2012 Events

The Tohoku Disaster: Responding to Japan’s 3.11 Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Accident
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 5:30 PM
LOCATION: Nye AB, 5th Floor, Taubman Building, HKS
SPEAKER: Arnold M. Howitt, Faculty Co-Director, Program on Crisis Leadership, and Executive Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, HKS

Based on research conducted in Japan the previous summer, Dr. Howitt explored Japan’s emergency response to the catastrophic Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. Among other things, he discussed how the response played out across various levels of government (local, prefectural, and national) and offered recommendations for how Japan could improve its disaster response for the future.

Organized by the Taubman Center for State and Local Government.

To view Part 1 of the presentation, click here:

To view Part 2 of the presentation, click here:

Preparing for Catastrophic Emergencies: Lessons from the Wenchuan Earthquake and the Zhouqu Debris Flow Disaster
A Harvard Disaster Management in Asia Seminar
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 12:15 PM
LOCATION: Suite 100, Room 106, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge
SPEAKER: Wang Lanmin, PhD, Director, Earthquake Administration of Gansu Province, China, and Ash Center New World Fellow

Dr. Wang has been Director of Gansu Province's Earthquake Administration since 2004; he also serves as one of the coordinators for earthquake emergency response across Northwest China. In this brownbag seminar, he discussed Gansu's ongoing efforts to prepare for major natural disasters, focusing specifically on lessons learned from two recent events: the devastating Wenchuan Earthquake of 2008, which heavily affected southern Gansu, and the Zhouqu Debris Flow Disaster, which killed over 1,500 people in 2010.

Moderated by Dr. Arnold Howitt, Executive Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and Faculty Co-Director, Program on Crisis Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School.

Sponsored by Harvard Kennedy School's Program on Crisis Leadership, the New World Fellows Program, and the Harvard University Asia Center.

Brown Bag with Ambassador Christian Dussey
DATE AND TIME: Monday, November 5, 2012, 12:00 PM  
LOCATION: Taubman 401
SPEAKER:  Ambassador Christian Dussey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland; and Fellow, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

In this career brown bag, Ambassador Dussey discussed his experience leading the Crisis Management Center of the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which coordinates the Swiss government's crisis response system to major incidents (disasters, political upheavals, terror attacks, hostage situations) affecting its citizens abroad.

Among other diplomatic postings, Ambassador Dussey has served as political counselor at the Embassy of Switzerland in Moscow and headed the International Security Section of the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He studied at Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the University of Fribourg, and Georgetown University. As a Weatherhead Fellow, he spent the year researching crisis management, crisis leadership, and decision-making.

Sponsored by the Crisis Management Student Group at Harvard Kennedy School and the Program on Crisis Leadership.

Assessing Emergency Response to the 3.11 Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Accident in Japan
DATE AND TIME: Friday, October 26, 2012, 12:15 p.m. 
LOCATION: S250, 2nd Floor, CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge
SPEAKER: Dr. Arnold Howitt, Executive Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and Faculty Co-Director, Program on Crisis Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School

Chair: Professor Andrew Gordon, Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History; Former Director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

Modern Asia Seminar Series, Harvard Asia Center; Co-sponsored with the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, and the Program on Crisis Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School.


 
Fall 2012 Open House: HKS Program on Crisis Leadership and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 4:15 PM
LOCATION: Taubman 401

New and returning students interested in crisis leadership, humanitarian relief, or post-disaster recovery attended this welcome session and heard from faculty and staff affiliated with Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Crisis Leadership (PCL) and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) about academic offerings and activities related to disaster management and disaster risk reduction. Leaders of the Crisis Management Student Group at HKS were also present to discuss additional opportunities for student involvement.

Catastrophic Disasters: Confronting Novel Preparedness Challenges
DATE AND TIME: Monday, July 23, 2012, 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS), Tokyo

Presenter: Dr. Arnold M. Howitt, Faculty Co-Director, Program on Crisis Leadership, and Executive Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, HKS

Moderator: Jun Kurihara, CIGS Research Director

Emergency preparedness in most countries concentrates on risks that can be "anticipated" because of direct experience, events elsewhere, formal risk analyses, or scenario development. But how can society more effectively prepare for "novel" threats or events that either have not been seen before (e.g., emergent infectious disease, undiscovered seismic faults), or arise at a scale that far exceeds expectations (Hurricane Katrina, the March 11 earthquake/tsunami), or involve simultaneous disasters that together pose novel challenges (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear accident)? Dr. Howitt addressed these questions in a presentation organized by Japan's Canon Institute for Global Studies.


