Veronica Cedillos is a licensed civil engineer whose primary focus has been to reduce the impacts of natural hazards. She has led and been involved in numerous efforts to implement or promote seismic and tsunami risk reduction in communities throughout the world, including major projects in Armenia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, and the United States. As part of this work, she lived in Haiti, Peru, and Indonesia and conducted work in French and Spanish.
Ms. Cedillos has managed international, multi-disciplinary groups from government, academia, non-profit, and industry sectors. In her prior role as Director of Projects at the Applied Technology Council (ATC), she managed 15 major projects and over 10 minor projects, working with over 200 consultants; she also opened ATC’s international market. Major projects included several efforts focused on risk reduction in schools and directing a program to develop and deliver trainings and webinars on seismic risk reduction topics that reached close to 30,000 people in over 70 countries.
In her early years at GeoHazards International, Ms. Cedillos led major projects in Haiti, Indonesia, and Peru. In Haiti, she managed efforts in 3 northern cities targeting seismic and tsunami safety. In Indonesia, she led an interdisciplinary effort to investigate tsunami risk mitigation options and develop recommendations for Padang. In Peru, she led an effort to reduce earthquake risk in rural communities; this pilot project in the Andes engaged villagers in strengthening their school and trained local masons in safer adobe construction methods.
In recognition of her work, Ms. Cedillos was awarded the 2010 American Society of Civil Engineer’s New Faces of Engineering and the 2011 Shah Family Innovation Prize through the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). She participated in post-earthquake investigations following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, 2009 Padang earthquake, and 2008 Sichuan earthquake. She serves as the Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the EERI School Earthquake Safety Initiative. In 2017, EERI selected Cedillos as a Housner Fellow.
Ms. Cedillos has been a major contributor or editor on several technical reports that guide practicing engineers to design buildings that withstand natural hazards such as earthquakes. She has co-authored numerous papers that describe disaster resilient measures, and has been an invited speaker at many conferences in this field. She holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.