Biographies of Committee Members
Vicki Bier (co-chair) is a leading researcher on accident precursors. She was editor and organizer of Accident Sequence Precursors: Risk Assessment and Probabilistic Risk Analysis (University of Maryland, 1998) and has published extensively on modeling precursors and precursor analysis. Dr. Bier is a professor of industrial engineering and engineering physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Howard Kunreuther (co-chair) is the Cecilia Yen Koo Professor of Decision Sciences and Public Policy at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, as well as codirector of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. He is currently on sabbatical at Columbia University as a visiting research scientist. Dr. Kunreuther has a long-standing interest in the management of low-probability high-consequence events related to technological and natural hazards and has published extensively on the topic. He was a member of the National Research Council Board on Natural Disasters and chaired the H. John Heinz III Center Panel on Risk, Vulnerability and True Costs of Coastal Hazards and is a recipient of the Elizur Wright Award for the most significant publication in the literature of insurance. Dr. Kunreuther is a distinguished fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) and was awarded the SRA Distinguished Achievement Award in 2001. He is the author, with Paul Freeman, of Managing Environmental Risk through Insurance (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997), coeditor (with Richard Roth, Sr.) of Paying the Price: The Status and Role of Insurance Against Natural Disasters in the United States (National Academy Press, 1998), and coeditor (with Steve Hoch) of Wharton on Making Decisions (John Wiley & Sons, 2001).
John F. Ahearne is adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering and lecturer on public policy studies at Duke University. He is also director of the Sigma Xi Center (The Scientific Research Society). Dr. Ahearne earned his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University and is an expert on nuclear power and nuclear weapons. From 1978 to 1983, he was a commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and was chairman from 1979 to 1981. In 1997–1998, he was deputy assistant secretary of energy in the White House Energy Office, and from 1972 to 1977, he was deputy and principal deputy assistant secretary of defense working on weapons systems analysis. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959 to 1970, and has worked at the U.S. Air Force Weapons Center on nuclear weapons effects and taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado College, and the University of Colorado. Dr. Ahearne has served on and chaired numerous government research and policy making committees concerning nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, and the disposal of nuclear waste.
Robert Francis, who was appointed vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) by President Clinton in 1995, was involved in many transportation accident investigations; Mr. Francis also chaired a number of NTSB public hearings. In addition to his investigative work and other NTSB duties, he has been an active member of the Air Transport Association of America Steering Committee on Flight Operations Quality Assurance Programs and the Flight Safety Foundation ICARUS Committee, a group of aviation experts from around the world who gather to share ideas on reducing human error in the cockpit. Prior to his appointment to the NTSB, Mr. Francis was senior representative of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Western Europe and North Africa. As representative of the FAA administrator, he worked extensively on aviation safety and security issues with U.S. and foreign air carriers, transportation governmental authorities, aircraft manufacturers, and airports. Mr. Francis received the Aviation Week and Space Technology 1996 Laurels Award and was recognized by both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard for meritorious service in the TWA Flight 800 investigation. He received his A.B. from Williams College, attended Boston University and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and holds a commercial pilot certificate with instrument and twin-engine ratings. He is a member of the French Academy of Air and Space, a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a member of the Wings Club of New York, a trustee of the Aero Club of Washington, a member of the Board of Directors for Women in Aviation, International, and the Executive Council of NASA’s Aviation Safety Program. In 2000, Mr. Francis left the NTST and joined the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel as a consultant.
Harold S. Kaplan is professor of clinical pathology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and director of transfusion medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. A graduate
of Oberlin College, he earned his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his postgraduate training in pathology at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Kaplan is the principal investigator for the NHLBI RO1 Grant for the development and implementation of an event reporting system (MERS-TM) to improve the safety of the blood supply. His current research is focused on establishing the usefulness of standardized medical event reporting for error prevention and management.
Harry McDonald is Distinguished Professor, Chair of Excellence in Engineering, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he conducts scholarly research and provides advice and assistance to the university faculty and students. From 1996 to 2002, as center director, NASA Ames Research Center, he was responsible for defining and overseeing the NASA Ames Center of Excellence for Information Technologies, including all research programs, approximately 1,500 civil servants, 3,000 contractor employees, and an annual budget approaching $1 billion. The center is heavily involved in supercomputing, information technologies, and aerospace and space-science research. Dr. McDonald received a D.Sc. in engineering and a B.Sc. in aeronautical engineering, with Honors, both from the University of Glasgow.
Elizabeth Miles is worldwide manager of safety learning and development for Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Her responsibilities include: the development of safety learning and development strategies for the J&J family of companies; core competency for behavior-based safety; and the creation of the incident investigation process, “Learning to Look.” Ms. Miles has been with J&J in various capacities since 1984. She has an M.S. in organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in the history of ideas from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S.in biology from the University of Maryland.
Elisabeth Paté-Cornell is the Burt and Deedee McMurtry Professor in the School of Engineering and has been chair of the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University since its creation in January 2000. From 1978 to 1981, she was assistant professor of civil engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and from 1981 to 1999, she was a faculty member at Stanford in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management. Her primary areas of teaching and research are engineering risk analysis and risk management, decision analysis, and engineering economy. Her research in recent years has focused on the inclusion of organizational factors in probabilistic risk analysis models with application to the management of the protective tiles on the space shuttle, offshore energy platforms, and anesthesia during surgery. She is currently working on trade-offs between management and technical failure risks in the design of space systems and on probabilistic methods of threat analysis. Dr. Paté-Cornell is a member of the
National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the NAE Council, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Air Force Science Advisory Board, and the California Council on Science and Technology. She is a past president and fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis and is currently an elected member of the Stanford University Senate. She received her degree in computer science from the Institut Polytechnique, Grenoble, France, and a master’s degree in operations research and a doctorate in engineering-economic systems, both from Stanford University.