Assistant Vice President for Institutional Resilience (Retired) Troy Harris Bio

As an alum, Class of '74, bringing expertise back to campus to help
another generation of college students have the kind of
superb educational experience I enjoyed.

Higher Education

  • Emergency Management - Championed the college's Emergency Operations Plan to foster a culture of readiness for wildfire, earthquake and all other hazards. Developed the shelter-in-place plan credited with the injury-free protection of 800 people during the disastrous Tea Fire of 2008 (loss of 8 campus buildings and 210 neighborhood homes). Recognized as the preeminent national expert on the standards applicable to higher education emergency management; created the UCC Crosswalk.
  • Risk Management - Interacted with all college departments to sustain common awareness of how we can achieve good things in furtherance of our educational mission while well-balancing risk and reward.
  • Compliance Management - Coordinated activities college-wide to enable substantial compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Oversaw ongoing compliance with the County of Santa Barbara's Conditional Use Permit by which the college operates in a neighborhood surrounded by fine homes.
  • Procurement & Contracts - As a Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM, awarded by the Institute for Supply Management), served as Director of Procurement and conducted and/or supported enhancements to the college's acquisition process.
  • Administration - From 1997, directed the Office of Institutional Resilience and supported the functions of Procurement, Bookstore, Mailing Services and Reprographics.
  • Special Projects - Key assignments have included orchestrating the Tea Fire and Thomas Fire/Debris Flow response and recovery efforts; coordinating the summer conference program; and managing the Telecommunications department.


  • Procurement (1993-97) - As the county's Purchasing Agent, managed a staff of professionals conducting $50 million in annual buying for the County of Santa Barbara
  • Information Systems (1990-93) - Coordinated the County's Information Systems Strategic Plan; developed a comprehensive departmental IS plan for Social Services. Also during this period served as a budget analyst reporting to the Deputy County Executive
  • Courts (1986-89) - Supervised the Records Management Unit of the Santa Barbara Superior Court; supervised operations of the County Recorder

Private Enterprise

  • DocuMotion (1984-85) - Portable copying of medical and other records for attorneys
  • ReproGrafix (1977) - Partner in a full-services design and printing service
  • Associated Attorney Services (1974-84) - Owned/operated a legal support services business with up to 15 staff providing portable copying, process serving, court filing and ancillary assignments
  • Cleversheet - #Smartsheetcertified expertise in developing a variety of novel solutions to reduce organizational friction by automating repetitive processes
  • ConTracker - Significantly enhanced the business processes associated with the college's contract administration; and also devised solutions for over a dozen other friction points
  • ReadyTracker - Emergency Management Simplifiers designed to help colleges and universities manage their emergency plans according to national standards
  • DRIVER - The "Driver Record Information Verified to Evaluate Risk" program vets students driving on college business
  • Internship Liability - Training, coordinating and form development to minimize liability exposure for students as they get real-world experience
  • Foreign travel programs - Safety briefings, faculty orientation, insurance products and other means to reduce the risks of travel abroad
  • Local Vendor Outreach program recognition - Recipient of the 1995 Challenge Award from the California State Association of Counties for an unique approach to helping local businesses thrive
  • The User-Friendly Bid - A simplified, effective approach to interacting with bidders in formal procurement processes
  • Fancy Footwork Formulas - A set of clone-able formulas for manipulating data within Microsoft Excel
  • The Magical Mystical Equalizer - The story of a 152-character Excel formula that transformed how complex bids could be easily compared
  • ASAP - Developed the specifications for the Attorney Services Automated Production system that continues to serve over 100 businesses
  • Legislation - Drafted wording that, in collaboration with our association lobbyist, made it into California law
  • NCR Design Award - Won national recognition for creative and attractive use of space on a complex multi-part form

Board, Executive & Expert roles

  • DHS CaRES - Sole contracted industry SME (subject matter expert) for higher education emergency management input to the Dept of Homeland Security's online Campus RESilience resource
  • URMIA - 2011-2014 Board of Directors for the University Risk Management & Insurance Association, and liaison to the Communications Committee; prior service on Bylaws, Membership and TULIP development committees
  • IAEM-UCC Standards Working Group - Chair for the University & College Caucus of the International Association of Emergency Managers for ten years
  • NIMAA Leadership Team - Serves as a resource point of contact for FEMA Regions 6 and 9 for the National Intercollegiate Mutual Aid Agreement
  • HEEM-NAAC - Invited to represent URMIA and the community of higher education emergency management (HEEM) practitioners on the National Assessment Advisory Committee (NAAC) sponsored by the National Center for Campus Public Safety to evaluate program needs that reflected input from 45 states
  • Gallagher Think Tanks - Invited to participate in four selective national higher education panels, on emergency management, internship liability, advanced enterprise risk management, and risk management wisdom
  • MERRAG - President (2007, 2019, 2020) and past board member of the Montecito Emergency Response & Recovery Action Group
  • Way Collective - Board member and treasurer for a local contemplative community
  • The Academy of St John - Former chair and board member for a small private classical school
  • Hope Community Church - Former elder, and chair of the administrative team for many years
  • CAPPS - Board member of the California Association of Photocopiers & Process Servers (now CALSPro)
  • WCSA - Student body president (the Westmont College Student Association)

Active engagement

Over the years I provided leadership and staff support for a variety of emergency planning and response entities.

