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute and its work in crisis management education to make our country more resilient. We are survivors, not victims.”

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré
U.S. Army (Ret)


“SDMI is uniquely suited to bring together intellectual and operational perspectives on disaster management, response, and recovery. LSU offers global academic reach and the Gulf Coast regional setting gives SDMI unquestionable on-the-ground credibility. The result is an institution that is poised to serve as a national, and ultimately global, leader in tackling these complex problems.”

Rick “Ozzie” Nelson
Senior Fellow and Director, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program
Center for Strategic and International Studies



SDMI's donors play an essential role in sustaining the quality and impact of our experts' work by providing critical financial resources.