FALL 2015

Building Resilience: Conflict Mitigation in Fragile States
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, November 4, 4:30 pm

In this third session of our seminar series on building resilience and decreasing disaster risk, Jose Garzon, Former Deputy Director of USAID's Conflict Management and Mitigation Unit, will focus on the work of USAID and its Foreign Service in responding to fragility and conflict, and advancing peacebuilding. Recently, international development agencies have incorporated strategies to anticipate, mitigate, and respond to conflict.  Although many developing countries have made excellent progress in the past two decades, fragile states have shown little progress, while conflicts have actually reversed development.  USAID and other agencies now dedicate resources to analyzing fragility and instability, train development officers to assess conflict vulnerability, support field research, and partner with civil society to support people to people peacebuilding. 

Building Resilience: Nepal and Japan in the Aftermath of Disaster
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, October 14, 4:30 pm

In this seminar, Dr. Arnold Howitt, Faculty Program Director of PCL and Executive Director of the Ash Center, will share observations on post-disaster resilience based on fieldwork he has conducted in Asia. In particular, he will focus on how Nepal and Japan are recovering from major natural disasters (the 2015 earthquake in Nepal and the 2011 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis in Japan). The seminar will examine how each country is grappling with both unique and shared recovery challenges – and in what ways their efforts may lead to greater resiliency (or not).

The Refugee Crisis in Europe: The Challenges of Policy, Politics, and Logistics
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, October 6, 12:00-1:30 PM
LOCATION: Ash Center Foyer, Suite 200 North, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA

Panelists will discuss the complex challenges of responding to the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe from several different perspectives, exploring its political context and ramifications, the European Union’s capacity to respond to emergencies within its own borders, the logistics involved in managing the flow of refugees across the continent, and the importance of information technology in shaping events and aiding the response.

Panelists include:
•    Muriel Rouyer, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School
•    Bartel Van De Walle, Visiting Scholar, Program on Crisis Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; and Associate Professor, Department of Information Management, Tilburg School of Economics and Management, Tilburg University (The Netherlands)
•    Tina Comes, Visiting Scholar, Program on Crisis Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; and Associate Professor, Centre for Integrated Emergency Management, Department for ICT, University of Agder (Norway)
•    Anaide Nahikian, Program Manager, Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Executive Producer of the Humanitarian Assistance Webcast, and Associate Instructor at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard School of Public Health

Moderated by Arnold Howitt, Executive Director of the Ash Center and Faculty Co-Director of the Program on Crisis Leadership.

Light lunch served on a first come/first served basis.

Co-sponsored by Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, the Program on Crisis Leadership (Ash and Taubman Centers), the Crisis Management Student Group, and the European Club.

Building Resilience: A Comprehensive Risk Management Framework
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 4:30pm

With the intensification of climate change, the increasing complexity of technological systems and infrastructure, the emergence and spread of infectious disease, and growing instability in many parts of the world, societies across the globe face a number of real hazards. Inevitably, some disasters will occur, which raises the question: how do we prepare and build capacity in advance of disaster in order to develop more resilient societies? In this opening session of our fall seminar series for Harvard graduate students, Professor Leonard discusses the points of intervention for managing risk – from prevention and mitigation to preparing for effective response and recovery operations.

The Emerging Trend of Collaboration During Disaster Risk-Reduction: Experiences from Chinese Non-Governmental Organizations
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 2:30 PM
LOCATION: Ash Center Foyer, Suite 200 North, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA

China and its neighbors are some of the world’s most disaster-vulnerable countries in the world, each facing a wide range of hazards, from earthquakes and typhoons to terrorism and industrial accidents. This panel discussion, featuring a mix of Chinese scholars and practitioners, will explore a significant trend in disaster relief in China: the increasing involvement of Chinese NGOs in domestic and foreign disaster relief efforts. The speakers will reflect on their own experiences and research on responses to recent large-scale disasters and crises, focusing on how government and nongovernmental actors can collaborate in this arena.

