Critical infrastructure is vulnerable to a broad range of hazards. Timely and effective recovery of critical infrastructure after extreme events is crucial. However, critical infrastructure disaster recovery planning is complicated and involves both domain-and user-centered characteristics and complexities. Recovery planning currently uses few quantitative computer-based tools and instead largely relies on expert judgment. Simulation modeling can simplify domain-centered complexities but not the human factors. Conversely, human-centered design places end-users at the center of design. We discuss the benefits of combining simulation modeling with human-centered design and refer it as human-centered simulation modeling. Human-centered simulation modeling has the capability to make recovery planning simpler and more understandable for critical infrastructure and emergency management experts and other recovery planning decision-makers. We qualitatively analyzed several resilience planning initiatives, post-disaster recovery assessments, and relevant journal articles to understand experts and decision-makers’ perspectives. We propose a conceptual design framework for creating human-centered simulation models for critical infrastructure disaster recovery planning. This framework consists of three constructs: 1) user interaction with design features that end-users interact with, including model parameters assignment, decision-making support, task queries, and usability; 2) system representation that refers to system components, system interactions, and system state variables; and 3) computation core that represents computational methods required to perform processes.