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Dana and David Dornsife Professor of Psychology and Director of the Wrigley Institute for Environment and Sustainability, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Joe is recognized around the world for his work in the risk and decisions sciences. His research has two main areas of emphasis: First, his research is focused on advancing our understanding of how people process information and make decisions, with a specific emphasis on how people make tradeoffs. Second, Joe and his research group conduct research focused on developing and testing decision-aiding tools and approaches that can be used by people to improve decision quality across a wide range of environmental, social, and economic contexts. Joe’s research is highly applied; it accounts for decision-making by a broad spectrum of public and stakeholder groups, as well as by technical experts, business leaders, and policy makers. His work also focuses on choices made by people individually, and when working in groups. Likewise, he works across a wide range of environmental, social, and policy contexts; these include goals and metrics for sustainability, environmental policy, natural hazards, energy transitions, international development, consumer behavior, and business strategy. In addition to Joe’s academic work, he served for six years (2011-2017) as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chartered Science Advisory Board, and is a current member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Environmental Change and Society.


  • 2020–present
    Dana and David Dornsife Professor of Psychology, University of Southern California
  • 2015–2020
    Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise , University of Michigan
  • 2011–2015
    Svare Chair in Applied Decision Research, University of Calgary
  • 2008–2010
    Associate Professor, Michigan State University
  • 2006–2008
    Assistant Professor, Michigan State University
  • 2001–2005
    Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University


  • 2001 
    University of British Columbia, PhD - Risk and Decision Science
  • 1997 
    University of British Columbia, MSc - Oceanography
  • 1995 
    University of British Columbia , BSc - Marine Biology/Ecology

Professional Memberships

  • Society for Risk Analysis
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science


Chauncey Starr Award, Leopold Leadership Fellow, Society for Risk Analysis Fellow