Logo: University of Southern California

Stephen C. Hora to Lead Department of Homeland Security Research Center at USC

Appointee is a USC alumnus, a decision analyst who has headed several CREATE studies and is an experienced academic leader

June 05, 2009 —

Stephen C. Hora is the new director of USC's Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), the nation's first Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Research Center of Excellence.

Stephen C. Hora
Hora is a prominent decision analyst who has led several CREATE studies and is an experienced academic leader who served as the University of Hawaii-Hilo's Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs from 2005 to 2007. He is a Professor of Management Science and Statistics at UH-Hilo. Hora earned both his DBA and his bachelor's degree from USC.

The University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering and the School of Policy, Planning and Development (PPD) made the announcement.Hora will hold a Research Professor appointment in the Viterbi School's Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and in PPD.

Established in 2004 and renewed by the DHS in 2007, CREATE is the nation's first university-based Center of Excellence, supporting research in response to the threat of terrorism.  A model of inter-disciplinary collaboration — thus the engineering-planning and policy partnership — CREATE continues to break new ground in applying advanced risk, decision and economic analysis and modeling tools to evaluate the costs and consequences of terrorism.

DHS selected USC as the site for CREATE from among 71 competing proposals. CREATE develops predictive models that gauge how and where terrorist events might occur, estimate the economic consequences of such attacks and identify where the country's vulnerabilities reside. A CREATE study helped the State of California strategically allocate infrastructure protection funds received from the Department of Homeland Security. Another study serves to guide the DHS analysts as they weigh the costs and benefits of devices that could protect commercial jets from shoulder-fired missiles.

In addition, a CREATE-funded research team led by Professor Milind Tambe of the USC Department of Computer Science and Professor Fernando Ordoñez of the Epstein ISE Department developed randomization software for vehicle checkpoints at airports with significant success

To date, CREATE has generated 256 publications and reports on biological threats, border security and seaport vulnerabilities; as well as maintaining an active conference schedule.

CREATE's research team includes more than 45 faculty researchers and more than 40 research assistants from USC and other universities across the nation.