Lorilee A. Medders, Ph.D., Director, and Associate in Risk Management/Insurance

Dr. Lorilee A. Medders serves as Director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center and on faculty as Associate in Risk Management/Insurance within the College of Business at Florida State University. Prior to assuming her current roles, she served the Storm Center and the College as Associate Director and Assistant in Risk Management/Insurance, respectively since 2009.

Dr. Medders was also appointed in late January by the State Board of Administration of the State of Florida to chair the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology, a commission on which she has served by appointment from the State of Florida CFO as the Statistics Expert Member since 2009.

Concurrently, Dr. Medders serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern Risk and Insurance Association and as member of the Teaching Committee for the American Risk and Insurance Association.

Dr. Medders has keen interests in risk modeling, business risk management, global risk issues, catastrophe risk finance, economic resilience to disasters, reputational/crisis risk management and business ethics. She has presented and published numerous papers on these subjects and others in academic and industry forums. Her clients have included Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller companies and nonprofit organizations. Currently Dr. Medders is especially involved in catastrophe modeling, planning and finance research. In summer 2010 she was invited as one of 34 researchers worldwide (only three based in the U.S.) to an interdisciplinary Summer Institute on Disaster and Risk held in Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China. During and since the institute, Dr. Medders, as a business researcher, collaborated on catastrophe risk research with academics in the natural and social sciences from all over the globe.

Dr. Medders has lectured on a broad range of risk-related topics to numerous corporate, nonprofit, governmental, and student groups around the world. During the past three years, her speaking engagements have included, among others: the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Florida Insurance Summit in Amelia Island, Florida; IBM Smarter Industries Symposium in Barcelona, Spain; the 2011 International Insurance Society Meetings in Toronto, Canada; the Griffith Foundation's "Three M's of Catastrophes" Summit in Columbus, Ohio; the 2012 Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Workshop in Orlando, Florida; and the Atlanta - Riskand Insurance Management Society Educational Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, among others.

Prior to joining the Storm Center, Dr. Medders was an Assistant Professor of Risk Management and Insurance in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. She joined that department's faculty in 1999, and also served as the department's Director of External Relations, undergraduate program advisor and faculty advisor to the Zeta Chapter of the Gamma Iota Sigma, a national risk management and insurance student organization. Dr Medders served as Assistant Professor of Finance at Georgia Southern University from 1994-1998.

Dr. Medders received her Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business, magna cum laude, from The University of Alabama in 1990 and her Ph.D. in Business Administration-Risk Management from Georgia State University in 1995.

Sue Ellen Smith, Program Director

Sue Ellen Smith, Program Director for the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center, joined the Center when it began operations in January 2008. Working with the Center Director, Ms. Smith contributes to Center research projects by researching past and current property insurance issues and trends. In addition to research, she oversees the Center's outreach and education efforts, with an emphasis on providing historical references and content, along with current event tracking.

She created the content and architecture for the Center's main Web site at, managed a complete redesign and expansion of the site in 2012, and produces and manages daily site content. Additionally, she manages content for the Center's Catastrophic Risk Financing research portal at, which provides easy access to published academic and industry research.

She writes and produces publications for the Center including annual reports and other outreach publications, manages the Center's outreach efforts, tracks and reports the Center's progress towards its legislative-mandated mission, and develops and manages conferences and symposia. 

Ms. Smith was given a 2013 Core Values Award by the Florida State University College of Business. She has more than 20 years of experience in issue research, program development, fundraising, and communications for academic institutions and nonprofit organizations. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.