The Center for Resilience Studies is committed to informing and advancing societal resilience around the globe. Communities, companies, and countries can thrive only if the systems and networks that underpin our daily lives, whether physical, technological or social, are able to better withstand, recover from and adapt to the inevitable shocks and disruptive events of the 21st century. Established in 2013, the Center’s core activity is to learn from disasters and, through partnering with other leading academic research institutions, nonprofits and the public and private sectors, use what is learned to help devise and apply practical, interdisciplinary solutions to resilience-building challenges.




Stephen E. Flynn, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephen Flynn is Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University with faculty affiliations in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. He is also the Founding Director of the Center for Resilience Studies and Co-Academic Director of Northeastern’s Graduate Program in Security and Resilience Studies.

Before arriving at Northeastern in 2011, he served as President of the Center for National Policy and spent a decade as a senior fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2008 he served as the lead homeland security policy adviser for the Presidential Transition Team for President Barack Obama.

Dr. Flynn was an active duty commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard for 20 years, including two tours as commanding officer at sea. He is the author of The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation (Random House, 2007), and America the Vulnerable (HarperCollins 2004).

He holds research affiliations with the Wharton School’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, and the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute. In September 2014 he was appointed by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to serve a member of the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Council (HSSTAC).   He is also a member of the National Security Advisory Board for Argonne National Laboratory. He holds the M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and B.S. from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Stephen Flynn
Center for Resilience Studies, Northeastern University


Connor Goddard

Connor Goddard became the Assistant Director at Northeastern University’s Center for Resilience Studies in August 2016, having previously served as a Research Program Manager since June 2014.  Prior to joining the Center, he graduated from Northeastern Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Affairs. Previously, Goddard worked as a policy assistant at the Project on Middle East Democracy, a research assistant at the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan, and as the first research assistant for the Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security. His briefing on U.S. policy options in Syria won first place at the 2013 George Mason University “15 Minutes with POTUS” policy briefing competition and during his time as  a Northeastern student, he was awarded the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award to study the development of political parties and civil society in Jordan.

Connor Goddard
Assistant Director
Center for Resilience Studies, Northeastern University

Christopher Grasso

Chris Grasso became a Research Program Manager at Northeastern University’s Center for Resilience Studies in June of 2016.  He graduated Cum Laude from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and a concentration in Middle East Studies in May of 2016. He is also a former research assistant at the Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security and previously worked as a legal assistant at a local Massachusetts law firm. In the fall of 2015, Grasso attended the Lorenzo de Medici Institute in Florence, Italy where he studied current security issues facing the European Union.

Chris Grasso
Research Program Manager
Center for Resilience Studies, Northeastern University



Aron Ezaz

Aron Ezaz assumed the role of Senior Grants and Administrative Manager at Northeastern University’s Center for Resilience Studies in February 2016. Prior to arriving at the Center, Aron worked at Partners In Health, where he held the role of Grants Analyst, managing a multimillion dollar portfolio of grants for the organization’s West Africa operations. Previously, Aron also held the role of Controller and Grant Program Director at Concordia College Alabama where he was responsible for the overall daily financial and operational matters of the institution. Aron completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Mississippi, graduating with an Accounting degree. In addition, Aron also completed his graduate degree in Accounting at Jackson State University. Aron is a native of Eritrea, a country located on the Red Sea coast of the Horn of Africa. Coming from a multilingual background, Aron speaks several languages, namely, English, Tigrigna (native), and is proficient in Italian and Spanish as well.

Aron Ezaz
Senior Grants and Administrative Manager
Center for Resilience Studies, Northeastern University


Angie Valencia

Angie Valencia became the Executive Assistant to the Director of Northeastern University’s Center for Resilience Studies and the Chairman at Kostas Research Institute in January, 2016. She previously worked in the Provost office at Northeastern University assisting the Senior Vice-Provost for Research and Graduate Education. Prior to coming to Northeastern Angie worked as Project Manager at C-Space, a consumer collaboration agency in Boston, and as Event Coordinator for a Latin America and Caribbean luxury watch distributor. Valencia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Connecticut College.

Angie Valencia
Executive Assistant
Center for Resilience Studies, Northeastern University

Research Assistants

Emily Foster
International Affairs & History ’17

Emily joined the Center for Resilience Studies in July 2016. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and History at Northeastern University. Emily is a current member of the National History Honors Society Phi Alpha Theta. Prior to joining the Center, Emily held a position at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland and at the law firm Todd & Weld LLP in Boston.

Joshua Bardwell
International Affairs & Political Science ’18

Joshua joined the Center for Resilience Studies in July 2016. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Political Science with a minor in Russian Language at Northeastern University. Joshua has previously studied Russian in Russia during the summer of 2014 and International Government and Politics in Japan during the summer of 2016. Prior to joining the Center, Joshua worked at the lobbying firm ADS Ventures.

Jeremy Love-Epp
Environmental Science & International Affairs ’18

Jeremy joined the Center for Resilience Studies in July 2016. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and International Affairs at Northeastern University with a minor in International Security Studies. Jeremy has previously studied environmental geology in Costa Rica and history and the politics of Soviet transition in Russia and each of the four Baltic States. Prior to joining the Center for Resilience Studies, Jeremy held a position in Northeastern’s Department of Political Science as a Research Assistant to Professor Kirsten Rodine-Hardy on the topic of nanotechnology governance.

Selmon Rafey
International Affairs & Political Science ’18

Selmon joined the Center for Resilience Studies in January 2016. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Political Science, with a focus on the Middle East, counter-terrorism, and conflict resolution. Selmon has previously studied the Arabic language and post-Arab Spring developments in Jordan during the summer of 2014, and worked at the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. In addition to working at the Center for Resilience Studies, Selmon is currently serving as the Vice President of Student Involvement in the Northeastern University Student Government Association.