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National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program

A research and implementation partnership

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Acting NEHRP Director and NIST Agency Representative

John Harris

John Harris
Acting NEHRP Director
Materials and Structural Systems Division
Engineering Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
100 Bureau Drive, MS 8604
Gaithersburg, MD  20899
(301) 975-6538

Dr. Harris has been the Acting NEHRP Director since January 1, 2022, providing overall program management and coordination; facilitating implementation of earthquake risk mitigation measures; and building and maintaining effective partnerships with stakeholders in industry, academia, and government and the four NEHRP agencies. He served as the Deputy NEHRP Director since August 2018. To support NISTís holistic role in NEHRP, he works with the Earthquake Engineering Group at NIST to identify, plan, manage, and conduct research and development to provide new or enhanced earthquake-resistant design provisions for building codes and standards, advance seismic-resistant construction practices, and enhance measurement and prediction tools supporting performance-based seismic design and community resilience. NIST earthquake R&D combines in-house and extramural expertise to address key research and knowledge-transfer issues in earthquake engineering. He also assists with cooperative work involving the NEHRP agencies and other federal, state, public, private, and academic domains. A function of NEHRP is leadership and technical support of the Interagency Committee in Seismic Safety in Construction (ICSSC), composed of representatives from all agencies engaged in construction, financing of construction, or related activities. The mission of the ICSSC is to assist agencies in developing and incorporating earthquake risk reduction measures in their ongoing programs. As such, John is chair of the ICSSC to the support NISTís role as the secretariat of the committee.

Prior to his role in the NEHRP Office, John was a research structural engineer in the Earthquake Engineering Group. His research interests included general earthquake engineering advances, performance-based seismic engineering, seismic design of structural systems, alternative seismic engineering philosophies, structural steel structures, base isolation, and development of building code seismic provisions. He has over 15 years of practicing experience prior to joining NIST, specializing in analysis and design of tall buildings for wind and earthquake effects. He was also an adjunct professor and currently teaches at the Johns Hopkins University. He has authored numerous publications in the area of earthquake engineering. Dr. Harris serves on many codes and standards development committees supporting the transfer of research into practice. He serves on the committees that publish seismic provisions for ASCE 7, ASCE 41, AISC 342, AISC 341, and the ICC International codes. He is a member of EERI, SEAOC, NZSEE, ASCE, ACI, AISC, SSRC, and ICC. He is a licensed structural and professional engineer in several states.

University of California, San Diego, Ph.D., Structural Engineering, 2006
North Carolina State University, M.S., Structural Engineering, 2002
North Carolina State University, B.S., Civil Engineering, 1994

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