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Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy

The emerging field of Disaster Resilience Leadership is an innovative response developed as a direct result of failures in corporate, nonprofit, municipal, state, and federal administration following natural and human-made events with far-reaching impacts, including the analysis of Post-Katrina New Orleans. Although many graduate programs focus on disaster and risk management, none of them specifically target the role and development of leadership and resiliency as a means of producing effective programs or outcomes for communities and their residents. This makes the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy the first with such an innovative focus.

Through a refined curriculum designed around a set of core competencies, DRLA offers graduate level programs that equip individuals with a comprehensive view of the challenges and best practice approaches to leadership in the disaster resilience and humanitarian aid fields. It applies the knowledge of the context of disasters to leadership that results in resilient, sustainable, post-disaster communities. 

Students include current and future professionals from a variety of fields who want to develop and hone the skills needed to lead with confidence. They are looking to start or expand careers in:

  • emergency preparedness
  • disaster management
  • monitoring and evaluation
  • nonprofit leadership
  • grass-root development
  • disaster risk and recovery programs

DRLA is an interdisciplinary academic center with participating faculty from Tulane's School of Social Work, School of Architecture, A.B. Freeman School of Business, School of Law, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and the Departments of Mathematics, Economics and Sociology. Collectively, program faculty work to create a supportive and cooperative academic environment for students and bring a wealth of knowledge, research, and hands-on field experience.

Learn more about DRLA through its Mission Statement.

Based upon research that the DRLA leadership has conducted with reputational leaders in the field, including leaders from within other premier academic institutions, international organizations, prestigious NGOs, the United Nations, the donor community, think tanks, and the Red Cross movement, it is widely agreed that a systematic and interdisciplinary approach to leadership is widely needed in the community and insufficiently addressed in most academic programs. As Tulane University itself has exhibited such resilience and strength of leadership in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as well as during the COVID-19 pandemic, it represents an ideal setting to support such an approach to disaster resilience leadership education and allows students to experience the recovery and resilience that engrained in the city of New Orleans.



Master of Science

Experience an interdisciplinary, evidence-based curriculum that integrates education, research, and practice-based application; requires 36 credit hours and can be completed in 12 to 24 months.

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Dual Degree with MSW

Develop skills and understanding to support the capacity of vulnerable populations to address the root causes of humanitarian crises; requires 75 credit hours and completed in 5 to 10 semesters on-campus or online.

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Focus on the DRL core competencies: Human and Social Factors, Disaster Economics, Disaster Operations and Policy, Environment and Infrastructure, and Leadership; requires 15 credit hours.

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