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About Us

Who We Are


The Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on addressing pre-disaster community threats and vulnerabilities and post-disaster recovery.


Ever since we were founded in the North Carolina Research Triangle in 2003, we have brought together project teams made up of business practitioners and academia to solve difficult challenges. This is a core part of our DNA.

We are known for our work on economic resilience and public-private partnerships, and for our knowledge of loan, grant, and other resources for community capacity building.

What We Do

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Conduct threats, vulnerabilities, and needs assessments both pre- and post-disaster


Enhance the gathering and sharing of information and knowledge


Support disaster responses as they arise

Build community capacity

Develop long-term strategies and plans

Catalyze new solutions and partnerships

We Believe In...


Nurturing the human ecosystem

Addressing vulnerabilities before they become disasters

Continuously improving on past results

Preparation, mitigation, and adaptation

Power of partnership


We catalyze resilience so that communities can thrive long-term.


Areas of Focus



  • Needs Assessments

  • Strategy and Planning

  • Technical Assistance

  • Research

  • Outreach

  • Advocacy

  • Partnerships

  • Local, State, and Federal Government

  • Corporate Citizens

  • Chambers of Commerce and EDOs

  • Foundations and Community Service Organizations

How does ISD advance resilience?


For Small Businesses:

Research, capacity-building, stakeholder engagement, community outreach, technical assistance, and public-private partnerships

  • As a founding partner for Together for Los Angeles, we've reached more than 21,000 small businesses with tools for economic recovery and resilience.

For Cities:

Public-private partnerships for community and economic development like Together for Los Angeles

For States:

Research and strategy for resilient infrastructure financing, state resilience offices, and public-private coordinating mechanisms for state emergency management and economic development agencies

  • Our Resilience Help Desk offers no-cost consulting, resources, and multilingual easy-to-use checklists for disaster preparedness and recovery.

  • Created state-by-state and industry directory of disaster recovery resources

For Countries:

Strategies for the preparation, mitigation, and adaptation of public policies through our research and advocacy agenda