FALL 2018

Crisis Management Career Panel
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, October 17, 4:15 PM
LOCATION: Starr Auditorium, B-200, Belfer Building, Harvard Kennedy School

Please join us for a career panel on domestic and international crisis management, featuring HKS midcareer students with professional experience in humanitarian aid, emergency management, and military operations. Light refreshments will be served.

Organized by the Crisis Management Professional Interest Council and co-sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership (jointly affiliated with the Ash and Taubman Centers), Harvard Kennedy School.

To learn more about the panelists, please click on this link.


Before Disaster Strikes: Mitigating Mother Nature through Public Policy
DATE & TIME: Friday, April 13, 2018, 12:00 PM
LOCATION: Ash Center Foyer, Suite 200 North, 124 Mount Auburn Street

In this Ash Community Speaker Series seminar, Harvard graduate students Prabhat Kumar (MC/MPA, HKS) and Shanasia Sylman (Urban Planning, GSD) will discuss findings from field research they conducted over winter break on mitigation and recovery in two post-disaster settings: Nepal, following a series of earthquakes in 2015, and Houston, TX, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Lunch will be served.

The Ash Community Speaker Series features discussions with students, faculty, fellows, and alumni whose research or other academic work is supported by the Ash Center. The series is a forum to discuss new ideas, innovative work, and ongoing projects that are related to the Ash Center's mission to make the world a better place by advancing excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion.

Crisis Response to Aviation Disasters
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, April 11, 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
LOCATION: Taubman Building, Room 275, Harvard Kennedy School

Dena Elkhatib (MC/MPA Candidate) and Joanna Kolatsis, Partner and Head of Aviation and Travel at Hill Dickinson, will discuss crisis management in aviation, the evolving nature of crisis response in the travel sector, and the change in the legal framework around these types of matters including criminalization. Dena was Senior Legal Counsel to flydubai during the loss of their aircraft in 2016 in Rostov-on Don, Russia. Joanna was General Legal Counsel for Helios in 2005 during the loss of their aircraft in Greece and continues to advise on a number of aviation and travel crisis related issues.

Co-sponsored by the Crisis Management PIC and the Program on Crisis Leadership (Ash and Taubman Centers), Harvard Kennedy School.

Police Command During a Crisis: Lessons from the Lindt Cafe Siege (Sydney, Australia, 2014)
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 29, 1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
LOCATION: Suite 100 North, Room 106, 124 Mount Auburn Street

Dr. Simon O’Rourke, Inspector with the Western Australia Police and a Program on Crisis Leadership Fellow, will discuss the challenges police commanders and other senior public safety officials face when leading responses to violent attacks in urban environments. To illustrate the difficulties of making critical decisions amidst great uncertainty and under enormous pressure, Dr. O’Rourke will provide an overview of the Lindt Café Siege in Sydney, Australia in 2014 and the subsequent Coronial Inquest. The presentation will be interactive in nature and there is no pre-reading required.

Sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership (Ash and Taubman Centers) and the Crisis Management PIC.

“Did You Really Just Say That? – What to Do Next": Practical Tools to Use in Crisis Communication
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 1:30pm
LOCATION: Suite 160S – RM 105, 124 Mt. Auburn Street

Now, more than ever, it is necessary to have the ability to identify a potential issue and execute a complete rapid response to mitigate and navigate a crisis as it progresses and increases the chance for irreparable harm.

In this interactive workshop, crisis communication and reputation management expert Sara Brady will share how to prepare for and strategically respond to negative issues through traditional and social media platforms and other appropriate channels.

NOTE: As space is limited, please RSVP at

Sponsored by the Crisis Management PIC, the Program on Crisis Leadership (Ash and Taubman Centers), and the Homeland Security Project (Belfer Center)

The Sewol Ferry Disaster: A Close Look at South Korea’s Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Management System
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 6:15 PM
LOCATION: Cason Conference Room, WAPP/Room 102, Taubman Building, Harvard Kennedy School

Please do not miss this opportunity to learn more about the South Korean disaster preparedness and crisis management system by taking a close look at the Sewol Ferry Disaster with Professor Arnold Howitt at the Harvard Kennedy School!

The Sewol Ferry Disaster is South Korea's worst-ever maritime tragedy. 304 people, mostly teenagers on a high school trip, died when the Sewol ferry sank on 16 April 2014, touching off an outpouring of national grief and soul-searching about long-ignored public safety and regulatory failures. Even though the vessel took around three hours to sink, those on board were not rescued or ordered to evacuate. Investigations into the disaster concluded it was largely man-made – the cumulative result of illegal redesigns, cargo overloading, the inexperience of the crew members steering the vessel, lax government regulations, and poor rescue efforts. The event mushroomed into a political storm of criticism of the government’s performance, contributing to the impeachment of Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Pizza and beverages will be provided.

This event is co-hosted by the Crisis Management PIC, the Program on Crisis Leadership (jointly affiliated with the Ash Center and Taubman Center) and the Korea Caucus at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Dr. Alex Altshuler, a PCL fellow, leads a seminar with HKS students, faculty, and researchers.