A collaborative leadership team of scientists and other professionals dedicate their considerable expertise and time to guide SCEC’s programs. By-Laws define their roles, responsibilities, and procedures for conducting business.

Organizational Structure

The Statewide California Earthquake Center (SCEC) has adopted a new organizational structure to meet evolving scientific and programmatic needs. This three-branch structure consists of:

  • Center Leadership and Operations branch oversees the day-to-day operations and ensures alignment with the Center’s strategic goals and resources.
  • Center Governance branch guides policy development, ensure adherence to established protocols, oversee management, and foster stakeholder engagement.
  • Center Science Steering branch sets the Center’s science goals, identify research priorities, and monitor research progress to ensure innovation and broad societal impact.

The SCEC leadership are a dedicated and diverse group of scientists and professionals representing various career stages and institutions. They guide Center activities by leveraging their expertise in earthquake research, education, administration, and community engagement.

Recruiting New SCEC Leaders for 2024-2025

SCEC has implemented changes to support its statewide transition, including adjusted focus areas, a new leadership and governance structure, and leadership recruitment in 2024-2025. Nominations for new leadership positions will be solicited soon.

Center Leadership and Operations

The Director and Co-Director serve as Principal Investigators and are responsible for managing the grants or contracts that support the Center’s major activities. They are supported by an Executive Operations Committee and full-time staff at USC, SCEC’s lead institution.

Executive Operations Committee (ExCom)

Sets strategic direction, guides Center-wide program development, and ensures day-to-day operations align with strategic goals, available resources (funding, personnel, technology), and contractual obligations. 


SCEC Staff and Postdocs at USC Headquarters

A team of 16 staff and postdoc support the broad range of the Center’s activities with expertise in applied science, project management, research administration, education & engagement, software development, and research computing.

Center Governance and Stakeholder Engagement

The SCEC Board of Directors oversees the Center’s management and governance. It includes representatives from core and participating institutions, along with USGS liaisons. A subset of Board members serve as Officers who handle essential functions for Board operations.

Board of Directors — Officers

Manages critical Center governance activities including Management Oversight, Professional Conduct, Equity Diversity & Inclusion, Leadership Recruitment, Elections and Voting, By-Laws & Governance, Stakeholder Management, and Communications.

Board of Directors — Institutional Representatives

Participates in the oversight of Center management via the Board of Directors. Appointed by their institutions, they act as liaisons, fostering communication and encouraging institutional engagement in SCEC’s research, education, and outreach activities.

Center Science Steering

SCEC’s Science Steering Branch guides research by identifying promising new research directions, and engaging the broader scientific community. A Science Steering Committee sets annual science goals and solicits proposals aligned with them. A Proposal Review Committee evaluates these proposals and recommends the portfolio of projects to the Directors and Board for annual funding.

Science Steering Committee (SSC)

Monitors research progress, identifies priorities, and sets Center science goals. With input from the SCEC community and leadership, they cultivate new research ideas, and develop the annual science plan guiding proposal submissions to SCEC’s research program.

Proposal Review Committee (PRC)

24-30 expert reviewers (representing 12 disciplinary and interdisciplinary focus areas) who evaluate proposals submitted to SCEC, and recommend the annual portfolio of research proposals, trainings, and workshops to fund to the Board, Center Directors, and sponsors to act on.

Major Activities (MAs) encompass cross-cutting Center efforts that support core operations: SCEC’s current major activities include (1) Earthquake System Science & the San Andreas Fault System, (2) Research Computing & Cyberinfrastructure, (3) Education & Workforce Development, (4) Outreach & Community Engagement, and (5) Collaboration Planning & Program Evaluation.

Technical Work Groups and Task Forces are established to address well-defined scientific inquiries, organizational needs, or specific problems. These groups operate under a defined charge or problem statement, and typically follow a planning process that incorporates external input. Their activities are sunsetted upon achieving their objectives.

Center and Program Evaluation

SCEC’s annual planning process is flexible and community-driven. This process incorporates annual checkpoints to assess risks, program outcomes, and broader impacts. To evaluate our effectiveness in achieving research, education, and engagement goals, SCEC leverages the existing management structure and engages an External Advisory Committee.

External Advisory Committee (EAC)

Academics, practitioners, and other external stakeholders who evaluate the Center’s broader societal impact and advises on strategies to enhance its sustainability and effectiveness, informing future program development.