Born in Puebla, Mexico, Dr. Gabriela Noriega is a first-generation college graduate and the first in her family to earn an advanced degree. Dr. Noriega earned her bachelor’s degree in Geology from CSU Los Angeles, and her Master's and Doctorate from the University of California, Irvine with an emphasis in Environmental Analysis and Design where she studied social vulnerability to earthquake hazards. Dr. Noriega manages the Office of Experiential and Career Advancement (ELCA) for the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) at USC. In her role, she aims to encourage and sustain careers in STEM by providing valuable research experiences for students and by providing early-career scientists with resources across key career transitions. She is also the liaison to the Southern California Earthquake Country Alliance where she supports the coordination of public-private partnerships that work together to improve earthquake preparedness, mitigation and resiliency. Dr. Noriega has professional experience in the public, private, and academic sectors as a former emergency manager for the City of Los Angeles, independent consultant, and executive for the Homeland Security Advisory Council (Los Angeles), a public safety focused non-profit organization.