Jeff Schlegelmilch

Director—National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute

Jeff Schlegelmilch is the Director for the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. In this role, he oversees the operations and strategic planning for the center. Schlegelmilch also oversees projects related to the practice and policy of disaster preparedness. His areas of expertise include public health preparedness, community resilience, and the integration of private and public sector capabilities. Prior to his role at Columbia, Schlegelmilch was the manager for the international and non-healthcare business sector of the Yale New Haven Health System Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response. He was previously an epidemiologist and emergency planner for the Boston Public Health Commission. Schlegelmilch has overseen numerous initiatives to integrate emergency preparedness and response across government and nongovernment sectors. These have included leading a study to determine the requirements for a national operational epidemiological modeling process, developing and delivering a national training program focused on evacuation and sheltering of people with medical dependencies, and developing new models for community resilience, with a focus on children. He is also a FEMA-certified Master Exercise Practitioner and has been in a leadership role on numerous discussions and operations-based exercises, including one of the largest municipal bioterrorism response exercises ever conducted. Schlegelmilch has advised leaders on preparedness systems and policy at various levels of government. He has published peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from the national funding streams for public health and medical preparedness to the integration of the private sector into disaster response and improving the integration of complex analytical information into disaster operations. Schlegelmilch has been published as an Opinion contributor by The Hill and Fortune, and has been used as a subject matter expert for numerous media outlets. He is also the author of the forthcoming book from Columbia University Press, Rethinking Readiness: A Brief Guide to Twenty-First-Century Megadisasters. Schlegelmilch holds an MPH from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MBA from Quinnipiac University.