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Jennifer F. Helgeson (Fed)

Research Economist / Acting Program Manager

Dr. Jennifer Helgeson is a research economist in the Applied Economics Office of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She currently leads the office's work on the "Economics of Community Resilience Planning” and is Acting Program Manager for the Community Reislience Program at NIST.

Her research interests focus on decision science, including survey assessments and economic analyses that consider behavioral aspects and approaches to dealing with environmental issues. Dr. Helgeson’s research revolves around resilience to hazards (shocks and stressors) in the built environment, with consideration for cost-effectiveness of community- scale climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

She is a chapter author for the Fifth National Climate Assessment and was recently a U.S. delegate to the IPCC process. Dr. Helgeson has mentored over twenty high school and undergraduate students with interest in environmental issues and behavioral economics. She continues to be a Postdoctoral supervisor and enjoys working with students and early career researchers.

At present, Dr. Helgeson is a member of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Technical Investigation of Hurricane Maria and its impacts on Puerto Rico. The NIST Hurricane Maria Program also includes NIST’s National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) Study to better understand recovery processes in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Under this NWIRP study, Dr. Helgeson leads a project to determine the impacts to and recovery of small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs), and retail and service industries. As part of her business resilience research, Dr. Helgeson  led a primary data collection effort in partnership with NOAA focused on decision-making processes for small- and medium-sized businesses in response to complex events (e.g., weather/climate disasters during a pandemic).

In the past, Dr. Helgeson was a researcher at the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, Norway and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, France. Following the completion of her B.A. Degree in Economics at Brandeis University in, she spent a year researching Environmental Economics issues on a Fulbright Grant to Norway. She earned her M.S. Degree in Environmental Change and Management with a focus on Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford, UK.  Dr. Helgeson holds a Ph.D. in Environmental and Developmental Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE), where she was awarded a Grantham Institute for Climate Change Research Scholarship and was also supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. 


Using Disaster Surveys to Model Business Interruption

Maria Watson, Yu Xiao, Jennifer Helgeson
Business interruption after disasters is an important metric for community resilience planning because has both economic and social consequences. Each
Created September 10, 2019, Updated April 6, 2023