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SCEC Board of Directors

The Board of Directors serves as the primary mechanism for SCEC core and participating institutional representation in the oversight and management of the Center. As stated in the Center By-laws, “The Board of Directors shall have power to authorize action on behalf of the Center, make such rules or regulations for its management, create such additional offices or special committees, and select, employ or remove such of its officers, agents or employees as it shall deem best.”

Tim Dawson
CGS, Chair

Rachel Abercrombie
Boston U, Vice-Chair

Richard Allen
UC Berkeley

Sylvain Barbot

Camilla Cattania

Yifeng Cui

Benchun Duan
Texas A&M

Emily Haddad

Martha House

Chen Ji

Christos Kyriakopoulos
University of Memphis

Jillian Maloney

David Oglesby

Arben Pitarka

Andreas Plesch

Zach Ross

John Rundle
UC Davis

Heather Savage

Paul Segall

Bruce Shaw

Peter Shearer

Jon Stewart

Daniel Trugman

Rowena Lohman
Cornell, Director-At-Large

Ruth Harris
USGS Menlo Park, Liaison

Morgan Moschetti
USGS Golden, Liaison

Katherine Scharer
USGS Pasadena, Liaison

Mark Benthien
USC, Managing Coordinator

Attention New Institutions!

Center Director Yehuda Ben-Zion announced on June 4, 2020:

Any new institution seeking status as a Core or Participating Institution of the Center must include a description of their institution's commitment to improving diversity in STEM in general and in Geosciences in particular in their application letter.

See the SCEC Institutions website for more information.


Executive Committee of the Center
Yehuda Ben-Zion (chair)
Rachel Abercrombie
Mark Benthien
Greg Beroza
Tim Dawson
Alice Gabriel
Tran Huynh (managing coordinator)
Phil Maechling
Gabriela Noriega

Directors' Advisory Committee
Tim Dawson (chair)
Jillian Maloney
David Oglesby
Paul Segall

Professional Conduct Committee
David Oglesby (chair)
Ramon Arrowsmith
Judi Chester
Ahmed Elbanna

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee
Rowena Lohman (chair)
Elena Miranda (vice chair)
Niloufar Abolfathian
Roby Douilly
Ahmed Elbanna
Ruth Harris
Gabriela Noriega (managing coordinator)
M. Khalid Saifullah
Gabrielle Tepp

External Advisory Council
Steve Bohlen
Tim Cockerill
Francois Renard
Heidi Tremayne
Robert Woodward
Phil Maechling (managing coordinator)

Science Planning Committee
Greg Beroza (chair)
Alice Gabriel (vice chair)
Ramon Arrowsmith
Domniki Asimaki
Annemarie Baltay
Nick Beeler
Roland Bürgmann
Michele Cooke
Ahmed Elbanna
Gareth Funning
Ashley Griffith
Nadia Lapusta
Karen Luttrell
Phil Maechling
Scott Marshall
Laurent Montesi
Mike Oskin
Morgan Page
Manoochehr Shirzaei
Jamie Steidl
Ricardo Taborda
Cliff Thurber
Max Werner
Farzin Zareian
Tran Huynh (managing coordinator)

Institutions. SCEC is an institutionally based organization that recognizes both Core Institutions, which make a major, sustained commitment to SCEC objectives, and a larger number of Participating Institutions, which are self-nominated through the involvement of individual scientists or groups in SCEC activities and confirmed by the Board of Directors. The three USGS offices in Menlo Park, Pasadena, and Golden and the California Geological Survey are core institutions. For information on how to become a SCEC institution and the list of the current institutional membership, see the SCEC institutions website.

Composition. The Board is currently composed of Institutional Directors from each core institution and two Institutional Directors-at-Large, nominated by the participating institutions to the Center Directors and approved by the Board to serve three-year terms. The Board also includes non-voting Liaison Members from the U.S. Geological Survey who help to coordinate Center and Survey activities. The Board is served by a Managing Coordinator, appointed from the senior SCEC staff, to support the Board in conducting its business and to liaise with Center management.

Responsibilities. In coordination with the Center Director and Co-Director, the Board’s role is to (1) establish policies for the management of the Center; (2) define the scientific goals of the Center and a long-term vision for its success, including oversight of funding, strategic partnerships, and new initiatives; (3) appoint the Center’s Director and Co-Director, in coordination with the lead institution and the funding agencies, and regularly evaluating their performance; (4) make appointments to other leadership roles within the Center, with particular emphasis on helping to identify and support early career scholars to fill science leadership positions and achieve proper representation of the SCEC community within these roles; and (5) take up issues that are deemed of priority to the Center.

Meetings. The Board of Directors normally meets at the SCEC Annual Meeting (September) and Leadership Meeting (May/June), and monthly via web conferences.

