CREATE Appoints Interim Director

Detlof von Winterfeldt, co-founder and director of the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, is taking a leave of absence to accept the position of director at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria.

Taking von Winterfeldt’s place during the search for a replacement is Isaac Maya, director of research at the center. Maya assumed his interim duties this month.

Over the past five years, von Winterfeldt has played an instrumental role in making CREATE a premier research organization and valued resource of the U.S. government to answer critical questions for the nation’s security.

While on his leave of absence from USC, where he is a professor at the Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and at the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development, von Winterfeldt also will serve as a visiting Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The institute in Austria is a nongovernmental international research center that focuses on global problems such as climate change, energy security and the economic impacts of population changes. It is funded by the National Academies (or equivalent) of 18 member countries, including the United States, Russia, Japan, China and India.

“Leading IIASA into the next decade is a very exciting and challenging opportunity," von Winterfeldt said. “At the same time, it is extremely hard to take a leave from USC after more than 30 years of being a Trojan and especially hard to leave CREATE with its excellent faculty and wonderful staff. I will maintain a close relationship with USC and CREATE during my leave and hope to see many of my colleagues in Vienna in the coming years."

USC is actively recruiting a new director for the CREATE center, which has received $24 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as well as supplemental funding from other sources since its inception in March 2004.

Maya has more than 25 years experience in executive management and strategic planning, academic and industrial research and development, product development and technology commercialization, and business start-up.

As a senior researcher with technical leadership, his experience is divided between industrial/commercial and academic environments, specializing in interdisciplinary research and development.

Prior to serving as CREATE’s director of research, Maya was director of the industry and technology transfer programs at USC’s Integrated Media Systems Center, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. He is a registered professional engineer (nuclear) in California and was an astronaut candidate finalist in 1992.

“While USC searches for Detlof’s replacement, I will work with CREATE faculty, staff and subcontractors to maintain our strong record of achievements in fundamental research and practical relevance to federal, state and local homeland security agencies."