top of page


Laurie A. Johnson, Principal and Founder

Laurie Johnson is an internationally-recognized urban planner specializing in disaster recovery and catastrophe risk management. For over 30 years, she has combined her unique blend of professional practice and research to help communities and organizations address the complex challenges posed by natural hazards and disasters. Much of her post-disaster recovery efforts are captured in her book, After Great Disasters: An In-Depth Analysis of How Six Countries Managed Community Recovery (2017).  She is also the coauthor of Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans (2010) which examines the post-disaster recovery policies, plans and planning processes in the City of New Orleans in the first three years following Hurricane Katrina. She has an extensive publication record and is a leading author of numerous government and industry guidance documents on disaster recovery and reconstruction, community and lifeline resilience, socioeconomic implications of catastrophes, and risk-informed land use planning.


Laurie began her planning career working with San Francisco Bay Area communities that would soon be struck by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and over the years, she has developed an extensive portfolio of disaster risk reduction, recovery and resilience expertise for an array of natural hazards, including earthquakes, landslides, floods, and hurricanes across the U.S. and the world. She founded Laurie Johnson Consulting | Research in 2006 and the firm’s clients include cities, counties, state emergency management agencies, university and research institutions, philanthropic and non-profit organizations, and public and private insurers. Laurie is currently assisting the State of California with a benefit-cost assessment of the statewide earthquake early warning system and the development of tsunami recovery planning guidance for coastal communities and incorporating tsunami hazard mapping into the state’s seismic hazard mapping program. She is also a contributing researcher on the development of functional recovery standards for the seismic performance of building and lifeline systems for the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 


She is an accomplished executive in catastrophe risk management and insurance, most recently serving as Chief Catastrophe Response and Resiliency Officer for the California Earthquake Authority and the newly-formed California Wildfire Fund. In this role, she was responsible for the earthquake readiness and claims administration of California’s privately-funded and publicly-managed residential earthquake insurance program, and also led a multi-disciplinary team of claims consultants, attorneys and subject matter experts to develop of a novel, claims administration process for utility-caused wildfires in the state. She also helped found the California Insurance Emergency Response Association and chaired its inaugural Board of Directors. She was formerly a Vice-President with Risk Management Solutions (RMS), working with global property and casualty insurers to manage their exposure to natural catastrophe risk.


She is on the Board of Trustees of Geohazards International and the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative. She chairs the Advisory Board of the Global Earthquake Model, and serves on the advisory boards of the University of California (UC) Disaster Resilience Network and UC San Diego Super Computer Center’s WIFIRE Convergence project. She was 2021-2023 chair of the California Residential Mitigation Program Governing Board, 2019-2020 President of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and 2012 – 2018 chair of the national Advisory Committee for Earthquake Hazards Reduction. She was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP) in 2018.


She is affiliated faculty with New York University’s Global Institute for Public Health Program on Population Impact, Recovery and Resilience and Texas A&M University’s Hazards Reduction and Recovery Center.  Laurie completed her Doctor of Informatics degree at Kyoto University, Japan and also holds a Master of Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics, both from Texas A&M University.


Collaboration and Teaming

Laurie Johnson Consulting | Research prides itself upon its many successful collaborations, building and leading and also participating on specially-designed, multidisciplinary teams for both public and private sector consulting projects and research. Team members have included both leading practitioners and academic experts in civil, structural and earthquake engineering, geoscience and geotechnical engineering, meteorology, land use and urban redevelopment, geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing, public administration and policy, emergency management, and social science.

© Laurie Johnson Consulting | Research 2024

bottom of page