College of Arts and Sciences
David Simpson is an associate professor of urban and public affairs and director of the university’s master of urban planning degree program. He has been director of the Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development since 2003.
Simpson has been a National Science Foundation hazards research fellow and sits on the National Academy of Sciences’ disasters roundtable steering committee. His wide-ranging research interests include community preparedness and response to disasters, urban planning and technology, emergency management, environmental policy planning, and geographic information systems.
He received NSF quick-response and exploratory field research grants to investigate the World Trade Center collapse, Hurricane Isabel and Hurricane Katrina. Besides NSF funding, he has received grants from the Department of Homeland Security, Kentucky Division of Water, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Citizens for Rail Safety.
Formerly the director of disaster planning for Albany, Calif., he has served on the Kentucky Governor’s Council on Earthquake Risk Reduction and on the Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction’s strategic leadership council.
Prior to joining UofL as an assistant professor in 1999, he had that same title at Texas A&M University and had served as an adjunct faculty member at San Francisco State University. He was named to the Fifth Third Bank chair in 2006.
Simpson earned his doctorate in city and regional planning at University of California-Berkeley, master’s degree in public affairs from University of Texas-Austin and his bachelor’s degree in physics, political science and public policy studies from Duke University. He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 2001.