Through research, teaching, and work with governments and practicing professionals, the Program on Crisis Leadership (PCL) seeks to improve society’s capacity to deal with natural disasters; infrastructure, technology, and systems failures; emergent infectious disease; and terrorism. Jointly affiliated with the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, PCL takes a comprehensive perspective, looking at risk reduction strategies, emergency preparedness and response, and disaster recovery.

The Program on Crisis Leadership is led by faculty co-directors Arnold M. Howitt and Herman B. "Dutch" Leonard

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When Disaster Strikes

Why Was Boston Strong?: PCL faculty lead a research initiative on the response to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

PCL and IDEASpHERE: Dean David T. Ellwood highlights Howitt and Leonard's research on the Boston Marathon bombing at the launch of the Campaign for Harvard Kennedy School.

Crisis Leadership in Action: HKS highlights research by Faculty Co-Directors Howitt and Leonard.

Hurricane Sandy: Joseph Pfeifer, Senior Fellow and FDNY's Chief of Counterterrorism and Emergency Preparedness, discusses responding to the Breezy Point fires.

Past Event Highlights:
Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later, a JFK Jr. Forum Panel  
April 16, 2014

A Mayor’s Perspective on Disaster Response: Mayor Walter Maddox on the 2011 Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tornado   
December 4, 2013

Haiti: Progress and Challenges Three Years Later, a JFK Jr. Forum Panel
February 26, 2013

Asia Public Policy Forum: Disaster Management in Asia
May 13 - 15, 2012


NEW White Paper: "Why Was Boston Strong? Lessons from the Boston Marathon Bombing"

NEW Case Study: "Rebuilding Aceh" profiles how the Indonesian government coordinated the massive, multi-organizational recovery effort that followed the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Article: Howitt et al, "An Incident Management System for Japan?"