The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute, the Department of Homeland Security, and Northeastern University are involved in the Resilience Governance project. The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI)’s Governance Project will provide governance best practices that advance strengthening the resilience of interdependent lifeline infrastructure sectors for major metropolitan regions in the face of human-made and naturally occurring disasters. Beginning with an assessment of the Boston-metro region’s interdependent energy and transport sectors, this project will examine the choices available to and made by state and local governments, owners, and operators of lifeline infrastructure systems that impact the resilience of those systems. The project will extrapolate and articulate improved frameworks, across infrastructures, sectors and jurisdictions, for informing better regional institutional coordination as a key element of enhanced resilience.

This project seeks to identify an appropriate governance framework for advancing resilience that is more comprehensive and effective. The objective is to identify the extent to which the mitigation, response, and recovery plans by infrastructure owners and operators take into account their dependency on other infrastructure sectors, and to identify ways for closing the gaps in the knowledge, authorities, and capabilities that support resilience amongst interdependent infrastructure. To achieve this objective, the project will engage stakeholders via surveys, interviews and workshops. Modeling and visualization tools will be employed to study stakeholder networks and interactions under various scenarios. Analysis of the network and survey results will elucidate the strengths and weaknesses in network structure and identify opportunities for improving governance.

Principal Investigators

Matthias Ruth

Director, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs; Director, Resilient Cities Lab
Professor of Public Policy and Civil and Environmental Engineering

PhD in Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992
Research Interests: urban adaptation to climate change, complex systems analysis, ecological economics, environmental and climate change policy
Email:; Website


Stephen Flynn

Professor of Political Science; Founding Director, Global Resilience Institute

PhD in International Relations, Tufts University, 1991
Research Interests: Critical infrastructure resilience, and transportation and supply chain security and resilience
Email:; Website

Research Assistants

Joshua Laufer

PhD candidate, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, 2014
Research Interests: Sustainable, renewable, and resilient energy policy, energy transition, microgrids


Saina Sheini

PhD student, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

MSc in Project Management and Construction, 2015
Research Interests: Environmental policy, climate change policy, urban sustainability and resilience, network modeling, renewable energy transition, energy efficiency.


Vaishali Kushwaha

PhD student, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

Master in Public Administration, 2011; MS in Environmental Engineering, 2005
Research Interests: Urban environment, resilience and climate change management, sustainable development, ecological economics, data analytics, network analysis, system dynamics