Jessica Jensen

Jessica Jensen
Policy Researcher


B.S. in political science, California State University-Northridge; M.S. in emergency management, North Dakota State University; Ph.D. in emergency management, North Dakota State University


Jessica Jensen is a policy researcher at RAND. Previously, she spent 18 years as a scholar in the Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science at North Dakota State University. Her last position there was an Endowed Full Professor and Department Head.

Over the course of her career, she authored more than 60 technical reports, book chapters, and scholarly peer reviewed manuscripts on cutting edge emergency management and disaster topics. She developed and taught 18 different emergency management and disaster course titles across 59 sections of which 33 were graduate level and 26 undergraduate (excludes independent studies, thesis and dissertation). She was mentor and committee chair to 21 graduate students.

Her research and teaching reflects expertise in the existing research, policy and practice in four fundamentally different areas of the field—preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery. Various organizations, from FEMA to disaster nonprofits to state departments of emergency management, universities, the International Association of Emergency Managers, and the National Emergency Management Association, have engaged her as a presenter, researcher, evaluator, or consultant, based on her subject matter expertise.

Selected Publications

Jensen, J., & Kirkpatrick, S., "Local emergency management and comprehensive emergency management (CEM): A discussion prompted by interviews with Chief Resilience Officers," International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 79, 2022

Jensen, J., & Ferriera, M., "An Exploration of Local Emergency Management Program Accreditation Pursuit," Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 2023

Jensen, J, "Conceptualizing State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (SVOAD) effectiveness," Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, 15(1), 2023

Johnson, T. & Jensen, J., "“Have a kit, make a plan, and be informed”: Does the recovery literature support our pervasive understanding of preparedness?" International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 96(1), 2023

Johnson, T., & Jensen, J., "Research methods challenges: A case study of preparedness in The Bahamas," Jamba: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies, 16(1), 2023

Nojang, E., & Jensen, J., "Conceptualizing Individual and Household Disaster Preparedness: The Perspective from Cameroon," International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 11, 2020

Jensen, J., Status of DEI and A Within State Emergency Management (SEM) Offices, National Emergency Management Association, 2023

Brown, C., Harvin, D., Powell, L., & Jensen, J. , Preparing for the Next Pandemic Response Through Strengthened Collaboration, National Emergency Management Association, 2023