S. Atyia Martin, Ph.D.
Chief Resilience Officer, City of Boston


More than three-quarters of the U.S. population now lives in cities amidst an increasing concentration of complex infrastructure. This proximity compounds existing risks, but the burden of these risks are not borne evenly by all residents. The Social Determinants of Vulnerability Framework, developed by Dr. Martin, identifies seven interrelated social factors that appear to increase vulnerability, as well as specific poor outcomes that people with pre-emergency social factors are more likely to experience at disproportionately higher levels after emergencies. Quantitative analysis based on City of Boston data has confirmed many of the relationships among the social factors of vulnerability and the significance of social isolation.

Dr. S. Atyia Martin was appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh as the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston as part of the 100 Resilient Cities pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Previously, Dr. Martin was the Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness at the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC). In this role, she was responsible for coordinating public health, healthcare, and community health preparedness; emergency management coordination among the public health and healthcare system via the Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center; psychological trauma response coordination, and education and training through the DelValle Institute for Emergency Preparedness.

She has a diverse set of experiences in emergency management, intelligence, and homeland security. Her previous professional experience includes adjunct faculty at Northeastern University in the Master of Homeland Security program; the Boston Police Department’s Boston Regional Intelligence Center; City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management; the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); and active duty Air Force assigned to the National Security Agency.

Dr. Martin earned her Doctor of Law and Policy from Northeastern University, Master in Homeland Security Leadership from the University of Connecticut, Bachelor in Liberal Arts with a Concentration in Administrative Studies and Serbian Croatian from Excelsior College, and Associate in Serbian Croatian from the Defense Language Institute.


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