FALL 2015

Events for the fall 2015 semester will be listed here as soon as they are finalized.


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 Michal 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.