  • MERRAG - Response team member and multi-year board member and president
  • Red Cross - Government Liaison representative
  • ARES - Participant in the Amateur Radio Emergency Services organization, holding the FCC Technician license of KR1SES
  • MRC - Certified logistics volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corp
  • VOAD - Trained for service as Emergency Operations Center liaison for Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster
  • Potter's Clay - Active on-site management of risks associated with Westmont's spring break ministry program involving hundreds of students in Ensenada each year since 1999
  • Smartsheet recognition of accomplishments and contributions
  • ❖ Ambassador
  • ❖ Champion
  • ❖ Superstar
  • ❖ AutoMagician
  • ❖ Core Product Certified
  • ❖ Solution Certified
  • ❖ 2022 Engage Speaker
  • Well-received presentations at numerous gatherings of various associations around the nation (IAEM/UCC, URMIA, CSHEMA, NACUBO, WACUBO, ABACC, ISM, NIGP, CAPPO) on topics that range from managing foreign travel risks to enhancing procurement practices to being ready for disasters
  • See list of presentations and publications on my LinkedIn page
  • Employee of the Year at Westmont, 2005
  • Certified Purchasing Manager credential from the Institute for Supply Management, 1997
  • Manager of the Year at Santa Barbara County, 1996
  • Took top prize at the California State Association of Counties annual competition for innovative government programs with Santa Barbara's "Local Vendor Outreach", 1995
  • National award from NCR Corporation for innovative form design, 1977
  • Life member of the Omikron Delta Kappa national men's honor society, 1974
  • Cum Laude graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, 1974
  • "Honors at Entrance" to Westmont, 1970


  • North America
    US: All 50 states
    Canada: Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and others
    Mexico: over 200 days in the Republic; multiple on-duty trips each year since 1999
    2019: 140 days away in 57 cities; 2022 back on the road post-Covid: 110 days in 69 cities
  • Europe
    France; Portugal; Italy; Belgium; Netherlands; England
  • Africa
    Dakar, Senegal
  • Asia
    Beijing (briefly)
  • Australia
    actually, New Zealand


  • Tesla Model 3: great for the gadget guy (used Camp Mode 10 nights during a 3-week drive to Baltimore), 2018
  • Polaris Slingshot, a 10-out-of-10 birthday rental in 2015 inspired getting my own, 2018
  • Harley-Davidson all over the west, from 2012 thru my 25-day 6,000-mile run to Sturgis and Seattle (at Yellowstone), 2018
  • Zipline: multiple times down the quarter-mile cable south of Ensenada, 2013-2017
  • Motorhome loop in AZ, UT, NV and back to CA, 2015
  • Polaris ATV 2-seater, to top of Schnebly Hill in Sedona AZ, 2013
  • Carnival Inspiration: finally got to try out the cruise lifestyle; not hooked on it, 2012
  • Cadillac STS to Maine and back with my 33 year old daughter; 27 delightful days touching 36 states and 2 provinces across 9,400 miles, 2011
  • Amtrak, from/to Santa Barbara via: Seattle/Chicago/Dallas, 1984; Seattle/Salt Lake City, 1988;   Portland/Denver, 1993; Vancouver, 2008
  • Helicopter, submarine, catamaran, kayak on the Big Island when we won a 10-day all-expenses trip to Hawaii, 2002
  • Bungee jump, Colorado, 1993
  • Sailplane (ie, soaring/gliding), CA Bay Area, 1991
  • Bobcat skid-steer loader (got pretty good at navigating this little tractor), 1990
  • Sailboat (to freedive with several friends at the Santa Barbara Channel Islands), 1988
  • Aerobatics (flew upside down and rolling), 1984
  • Air Force F-15 "Flying Rock" fighter plane (well, the flight simulator at Tinker AFB where my brother was on the sim support crew), 1983
  • Yamaha 750 to Canada with my dad on the back, 1978
  • 18-wheeler big rig (drove while on a Sociology project; couldn't believe the trucker in my research study let me get behind the wheel!), 1974
  • Jumped a freight train (300 miles on a flatbed under an earth-mover), 1970
  • Surfing, scuba diving, downhill and cross country skiing, mid 70s/80s
  • Hitchhiked around California, early 70s
  • First of several motorcycles, 1968

Family - Can't imagine how a marriage can be better. 30+ years with a most remarkable wife, and the blessing of two really amazing daughters—and now the grands.

Faith - Living and supple, grateful for that which is good and wholesome within the Christian tradition, while knowing that the love we call God is bigger than any box. Informed by an upbringing in evangelical Christianity, shaped by intervening years of contemplative Buddhist practice, maturing the next two decades in Protestant Christianity, followed by two decades exploring the richness of Orthodox Christianity, until a wondrous stage of post-church has begun to unfold—all yielding the ability to appreciate and respect differences in perspective and commitment.

Foundation - The experience of living in 21 homes in 10 cities and attending 13 schools K-12 before heading off to college at 17 produced resilience, adaptability, and the ability to ramp up quickly when necessary—which has served well across the stages of career and circumstance.

Troy Harris



Troy Harris
Asst VP for Institutional Resilience (Retired)

805-455-6633 (cell)

Institutional Resilience site