Watch CEE Fall Distinguished Lecture!

2016 ADA inductee and CEE Advisory Council member, Janiele Maffei (CE MS '80, Arch. AB '78) gave the CEE Fall Distinguished Lecture on Oct. 30. 

She spoke on "Engineering, Finance, Social Science, and Consequential Thinking—A multi-disciplinary approach to reducing residential earthquake risk in California."

Ms. Maffei is the Chief Mitigation Officer with the California Earthquake Authority and has worked in the earthquake engineering industry for over 30 years.



The California Earthquake Authority (CEA), a not-for-profit, publicly managed and privately funded entity, was created in 1996 by the State of California in the wake of the Northridge earthquake. This unique organization has a public mission to educate Californians about earthquake risk, offer insurance coverage and encourage residents to mitigate these potential risks. 

Janiele Maffei, CEA’s Chief Mitigation Officer, will describe how her perspective and experience as a structural engineer plays a critical role in achieving CEA’s strategic goals to Educate, Mitigate and Insure. Working with a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and consultants, Ms. Maffei manages the Mitigation and Research departments. These efforts include the development of residential seismic retrofit standards, sponsoring building performance studies, and managing a seismic retrofit grant program in the state.

With an overarching goal to encourage Californians to act—specifically, mitigate and insure—before the next big one, Ms. Maffei will discuss CEA’s multi-disciplinary approach and the opportunities to impact behavior change.


Ms. Maffei is licensed as both a Civil Engineer and Structural Engineer in California with 36 years of experience in the design of new buildings, retrofit designs of existing buildings, seismic evaluations, seismic loss estimation studies, design of equipment anchorages, preparation of construction documents, and construction administration.

After fifteen years as a project manager and regional office director with Degenkolb Engineers, she opened her own practice where she managed complex design projects involving many disciplines.

In 2011, Ms. Maffei joined the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) as its Chief Mitigation Officer. In this capacity, she serves as the Executive Director of the California Residential Mitigation Program.  She was a Board Member and Chair of the Economic Development Committee for the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and was Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Piedmont School District Measure E Seismic Retrofit Program.

As Executive Director of the California Residential Retrofit Program, Ms. Maffei has been responsible for developing policies, plans, and incentives for retrofitting wood frame residential construction throughout California in order to, along with insurance, mitigate the consequence of a major earthquake in California.

Her professional leadership positions include:  Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, Board of Directors; Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Northern California Chapter, President (2010-2011); and EERI, Board of Directors, Secretary and Treasurer (2012-present).

Published 10/29/2017