SCEC By-laws

The Center operates under a set of by-laws established for the purpose of conducting SCEC business in a collegial manner. The Board of Directors (in close coordination the Center Director, Co-Director, officers, the lead institution, and funding agencies) is responsible for drafting and approving the SCEC By-laws. Since the Center began on February 1, 1991, revisions to the SCEC By-laws have been adopted effective February 1996, March 2002, February 2007, July 2010, February 2012, September 2014, February 2017, June 2018, and April 2020. The By-laws outline the terms of the institutional membership, with the University of Southern California (USC) as the lead institution. The responsibilities of the principal investigators, Board of Directors, Center officers and standing committees are defined, as well as procedures for conducting their business.

Standing Committees

The Board of Directors may establish committees for specified terms to support the Center. When creating a new committee, the Board will specify the scope of committee activity. Committees may not set policy nor take binding action nor publish Center documents without the consent of the Board of Directors. Committees may not create or appoint subcommittees without consent of the Board of Directors. The following Standing Committees of the Center have been established by the Board of Directors:

Executive Committee of the Center. The Executive Committee of the Center (ExCom) handles the day-to-day responsibilities for Center operations. The ExCom plays a leading role in (1) implementing policies for the management of the Center; (2) ensuring that the available resources are allocated appropriately to meet Center goals, contracts and agreements; (3) providing useful information and expertise that contributes to refining scientific goals of the Center and a long-term plan for its success; (4) communicating and coordinating with the sponsors and program officers on Center activities and addressing areas of concerns as needed; (4) pursuing funding opportunities, strategic partnerships, and new initiatives in consultation with other SCEC leadership groups; (5) supervising and mentoring Center staff at the USC and evaluating their performance; (6) working jointly with the Board on recommendations for other leadership roles within the Center; and (7) onboarding and supporting new SCEC leadership and staff on their role and responsibilities to the Center.

Directors’ Advisory Committee. The Board of Directors has established a standing committee to specifically review the performance of the Center Director and Co-Director and to assist, as necessary, with their efforts. This committee consists of a chair and up to three additional members of the Board of Directors, nominated and confirmed by the full Board membership. The committee helps respond to leadership issues that arise, and works with the Director, Co-Director, and Executive Committee of the Center in their efforts to support the Center. The committee reports to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board, and submits to them an annual review of the Center Director and Co-Director.

Committee for Professional Conduct. The Committee for Professional Conduct is charged with receiving and acting on all reports by the SCEC community of potential misconduct. The committee will perform preliminary, ​prima facie​ assessment of any issues brought to it. If the reported issue falls within misconduct as defined by the SCEC Code of Conduct, the committee has authority to discuss the matter with the parties and recommend a course of action to the parties, the Director and Co-Director, or the Board of Directors. Reported issues that fall under the protected categories appropriate for Title IX will be referred to the USC Title IX Office for investigation. This committee is meant to serve as an additional, potentially more accessible resource for the SCEC community, and does not replace the possibility of reporting any issue of concern directly to the Title IX office at USC, which is the lead institution of the Center.

Committee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is responsible for assessing and recommending actions that support and broaden participation of underrepresented groups within the SCEC community and leadership positions; and to firmly establish these goals as a value within the professional culture of the Center. The committee activities may include surveying the community, recommending actions to be taken by SCEC, and working with Center leadership, the CEO program, working groups, and other collaborators to develop initiatives that improve SCEC’s equity, diversity, and inclusion practices. In recognition of the international nature of science and the academic community, the committee is also charged with welcoming and supporting international scientists to participate in the SCEC collaboration.

External Advisory Council. An appointed external Advisory Council (AC) serves as an experienced body that provides an outside perspective on the Center’s activities with an emphasis on broader impacts and sustainability. The AC is charged with developing an overview of Center operations and advising the Director, Co-Director, and Board of Directors on major issues that confront the Center. At minimum, the Advisory Council provides an annual report to the Center’s leadership evaluating the broader impact of the Center’s activities and outlining ways this impact might be sustained, strengthened, or expanded. The Advisory Council also facilitates interactions with allied disciplines and entities with an interest in earthquake science and education.

Science Planning Committee. The Science Planning Committee (SPC) is responsible for (1) formulating the Center’s science plan that solicits proposals from individuals and groups to participate in the SCEC research program, (2) conducting reviews of all proposals that respond to the annual science plan, and (3) recommending to the Board of Directors an annual research program with a balanced portfolio of projects. Their objective is a coherent science program, consistent with SCEC's basic mission, institutional composition, and budget that achieves the Center's short-term objectives and long-term goals. The SPC comprises the leaders of the SCEC science working groups—disciplinary committees, focus groups, and special project groups—who, together with the Center Director, SPC Chair and Vice-Chair, guide SCEC’s research program. SPC members also play key roles in implementing the SCEC science plan.