Multiagency Response to the 2015 Baltimore Civil Unrest
DATE AND TIME: Monday, September 21, 2015, 12:30 PM

A panel discussion, moderated by PCL Faculty Co-Director Professor Dutch Leonard, and featuring:

  • Linda Singh, Adjutant General, Maryland National Guard
  • William Pallozzi, Secretary of State Police, State of Maryland


Interagency Coordination and Unified Command During a Domestic Emergency: A Panel Discussion
DATE AND TIME: Thursday, April 9, 2015, 6:00 PM
LOCATION: Starr Auditorium, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA

  • General Frank Grass, Chief, National Guard Bureau
  • Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant, United States Coast Guard
  • Lt. General Michael Dubie, Deputy Commander, United States Northern Command, and Vice Commander, United States Element, North American Aerospace Defense Command
  • Juliette Kayyem (moderator), Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Co-sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership and Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education


Coordinating for Effective Humanitarian Action: Lessons from Unified Command Systems
DATE: April 1, 2015
LOCATION: Online Webinar

The international humanitarian community has developed a number of coordination mechanisms and systems, formal and informal, to deal with the convergence of multiple response organizations at the scene of a disaster. But what can be learned from other sectors? What potential lies in understanding how emergency responders (fire, police, ambulance) approach multi-organizational coordination (often described as ‘Unified Command’)?

In a webinar hosted by ALNAP, PCL Faculty Co-Director Arnold Howitt and PCL Senior Fellow Joseph Pfeifer, Chief of Counterterrorism and Emergency Preparedness for the New York Fire Department (FDNY), explored the basics of Unified Command and considered the potential for humanitarian actors to learn from this approach. This webinar is part of ALNAP’s ongoing research on humanitarian leadership and coordination, which has suggested that humanitarian organizations should focus on improving their organizational structures and procedures to allow individual leaders, and leadership teams, to carry out their functions effectively, and that information management and decision-making, amongst other things, are crucially important for both single-agency leadership teams and humanitarian coordination structures.


Ash Center Student Speaker Series: Coordination in Crisis: International Systems and Standards in Disaster Response and Recovery
DATE AND TIME: Friday, March 27, 2015, 12:00 - 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Ash Center Lobby, Suite 200 North, 124 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA

Student Speakers: Philip Dy (MPP ’15) and Tori Stephens (MPP ’15), Harvard Kennedy School; and Martha Pym (MUP ’15), Graduate School of Design
Moderator: Arnold M. Howitt, Faculty Co-Director, Program on Crisis Leadership, and Executive Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School

Responses to major natural disasters often involve a multitude of actors – not only from the affected country and surrounding region, but from the international community as well. This raises a number of questions regarding inter-governmental and inter-organizational coordination, as well as about the norms and standards applied to the response and recovery processes. Join us for a discussion with HKS and GSD graduate students, who will report on their fieldwork – conducted with Ash Center support and advising from PCL -- examining issues revolving around the intersection of local and global actors in post-earthquake Haiti and the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.
Co-sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, the Program on Crisis Leadership, and the Crisis Management Student Group, Harvard Kennedy School.

Japan’s Tohoku Disaster of 2011 Remembered: Impact and Aftermath

DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 12:30-2:00 pm
LOCATION: Bowie-Vernon Room (K262), CGIS Knafel Building, 1737 Cambridge Street

Speakers include:

  • Daniel Aldrich, Associate Professor of Political Science, Purdue University
  • Chiaki Moriguchi, Professor, Institute for Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University, and Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Stanford University
  • Moderator: Susan Pharr, Edwin O. Reischauer Professor of Japanese Politics and Director, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University

Co-sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University; and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University.

Urban Resilience and Natural Hazards in Asia: Film Screening and Panel Discussion
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
LOCATION: Land Hall, Fourth Floor, Belfer Building, Harvard Kennedy School
As the effects of climate change intensify and rapid urbanization continues across many parts of Asia, the region faces increased vulnerability to a range of natural hazards. This event features four short films that highlight innovative strategies for building disaster resilience in several major cities (Bangkok, Da Nang, Phnom Penh, and Surat), followed by a panel discussion featuring academics and practitioners with expertise in disaster risk reduction and urban planning and policy. The films were produced by the online magazine Next City as part of the series "Asia H20: How Water Issues are Changing an Urbanized Continent," which was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Co-sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Program on Crisis Leadership, and Crisis Management Student Group, Harvard Kennedy School; M DesS Risk and Resilience, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Harvard University Asia Center; Harvard University Center for the Environment; and Next City.


Alex Altshuler Leads PCL Seminar

Alex Altshuler, PCL post-doctoral Fulbright Fellow, leads a seminar with HKS students, fellows, and faculty.