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.

Featured Research and Teaching

The National Guard and Homeland Security

PCL trains senior National Guard officers on how to conduct large-scale, multi-organizational response operations.

Response and Recovery in Nepal

As part of its focus on Asia, PCL is examining Nepal’s response and recovery from the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake.

Ebola in Dallas

PCL has developed a rich collection of case studies on public health emergencies. A recently published case profiles the response to Ebola in Dallas, TX.

Inside PCL

Under the leadership of Faculty Co-Directors Arnold Howitt and Dutch Leonard, more than a dozen faculty members, researchers, and senior practitioners contribute to PCL’s research and teaching initiatives.

PCL faculty lead intensive, short-term executive education programs for practicing professionals on issues relating to crisis leadership, disaster response, and homeland security. Our faculty also offer graduate-level courses on similar topics through the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Extension School.

Our research addresses a range of topics related to disaster risk reduction. Current faculty-led initiatives include research on the response to complex and rapidly evolving attacks in urban environments, disaster response and recovery in Asia, and public health emergency preparedness.

PCL organizes panel discussions, lectures, and seminars throughout the academic year. Details on upcoming events will be posted here once finalized. Please click here to learn about our past events.