Dr. Gavin Smith is Director of the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence and a Research Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the latter role, he leads the Graduate Certificate Program in Natural Hazards Resilience.
Following Hurricane Matthew, Dr. Smith was appointed Senior Recovery Advisor to Governor Cooper and the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management. He advises the state on disaster recovery policy, assists communities develop disaster recovery plans, and links resources of the University of North Carolina system with unmet state and local needs.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Smith worked in the Mississippi Office of the Governor as Director of the Office of Recovery and Renewal. His group identified financial assistance, educated and trained local governments and state agencies, counseled the Governor, his staff and agency officials on disaster recovery policy, and implemented the Governor’s Commission Report: After Katrina: Building Back Better than Ever. He testified before Congress on policy changes to improve delivery of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction and helped develop the concept and policy guidance for the $400 million Alternative Housing Pilot Program.
In the 1990s Dr. Smith was Assistant Director for Hazard Mitigation in the State of North Carolina. During his tenure, the Mitigation Section administered more than $1.5 billion in grants for 10 Presidential disaster declarations. Following Hurricane Floyd, he advised Governor Hunt on long-term recovery policies and programs. This led to 22 state programs, totaling $836 million, that addressed needs not met by federal assistance, including North Carolina’s nationally recognized floodplain mapping initiative.
Dr. Smith’s numerous publications include the 2011 text, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: A Review of the United States Disaster Assistance Framework. He is co-editor of the text, Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning.