Rae Zimmerman is Professor of Planning and Public Administration at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and since 1998, Director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS), a center, initially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for collaborative and interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach on infrastructure services. In 2011-2013 she directed Wagner’s Urban Planning Program for the fifth time. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, past president and Fellow of the international Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), and recipient of the SRA 2015 Outstanding Service Award.
Her teaching and research areas encompass environmental quality, environmental health risk management, and urban infrastructure in the context of the quality of life in cities. Some specific research and teaching areas include social and environmental performance measures for the resiliency of urban infrastructure services in extreme events of both natural and human origins. Her work on these and other topics covers security and global climate change; complexities posed by interconnected infrastructures; the ability of institutions to cope with these stresses; public attitudes toward environmental protection; social and economic characteristics of communities facing environmental stresses; social justice; and risk communication in the context of unanticipated events. Courses she has developed and taught encompass how cities adapt to innovations in energy, transportation and water; environmental impact assessment; environmental planning; and emergency planning. Professor Zimmerman has directed over three dozen research projects as a principal investigator and she has been co-Principal Investigator or senior researcher for over a dozen others with federal funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (through three universities-NYU, the University of Southern California, and Dartmouth College), and various state and local agencies. Professor Zimmerman works closely with NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering on research and educational programs connected with infrastructure interdependencies and cyber threats to physical infrastructures.
She is the author of Transport, the Environment and Security (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012), authored Governmental Management of Chemical Risk (Lewis/CRC), co-produced Beyond September 11th (University of Colorado at Boulder), and co-edited Digital Infrastructures (Routledge) and Sustaining Urban Networks (Routledge). Additionally, her publications have appeared in numerous edited books as well as journals from many disciplines including planning, environmental and public administration journals, for example, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Climatic Change, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Disaster Management, Energy Policy, the Fordham Urban Law Journal (forthcoming), the International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, Journal of Applied Security Research, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, the Journal of Extreme Events, the Journal of Infrastructure Systems (forthcoming), the Journal of Risk Research, the Journal of Urban Health, the Journal of Urban Technology, the Policy Studies Journal, Public Administration Review, Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Risk Analysis, Socioeconomic Planning Sciences, and Water Resources Research. Current advisory committee appointments include the Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Protection (ABR10) of the Transportation Research Board, National Academies (chair of the Physical Security Subcommittee) appointment through 2020, and the NYC Panel on Climate Change. Previously she held numerous appointments to committees as member of the committee on Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities of the National Academies and other committees of the U.S. EPA, the National Academies, the City of New York and the State of New York. She serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Risk Analysis; the Journal of Risk Research; the Journal of Urban Technology; and the International Journal of Critical Infrastructures, and is a reviewer for over a dozen other journals. Education: B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California (Berkeley), a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in planning from Columbia University.