September 26, 2023

NEHRP Agencies

NEHRPThe National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) is comprised of four federal agencies who work in close coordination to improve the Nation’s understanding of earthquake hazards and to mitigate their effects. The missions of the four agencies are complementary, and the agencies work together to improve our understanding, characterization, and assessment of hazards and vulnerabilities; improve model building codes and land use practices; reduce risks through post-earthquake investigations and education; improve design and construction techniques; improve the capacity of government at all levels and the private sector to reduce and manage earthquake risk; and accelerate the application of research results. All four agencies are responsible for coordinating program activities with similar activities in other countries. The primary NEHRP agencies are:


Administrator: Ms. Deanne Criswell

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
NEHRP Program Director: William R. Blanton, Jr.

NEHRP responsibilities include: promoting the implementation of research results; promoting better building practices; providing assistance to enable states to improve earthquake preparedness, emergency response and management; supporting the implementation of a earthquake education and public awareness program; assisting NIST and others in the implementation of improved earthquake-resistant design guidance for building codes and standards for new and existing buildings, structures, and lifelines; aiding in the development of performance-based design procedures; developing, coordinating, and executing the National Response Plan when required following earthquakes; and, developing approaches to combine earthquake hazards reduction measures with measures for reducing hazards for other natural and technological hazards (“multi-hazard design”).


Administrator: Dr. Laurie E. Locascio

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
NEHRP Program Director: Stephen L. McCabe

Designated as the lead NEHRP agency and has the primary responsibility for NEHRP planning and coordination. NIST conducts applied earthquake engineering research to provide the technical basis for building codes, standards, and practices, and is responsible for working with FEMA and others to implement improved earthquake-resistant design guidance for building codes and standards for new and existing buildings, structures, and lifelines.  NIST is also responsible for supporting the development of performance-based design tools for building codes, standards, and construction practices.


Administrator: Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan

National Science Foundation (NSF)
NEHRP Program Director: Jacqueline R. Meszaros

Supports fundamental research at the frontiers of science and engineering to advance the nation’s health, welfare, and safety. NSF supports research in seismology, structural and geotechnical earthquake engineering, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences pertinent to preparation for, mitigation of, responses to, and recovery from earthquakes and related events such as tsunamis and landslides. NSF also supports research to improve the safety and performance of geomaterials, buildings, structures, and lifeline systems using the large-scale experimental facilities of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES). Experimental and computational research is also supported at other institutions and through earthquake-related centers to develop a better understanding of the behavior of the Earth, foundations, buildings, bridges, and other structures, including the use of high-performance materials, advanced technologies, and smart structures for seismic hazard mitigation. NSF also supports post-earthquake reconnaissance, and collection of perishable data following a catastrophic event.


Dr. David  Applegate

United States Geological Survey (USGS)
NEHRP Program Director: Gavin Hayes

Provides the Nation with earthquake monitoring and notification, delivers regional and national seismic hazard assessments, conducts targeted geoscience research, and coordinates post-earthquake investigations. The USGS Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) includes regional and national seismic networks and the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), which provides rapid reporting of global earthquake information. NSF and USGS jointly support the GSN, which provides high-quality seismic data to support earthquake and tsunami disaster response, hazards assessments, national security (through nuclear test treaty monitoring), and fundamental research into earthquake processes and the structure of the Earth. USGS develops and maintains national seismic hazard maps that form the basis for seismic provisions in building codes and performance-based structural design. The USGS program receives oversight and guidance from the external Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee (SESAC), which was established in the 2000 reauthorization of NEHRP.

For more information about NEHRP, visit