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Kleit appointed to national COVID-19 response and recovery strategy group


College of Engineering Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs Rachel Kleit has been selected to serve on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) strategy group focused on crisis response and recovery.

Rachel Kleit

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the United States and around the world, society must prepare for an uncertain future. To help decision-makers navigate through this ongoing crisis and take actions toward a strong and sustained recovery, NASEM launched a new strategic science initiative to provide rapid, scenario-based analyses aimed at protecting critical societal functions, avoiding worst outcomes, and building upon potential opportunities.

The NASEM Response and Resilient Recovery Strategic Science Initiative Executive Council has established its first Strategy Group on COVID-19 and Rental Evictions. The group will analyze COVID-19 impacts on rental property evictions within low- and middle-income communities and disadvantaged groups. It will conduct rapid, scenario-based analyses of both possible and probable outcomes, including but will not be limited to, the possibility that a wave of evictions from rental properties will emerge amid weak economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Kleit is also a professor of city and regional planning in the Knowlton School of Architecture. She has researched and written extensively on the social network impacts of mixed-income housing, the influence of public housing redevelopment on the lives of original residents, the combination of social services and housing, and housing mobility and instability. In 2018, she co-founded Move to Prosper, a housing mobility pilot that uses life skill coaching, peer relationships, and rental assistance to support single mothers with children in moving to safe neighborhoods with good schools.

The Response and Resilient Recovery Strategic Science Initiative was spearheaded by National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt, who proposed a framework for delivering science in a crisis based on her experience during the federal response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. She was then the head of the U.S. Geological Survey.

As society responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, McNutt said, “We’re worrying entirely about stopping the transmission and flattening the curve, but we don’t look at the long term. The purpose of this initiative is to take a careful look at these cascading impacts on essential aspects of modern society in the months and years ahead.”

Categories: FacultyCOVID–19