 
Asia Public Policy Forum: Disaster Management in Asia
DATE AND TIME: Sunday, May 13 - Tuesday, May 15, 2012
LOCATION: Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Singapore

The Ash Center's 2012 Asia Public Policy Forum focused on the theme of disaster management—an issue of critical concern for an area highly vulnerable to a variety of natural hazards. With the aim of fostering discussion on core disaster management challenges and advances in Asia, it featured presentations on a variety of issues concerning disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness and response, and disaster recovery. View photos of the conference here.

The forum was jointly organized by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia at Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The Program on Crisis Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard University Asia Center co-sponsored the event.

The Ash Center sponsors the annual Asia Public Policy Forum in different venues around the region. The event brings together scholars, senior public officials, and representatives of the business and nonprofit communities to address public policy matters of particular importance for Asia.


 
Disaster Response: The Military's Role from Japan to the Gulf
DATE AND TIME: Thursday, April 26, 2012, 6:00 PM
LOCATION: John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School

A Panel Conversation with: General Craig McKinley, National Guard Bureau Chief; Admiral Mary Landry, United States Coast Guard; General Julie Bentz, National Security Council.

Moderated by Herman “Dutch” Leonard, Professor of Public Management, and Faculty Co-Director, Program on Crisis Leadership, HKS


 
Community-Powered Disaster Recovery: A Brownbag Presentation by Recovers.Org
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 12:00 PM
LOCATION: Taubman 301, Harvard Kennedy School

Created in the wake of an EF3 tornado, Recovers.org  provides free software and support to recovering areas immediately after a disaster. In this brownbag presentation, the organization’s co-founders discussed how the services Recovers.org provides allow towns to capture the goodwill of people post-disaster and turn it into action amidst the chaos that frequently characterizes early relief and recovery efforts. They spoke about their motivations for creating the organization – and the successes and challenges they’ve experienced navigating the nonprofit, for profit and tech startup scenes.

Moderated by Arnold Howitt, Executive Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance & Innovation, and Faculty Co-Director, Program on Crisis Leadership.

Recovery in Chile: A Panel Discussion
DATE AND TIME: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 4:00 PM
LOCATION: Fainsod Room, L324, Littauer Building, Harvard Kennedy School

This panel discussion featured presentations from students who participated in the 2012 Kennedy School J-Term Course “Community Recovery: Rebuilding Disaster Damaged Communities in Chile.” Led by Doug Ahlers, HKS Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy and Faculty Affiliate of the Program on Crisis Leadership, the course gave 20 graduate students the opportunity to directly engage in disaster reconstruction in communities affected by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile in 2010. The panel will include 4 students from 3 HKS degree programs. Representing each of the project teams, they shared their experiences and gave key insights into lessons learned.

A short Q&A session followed.

Organized by the Crisis Management Student Group at Harvard Kennedy School and the Program on Crisis Leadership.

Coping Strategies of Indonesian Humanitarian Volunteers: Personal, Organizational, Cultural, and Policy Dimensions
A Harvard Disaster Management in Asia Seminar
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 12:00 PM
LOCATION: Suite 100, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA

In this brownbag presentation, HKS Indonesia Research Fellow Nelden Djakababa discussed her research on post-traumatic growth and psychological well-being of disaster response volunteers, focusing specifically on Indonesian Red Cross personnel who responded to the major earthquake that hit Yogyakarta and Central Java in 2007. Special attention was given to the narrative-based analysis of the coping strategies employed by the volunteers, taking into account the Javanese culture-based approach to adversity. The study also aimed to identify critical points in how this coping process can be supported by the humanitarian organizations and disaster management policies.

Maria Nelden Djakababa (“Nelden”) is a psychologist focusing on trauma, disaster, humanitarian workers, journalism and trauma, resilience, growth, and culture. She holds a Professional Master’s degree as a psychologist from the University of Indonesia, and an Advanced Master’s degree in cultures and development studies from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Djakababa is currently pursuing her Ph.D. studies at the University of Amsterdam, and is spending the 2011-2012 academic year at the Harvard Kennedy School as an Indonesia Research Fellow. She has accumulated more than seven years of experience in community-based trauma recovery in post-conflict and post-disaster areas in Indonesia and is one of the pioneers in Indonesia in raising the issue of journalism and trauma.

Sponsored by Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Crisis Leadership, the Harvard Kennedy School Indonesia Program and the Harvard University Asia Center.

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