Our Team

Melanie Gall

Melanie Gall, Ph.D., CFM

Assistant Professor
School of Public Affairs


Vansh Gupta

Undergraduate Research Assistant 

School of Computer Sciences

 Brain Gerber

Brian Gerber, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
School of Public Affairs

  Peiyao Li

Peiyao Li

Graduate Research Assistant

Ph.D. student, School of Community Resources and Development

Skaidra Smith Heisters

Skaidra Smith-Heisters, Ph.D.

Research Analyst


Jingwen Wang

Undergraduate Research Assistant 

W.P. Carey

Elisa Bienenstock

Elisa Bienenstock, Ph.D.

Research Professor
School of Public Affairs



Ramesh Gorantla

Ramesh Gorantla

Research Technologist and Software Development Lead
Decision Theater

Petar Jevtic

Petar Jevtic, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences


Student Alumni 


Katie Blessington (2022-2023), Arizona State University 2024'

Jordan Boich (2019-2021), now employed at Straight Path IT Solutions

Jordan Boich (2022-2024), now with Chubb Insurance

Tatum Falls (2019-2020), now employed by the City of Mesa Police Department

Angelise Khoury (2019-2020), now employed by the City of Phoenix Police Department

Maria Marr (2018-2020), now employed at Amazon

David Mejia (2018-2019), now employed at EY

Michaela Shope (2018-2020), now a Ph.D. student and employee at Michigan State University

Mark Temes (2019-2024), now with the U.S. Coast Guard

Alexi Vogel (2021-2022), now a graduate student at the ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Tianyi Xiang (2018-2020), now Assistant Professor at Peking University

Suyang Yu (2021-2023), now employed as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield

Yilei Yu (2021-2022), now a Ph.D. student at the ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Claire Winter (2018-2020), now a Master's student at the University of Massachusetts Lowell


Past Directors

Rick Dale, 2014-2017
Prior to joining ASU in 2013 to launch the Center, Rick had retired earlier in 2013 as executive chairman and chief executive officer of IXP Corporation. Dale founded IXP in 2000, building it over the next 13 years into an industry leader serving the emergency response needs of government, universities, healthcare and energy clients. The company provides innovative end-to-end solutions for emergency preparation and response including governance, operations, technology and facilities expertise.
During the course of his career, Dale and his company advised and provided solutions to a wide range of clients including New York City, Houston, Portland, Town of Paradise Valley, Brown University, Harvard University, University of California - San Francisco, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Emory Hospital and Constellation Energy. He has led planning, design, implementation and maintenance of emergency response solutions—many of which were industry firsts in North America.
Dale has been a frequent speaker addressing industry groups such as the International City/County Management Association, the Alliance for Innovation and various government groups. He is also an author on the subject of emergency response. His most recent article, Safe Communities: One solution to consider for local governments and academic campuses (Alliance for Innovation, 2013), explains the capabilities and benefits of intelligent video surveillance, the predictive capability of stopping incidents before they occur and the results achieved.
Dale serves on the Board of Directors for Sports Media Network, Inc. He is a former member of the Board of Visitors, College of Business and Economics, Western Washington University and past board member of various nonprofits including Little League Baseball.
Dale holds a bachelor of arts in computer science and business administration from Western Washington University.
Danny Peterson, Founding Director
Dr. Danny Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Idaho. He also holds an MBA, a master of technology, and a Ph.D. in public affairs with a concentration in emergency management and hazardous materials. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and is Board Certified in Homeland Security (American College of Forensic Examiners).
Prior to coming to ASU in 1994, Peterson spent 20 years in the United States Air Force. He held positions as instructor and flight examiner in C-130 aircraft and instructed in T-38s at Williams Air Force Base. Through his career, he also served as chief of air base operability, air field manager, nuclear, biological, and chemical survivability, and as assistant professor of aerospace studies at San Francisco State University.
After retiring from the Air Force, he flew MD-80s for Midway Airlines out of Chicago, Ill. He also worked for the Arizona Division of Emergency Management and still maintains a close liaison with the State Emergency Response Commission and Arizona Division of Emergency Management.