Richard A. Matthew Richard A. Matthew (PhD Princeton) is a Professor of Planning, Policy and Design and Political Science; Director of the UCI Blum Center; Director of the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs (; and co-Principal Investigator of the FloodRISE Project (, all at the University of California at Irvine. He is also a member of the United Nations Expert Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding, and has served on several UN peacebuilding missions, including two he led in Sierra Leone. He has over 170 publications, including 11 books.
(949) 824-4852 |


Gillian Hayes Gillian Hayes is Associate Professor and the Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Chair in Informatics in the School of Information and Computer Sciences and in the School of Education and School of Medicine at UC Irvine. At the UCI Blum Center, she directs the undergraduate minor in Civic Engagement & Poverty Alleviation. In particular, she focuses on vulnerable populations in their efforts to understand their own data and in the use of these data to provide them with necessary resources and services. She is the Director of Technology Research at the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders and the co-director of the UCI site of the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing. She is affiliated with the Laboratory for Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction, the Center for Autism Research and Treatment, the Center for Ethnography, the Center for Biomedical Informatics, the Center for Research on Information Technology & Organizations, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, and the Institute for Genetics and Bioinformatics and is a fellow in the University of California Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California. Her research in autism and technology has enabled her to serve as Director of Technology Research at the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders of Southern California and Chief Technology Officer for Tiwahe Technology. (949) 824-1483 |


Ruth Gyllenhammer Ruth Gyllenhammer is the Associate Director at the UCI Blum Center, responsible for implementing the vision for and the programs of the Center. She previously worked in special projects and community engagement at the City Manager’s Office in Newport Beach; the Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA, where she managed the development of math video games and contributed to research on the integration of technology and learning; and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in legislative affairs. She received her Master’s in International Studies and Education from Concordia University, Irvine, where she conducted research and taught math in Shanghai, China. She assisted the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations with student outreach and events and has a BA in Economics and in International Development Studies from UCLA. (949) 824-6307 |


Ellen Kern
Ellen Kern serves as Administrative Specialist for the UCI Blum Center, providing administrative and programmatic support for the Center’s new projects and events. Prior to joining the Center, she provided office and event support for the Center for Living Peace and UC Irvine’s Campuswide Honors Program. She completed an undergraduate thesis examining the impact of charismatic leadership in nonprofit organizations and has a BA in International Studies from UC Irvine. (949) 824-8804 |