You are here

About DRLA

Interdisciplinary Academic Center 

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, the program faculty work to create a supportive and cooperative academic environment for students. Academy faculty bring a wealth of knowledge and research, as well as hands-on field experience, providing students with an interdisciplinary view of the challenges and best practice approaches to leadership in the disaster resilience and humanitarian aid field.

Why Now and Why Tulane University?

The emerging field of Disaster Resilience Leadership is an innovative response developed as a direct result of failures in disaster leadership, including the analysis of Post-Katrina New Orleans. Although there are many graduate programs that focus on disaster and risk management, none of them specifically targets the role and development of leadership and resiliency in producing effective programs or outcomes, making the DRLA Academic Program the first with such an innovative focus. 

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, it represents an ideal setting to support such an approach to disaster resilience leadership education and allows students to experience the living laboratory of recovery and resilience that is the city of New Orleans.