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David Giles is the Assistant Director of the Program on Crisis Leadership (PCL) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. In addition to playing a leadership role in the administration of the program, he conducts research and writes on a range of issues relating to crisis events and high-risk hazards. He co-edited with Arnold Howitt and Dutch Leonard the textbook Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies (CQ Press, 2009) and is the author of a number of Harvard Kennedy School case studies, including a three-part series that profiles state-level responses to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic; a case that focuses on the Obama administration’s handling of the Deepwater Horizon oil leaks; and another that explores the management of post-tsunami recovery in Aceh, Indonesia.
Recently, he oversaw planning for the 2nd Annual Asia Public Policy Forum: Disaster Management in Asia, which featured presentations by more than two dozen leading scholars and practitioners of disaster management and risk reduction from the Asia-Pacific region. David is currently conducting research on the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant failure of March 11, 2011. He also serves as a teaching fellow for two Harvard Extension School courses: Crisis Management and Emergency Preparedness (MGMT 5090) and Disaster Relief and Recovery (MGMT 5095).
Before joining PCL, David worked as a staff researcher at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a division of the National Academies in Washington, DC. While there, he contributed to several studies concerning public health emergency preparedness as well as to a major review of smoking prevention efforts in the U.S., which helped inform the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. In addition, David served for two years as an NGO Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Romania, supporting the implementation of an AIDS/HIV public education campaign and working with local officials to establish a community development resource center. He received his MA from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, where he focused on social and political aspects of post-communist transitions in Eastern Europe, and his B.A. from Vassar College. He also spent a year as an undergraduate student at the Freie Universitӓt Berlin.