Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Luft, Rachel

Second Advisor

Ward, Martha

Third Advisor

Ehrenfeucht, Renia


AmeriCorps, the federal volunteer program developed in 1993, has won increasing political and cultural support since its development. Hurricane Katrina challenged program administrators to recruit and support volunteers in New Orleans, a uniquely devastated city. This qualitative study based on interviews with former volunteers examines the implications of AmeriCorps program policies for the recovery of post­Katrina New Orleans. Rooted in statements by the United Nations, the Federal Emergency Response Agency and local grassroots organizations, this study concludes that the AmeriCorps program was not effective in facilitating the return of displaced residents, appropriately utilizing city resources or maintaining strong accountability to those most affected by the disaster. Thus, the AmeriCorps program, which is not intended specifically for disaster relief, must be redesigned in order to accountably contribute to recovery in the cases of acute disaster.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.