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Detlof von Winterfeldt

Dr. Detlof von Winterfeldt
Professor, Daniel J. Epstein Dept. of Industrial & Systems Engineering
Professor of Public Policy and Management
University of Southern California
Olin Hall of Engineering, 310E

University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0193
(213) 740 0992


Detlof von Winterfeldt is a Professor in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering of the Viterbi School of Engineering and a Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC).  From 2009 to 2012 he was on a leave of absence from USC as the Director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. Concurrently with his term at IIASA, he was a Centennial Professor of Management Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  In 2003 he co-founded the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), the first university-based center of excellence funded by the US Department of Homeland Security, serving as CREATE’s director until 2008. Throughout his academic career he has been active in teaching, research, university administration, and consulting.  He has taught courses in statistics, decision analysis, risk analysis, systems analysis, research design, and behavioral decision research.  His research interests are in the foundation and practice of decision and risk analysis as applied to the areas of technology development, environmental risks, natural hazards and terrorism.  He is the co-author of two books, two edited volumes, and author or co-author of over 100 journal articles and book chapters on these topics.  As a consultant he has applied decision and risk analysis to numerous management problems of government and private industry.  He has served on many committees and panels of the U.S. National Academies and the U.S. National Science Foundation, including an appointment to the National Academies’ Board on Mathematical Sciences and their Applications.  He is an elected Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and of the Society for Risk Analysis.  In 2000 he received the Ramsey Medal for distinguished contributions to decision analysis from the Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS. In 2009 he received the Gold Medal from the International Society for Multicriteria Decision Making for advancing the field. In 2011 The Council of IIASA elected him as Honorary IIASA Scholar and in 2012 he received the distinguished achievement award by the Society for Risk Analysis.


Dr. von Winterfeldt received his Ph.D. in mathematical psychology from the University of Michigan.

  • Deputy Dean, SPPD
  • Associate Dean for Faculty and Research, SPPD
  • Chair, Systems Science Department (ISSM)

Research Interests
  • Decision Analysis
  • Risk Analysis
  • Environmental and Technology Management
  • Safety and Security
Recent Publications: Books
  • Edwards, W., Miles, R.F., & von Winterfeldt, D. Eds. (2007).  Advances in decision analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • von Winterfeldt, D. & Edwards, W. (1986). Decision analysis and behavioral research. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Recent Publications: Articles

  • von Winterfeldt, D. (2013). Providing a decision focus for global systems analysis. EURO Journal on Decision Processes, 1, 1, forthcoming.
  • Keeney, G. & von Winterfeldt, D. (2010). Identifying and structuring objectives of terrorists. Risk Analysis, 30, 12, pp. 1803-1816.
  • Ezaell, C.E., Bennett, S.P., von Winterfeldt. D., Sokolowski, J., & Collins, A.J. (2010) Probabilistic risk analysis and terrorism risk. Risk Analysis, 30, 4, pp. 575-589. (Best paper award for issue-linked papers, Society for Risk Analysis).
  • von Winterfeldt, D. (2012). Bridging the gap between science and decision making. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, to be published in 2013.
  • von Winterfeldt, D. Kavet, R., Peck, S., Mohan, M. & Hazen, G., (2012). The value of environmental information without control of subsequent decisions. Risk Analysi, 4, 4
  • Keeney, R.L. & von Winterfeldt, D. (2011). A value model to evaluate homeland security decisions. Risk Analysis, Vol 31, 9, pp 1470-1481.
  • Bakir, N.O. & von Winterfeldt,D. (2011), Is better nuclear weapons detection capability justified? Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Vol. 8: Issue 1, Article 16 pp 1-18.
  • Prager, F., Asay, G. Lee, B. & von Winterfeldt, D. (2010) Exploring reductions in London Underground passenger journeys following the July 2005 bombings. Risk Analysis, Vol. 31
  • Rosoff, H., & von Winterfeldt, D. (2007). A risk and economic analysis of dirty bomb attacks on the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Risk Analysis, 27, pp. 533-546. (selected as the best article in decision science in Risk Analysis in 2007).

Recent Publications: Book Chapters and Conference Proceedings

  • Ermoliev, Y. & von Winterfeldt, D. (2012). Systemic risk and security management. In Ermoliev, Y., Makowski, M., & Marti, K. (Eds.). Managing safety in heterogeneous systems. New York: Springer, pp. 19-49.
  • Fasolo, B., Morton, A., & von Winterfeldt, D. (2011). Behavioral issues in portfolio decision analysis. In Morton, A., and Sahlo, A. (Eds.) Portfolio decision analysis, New York: Springer.
  • von Winterfeldt, D. (2009). Lessons from Risk Analysis: Terrorism, Natural Disasters, and Technological Accidents. In Kunreuther, H. & Unseem, M. Learning from catastrophes. Pittsburgh, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.
  • Southwell, C. & von Winterfeldt, D. A decision analysis of options to rebuild the New Orleans levee system. (2008). In Richardson, H., Gordon, P., and Moore, J. (eds.) Risk and economic impacts of hurricane Katrina. London: Elgar, pp. 34-52.
  • Keeney, R.L. & von Winterfeldt, D. (2007). Practical value models. In W. Edwards, R.F.Miles, & D. von Winterfeldt (eds.). Advances in decision analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 232-252.
  • von Winterfeldt, D. (2007). Defining a decision analytic structure. In W. Edwards, R.F. Miles, & D. von Winterfeldt (Eds.) Advances in Decision Analysis: From Foundations to Applications. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp.81-103.