Fall 2011

Covering Disasters in Southeast Asia: A Reporter's Perspective
A Harvard Disaster Management in Asia Seminar 
Date & Time: Thursday, December 8, 2011, 12:15 PM
Location: 301 Taubman, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge

Margie Mason is the AP’s Acting Bureau Chief in Vietnam and medical writer for the Asia-Pacific region. She has reported from more than 20 countries over the past decade, writing about an array of disasters and global outbreaks. Among other events, she has covered the flooding that ravaged Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam in 2011; the 2010 floods in Pakistan; Cyclone Nargis, which devastated Myanmar in 2008; and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. In this brownbag talk, Ms. Mason discussed the unique challenges of reporting on these and other disruptive events in the region.

Sponsored by Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Crisis Leadership, the Harvard University Asia Center, and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism.

For more on this event please read the Ash Center profile.

Crisis Mapping and Early Warning Systems in Humanitarian Relief: A Presentation by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative 
Date & Time: Thursday, October 20, 2011, 4:30 PM
Location: Ash Center Lobby, 2nd Floor North, 124 Mt. Auburn Street

The Program on Crisis Leadership and the Crisis Management Student Group at HKS welcomed Dr. Gregg Greenough and John Crowley of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), who presented on their work concerning crisis mapping and early warning systems, a dynamic area of research that examines the use of information communications technologies in various conflict and disaster settings. In addition, they briefly overviewed the humanitarian implications of climate change -- an increasingly important issue for the fields of disaster management, humanitarian assistance, and disaster risk reduction.

For more on crisis mapping, see: http://www.hhi.harvard.edu/programs-and-research/crisis-mapping-and-early-warning

Sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership, the HKS Crisis Management Student Group, and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

HKS Program on Crisis Leadership Open House
Date & Time: Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 4:30 PM
Location: Taubman 401

An event for students interested in crisis leadership and response, disaster management, and emergency preparedness, attendees heard from faculty and staff of Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Crisis Leadership and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative about related academic offerings. Leaders of the Crisis Management PIC at HKS were present to discuss additional opportunities for student involvement.

Spring 2011

JFK Jr. Forum: Oil Spills, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Meltdowns: Acting in Time Against the Next Disaster
Date & Time: Thursday, April 28, 2011, 6:00 PM
Location: JFK Jr. Forum, 79 JFK Street, Harvard Kennedy School

A conversation on disaster preparedness, with:

  • Juliette Kayyem, Fmr. Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;
  • General Craig R. McKinley, Chief, National Guard Bureau;
  • Admiral Robert Papp, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard;
  • Hon. Bart Stupak, Fmr. Congressman, D-MI;
  • Admiral James Winnefeld, Commander, US Northern Command (NORTHCOM)

Moderated by Herman B. "Dutch" Leonard, George F. Baker, Jr. Professor of Public Management and Faculty Co-Director, Program on Crisis Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School

Sponsored by the the Program on Crisis Leadership, JKF Jr. Forum, and HKS Executive Education.

Can Indonesia Incrementally Reduce its Disaster Risks? Some Recent Findings
A Harvard Disaster Management in Asia Seminar
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 4:15 PM
Location: Suite 100, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Through 2010, more than 300 districts and 30 provinces in Indonesia had complied with Public Law 24/2007, which provided the legal framework for the establishment of a national disaster management system -- yet the actual degree of implementation at the local level remained largely unclear. In this talk, using social network analysis and drawing on data from 40 districts/cities and provinces, Dr. Jonatan Lassa took a closer look at localities’ progress in meeting the country’s disaster risk reduction standards.

A Harvard Kennedy School Indonesia Program Research Fellow, Dr. Lassa received his PhD in geo-information from the University of Bonn (Germany). His research interests include institutional vulnerability and the governance dimension of disaster risk reduction. He also has more than 10 years of work experience with various civil society organizations.

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

Japan in Crisis: Exploring the Consequences of a Cascading Disaster
A Harvard Disaster Management in Asia Seminar
Date & Time: Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 4:15 PM
Location: Goodman Classroom (L-140), Littauer Building, Harvard Kennedy School

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(Q&A and Group Discussion)

On March 11, 2011 a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan, triggering massive tsunami waves that swept inland, decimating whole towns. Although the total number of casualties remained unknown, as many as 10,000 people were feared dead. Meanwhile, the earthquake had also caused damage to several of Japan’s nuclear reactors, and authorities continued to struggle to bring that crisis under control.

In this discussion, faculty members, researchers, and guest panelists explored the implications of this catastrophic chain of events and discussed the multifold challenges facing Japan as it struggled to respond and recover. Dr. Arnold M. Howitt, Executive Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School, moderated a panel that included:

  • Professor Michael W. Golay, Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Jun Kurihara, Senior Fellow, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Professor Herman B. “Dutch” Leonard, Harvard Kennedy School & Harvard Business School
  • Professor Shoji Tsuchida, Faculty of Safety Science, Kansai University, Japan

Sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership, the HKS Crisis Management Student Group, and the HKS Japan Caucus.

For more on this event please read the Harvard Crimson article.

Rebuilding Queensland after the Floods: Lessons from Recovery in New Orleans
Date & Time: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 4:15 PM
Location: Ash Center Lobby, 2nd Floor North, 124 Mt. Auburn Street

As 2010 drew to a close, floodwaters were washing across much of the state of Queensland, Australia. By the time they had subsided, they had affected an area larger than France and Germany combined, killed dozens of residents, and inflicted serious damage on remote towns and major cities alike (including the state capital, Brisbane). Just a month later, Cyclone Yasi smashed into north Queensland, straining resources and compounding the suffering already experienced across the state. In this talk, Dr. Edward Blakely, drawing upon lessons learned from post-Katrina recovery in New Orleans, explored the challenges that lay ahead as Australia looked to rebuild the flood- and storm-ravaged state.

A leading scholar and practitioner of urban policy and planning, Dr. Blakely served from 2007 – 2009 as executive director of New Orleans’ Office of Recovery and Development Administration. He also led recovery planning efforts in Oakland, California following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. He has served as Dean of the School of Urban Planning & Development at the University of Southern California and Dean of the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management & Urban Policy at the New School University. He is Honorary Professor of Urban Policy at the University of Sydney.

Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans
Date & Time: Thursday, February 3, 2011, 4:15 PM
Location: Taubman 301

In 2005, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, floodwaters overtook the city of New Orleans, causing catastrophic property damage and taking the lives of hundreds of area residents. As the water receded and as rescue and relief drew to a close, New Orleanians faced their next challenge: recovering from one of America’s worst urban disasters.

In this talk, Robert Olshanksy, Professor and Associate Head of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, discussed his and co-author Laurie Johnson’s recently published book Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans(APA Planners Press, 2010), which explores the dynamics of the complex and oftentimes contentious planning efforts to rebuild the historic city. A specialist in urban planning with extensive experience studying disaster recovery in both the U.S. and abroad (including Northridge, Kobe, Aceh, Haiti, and Wenchuan), Olshansky used New Orleans’s experience to highlight some of the key issues and themes political leaders and policy makers must grapple with in planning for and executing post-disaster recovery.

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