New York University has a range of faculty who can comment on the South Asia tsunami and its aftermath. Below is a list of university professors and their areas of expertise (listed in alphabetical order by topic). Reporters interested in speaking with any of them should contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or

Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response

  • K. Bradley Penuel, director of NYU’s Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response

Disaster Relief and Recovery

  • Simon Chesterman, executive director of NYU’s Institute for International Law and Justice at NYU’s School of Law: United Nations, post-conflict reconstruction
  • Shepard Forman, director of NYU’s Center on International Cooperation (CIC): pledges of aid and the reality of disbursement and allocation
  • Abby Stoddard, CIC research associate: humanitarian assistance; the role of the United States and non-governmental organizations in the process
  • Barnett Rubin, South Asia/India/humanitarian assistance


  • Rae Zimmerman, NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response: environmental and infrastructure perspectives, including transportation-related goods delivery problems


  • Roshini Rajapaksa, New York University Medical Center: administered care for five days at makeshift clinics in Sri Lanka

Mental Health

  • Jack Saul, director, International Trauma Studies Program and Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center
  • Nancy Wallace, Senior Advisor, International Trauma Studies Program and chair, United Nations NGO Committee on Mental Health


  • Naomi Levine, executive director, Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising: private philanthropic efforts, fund-raising ethics


  • Lawrence Balter, professor of applied psychology at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education: Helping children cope and understand the tragedy

South Asia

  • Barnett Rubin, director of studies at NYU’s Center on International Cooperation and special advisor to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan: South Asia region and humanitarian assistance
  • Smita Narula, executive director of NYU’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice: South Asia region and humanitarian assistance


  • Lalia Rach, associate dean, Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management: tourism


  • Martha Gabriel, professor at NYU’s School of Social Work and Red Cross-trained trauma counselor: survivors of natural disasters
  • Carol Tosone, professor at NYU’s Social of Work and contributor to FEMA training video for mental health disaster relief: trauma counseling
  • Caroline Rosenthal Gelman and Diane Mirabito, professors at NYU’s Shirley M. Ehrenkranz School of Social Work: co-authors of Generalist Social Work Practice in the Wake of Disaster: September 11 and Beyond

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