Stephen Murphy, PhD, MPH, MBA

Assistant Professor

Director - Disaster Management Program
Director - Region VI Leadership Institute
Stephen Murphy, PhD, MPH, MBA

Education & Affiliations

PhD, Tulane University
MPH, Tulane University
MBA, Mercer University
BA, University of Georgia


Dr. Murphy leads the Disaster Management Program, leveraging his 15+ years of practice-based experience shaping and implementing local, state, federal, and private sector public health emergency preparedness, homeland security, and disaster management and resilience programs. His experience includes developing and managing preparedness plans, exercises, and operational responses for major metropolitan jurisdictions addressing health threats such as COVID-19, Ebola Virus Disease, hurricane evacuation, pandemic influenza, coastal oil spills as well as planning for high-threat events of national significance such as the Super Bowl and other large-scale mass gatherings. He has served on numerous state-wide advisory boards in Louisiana and was the former Chief of Planning and Preparedness for New Orleans Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness in the years following Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Murphy’s research is focused on developing effective, actionable disaster resilience strategies – personal and systems-level – as well as the cumulative impact of chemical and non-chemical stressors on communities facing environmental health threats and disasters. He is passionate about teaching and typically leads multiple graduate courses and an undergraduate course each year. Courses: Environmental Aspects of Disasters (ENHS 6910); Planning and Implementation in Disasters (ENHS 6930). Prior to his appointment as Assistant Professor, Murphy served as an adjunct faculty member at Tulane from 2010-2017.

View Dr. Murphy’s publications at his NCBI profile page.

Research Areas

  • Health security
  • Disaster management and resilience
  • Public health emergency preparedness
  • Impact of cumulative environmental health threats and disasters
  • Disasters and climate
  • Development and translation of effective disaster policy into practice

Honors & Awards

  • 2017: Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and Presentation for a Doctoral Student; Tulane Health Sciences 
  • 2016-2018 Faculty Fellow - Homeland Security Studies; Tulane School of Professional Advancement
  • 2011-2014: Advisory Board - Louisiana’s HHS Hospital Preparedness Program
  • 2011-2014: Advisory Board - Louisiana’s CDC Senior Advisory Committee 
  • Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health – Eta Chapter


Select publications:

  1. Polen, A, J.M. Collins, E. Dunn, S. Murphy, I. Jernigan, K. McSweeney, Y. Zhu. (2023). How Post-Immunization COVID-19 Context Affected Residents’ Evacuation Behavior During Hurricane Ida. Weather, Climate, and Society. Accepted May 2023 / In Press
  2. Leonhardt MM*, Spartz JR*, Shankar A, Murphy SA‡. (2023). Fatal drug use in the COVID-19 pandemic response: Changing trends in drug-involved deaths before and after stay-at-home orders in Louisiana. Front Public Health. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1117841. PMID: 37113181; PMCID: PMC10126274.
  3. Wilson, M., Wickliffe, J., Sherchan, S., Aw, T., & Murphy, S. ‡ (2020). The Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness Impacts of Hurricane Katrina. American Journal of Public Health, 110(no. 10), 1476–1477. PMID: 32903082.
  4. Murphy, S., Jani, D., & **Elder, J. (2020). Public Health Integration Into Public Safety in Post-Katrina New Orleans. American Journal of Public Health, 110(no. 10), 1490–1492. PMID: 32903073.
  5. Murphy, S., Brown, J., Shankar, A., Lichtveld, M. (2019). A quantitative assessment of higher education disaster preparedness and resilience. Journal of Emergency Management. 2019 May/June; 17(3):239-250. PMID: 31245835. https://doi: 10.5055/jem.2019.0423.
  6. Murphy, S., Lichtveld, M. (2018). Examining the presence of professional emergency management coordinators driving preparedness and resilience on university campuses. Journal of Emergency Management. 2018 Mar/Apr;16(2):126-130. PMID: 29791006.


ENHS 6910 Environmental Aspects of Disasters
ENHS 6930 Planning and Implementation in Disasters
SPHU 3330 Disasters and Environmental Health