Fall 2013

A Mayor’s Perspective on Disaster Response: Mayor Walter Maddox on the 2011 Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tornado 
Date & Time: Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 4:15 PM
Location: Room 226 (Conference Room), Ash Center, Suite 200 North, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA

On April 27, 2011, an EF4 tornado hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Despite leveling an eighth of the city, killing 53 people, and destroying or seriously damaging thousands of structures, the devastation could have been far greater had it not been for Mayor Walter Maddox’s decision to revamp the city’s emergency management system in the years preceding the storm. During this talk, Mayor Maddox discussed his reforms and how he led the response to the storm, providing insight into the role political leaders can play in preparing for and responding to disasters.

Sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership, Ash Center and Taubman Center, Harvard Kennedy School.

For more on the event, please see this AL.com article.

Typhoon Haiyan: Response and Recovery in the Philippines 
Date & Time: Thursday, November 21, 2013, 12:00-2:00 PM
Location: CGIS South S020, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

In this panel discussion, speakers explored the enormous challenges of providing relief and organizing recovery in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Panelists included: 

  • Doug Ahlers, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; 
  • Mai Mislang, former Assistant Secretary/Chief of Staff of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office for President Aquino (and HKS mid-career student); 
  • Tori Stephens, former Peace Corps volunteer in the mayor’s office of Guiuan, a town in the impacted area of the Philippines (and HKS MPP student); and
  • Michael vanRooyen, Director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. 

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

Co-sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership, Ash Center and Taubman Center, Harvard Kennedy School; Harvard University Asia Center; Harvard Humanitarian Initiative; Harvard Philippine Forum; and Harvard Kennedy School Crisis Management Student Group.

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Disaster Management and Risk Reduction: An Israeli Perspective
Date & Time: Thursday, October 17, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM
Location: WAPPP Cason Conference Room, Taubman 102, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA

Brigadier General (ret.) Meir Elran, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Homeland Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, Israel, discussed a range of hazards – both natural and manmade – that threaten the Israeli homefront and explored how the country approaches risk reduction and disaster management.

For more on Gen. Elran and the Homeland Security Program at INSS, visit http://www.inss.org.il/index.aspx?id=4417

Reflections on Earthquake and Induced Disaster Responses in China: Case Analysis and Observations by QU Guosheng
Date & Time: Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Location: Ash Center Conference Room (#226), 2nd Floor North, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA

This seminar featured a presentation by QU Guosheng, a leading expert and practitioner of disaster response and crisis management in China. Among other positions, Mr. QU is Professor and Deputy Director of the S&T Committee, China’s National Earthquake Response Support Service; Vice President of the International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS); Deputy Team Leader of China International Search and Rescue (CISAR); and Director, Digital Disaster Mitigation and Emergency Management Research Center, Peking University.

Recently, he served as a team leader during the response to the Wenchuan, Yushu, and Lushan earthquakes. In this seminar, he reflected on these and other experiences, emphasizing disaster assessment methodology and on-site command and coordination strategies. 

Resilience in the Face of Catastrophe: Rikuzentakata's Ongoing Recovery from Japan's 3.11 Triple Disaster
Date & Time: Thursday, September 12, 2013, 4:00 PM
Location: Weil Town Hall, Belfer B-L-1

Kiyoshi Murakami, Goodwill Ambassador of Rikuzentakata, Japan, spoke about the progress his town has made in recovering from the March 11, 2011 tsunami, which caused extensive devastation along the country's Tohoku coast.

Sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University; and the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Spring 2013

Congressional Hearing: Protecting the Homeland Against Mumbai-Style Attacks and the Threat from Lashkar-e-Taiba
Date & Time: June 12, 2013, 10:00 AM
Location: 311 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC

Featuring Testimony by PCL Senior Fellow Joseph Pfeifer.

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Crisis Management Workshop and Simulation with Amb. Christian Dussey
Date & Time: Friday, April 12, 2013, 9:00 AM
Location: Suite 160, Room 105, 124 Mount Auburn Street 

Crises are sudden and disruptive. They are complex and characterized by uncertainty as well as high velocity. In this workshop, Amb. Christian Dussey, most recently head of the Crisis Management Center of the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented several instruments leaders can use to bring a sense of order and lead his/her team through these challenging events. He then facilitated a crisis simulation during which participants worked in groups of 3 or 4. The last hour was dedicated to discussing the results of the group work.

Sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership and the Crisis Management Student Group at HKS.

Neighborhood Recovery Efforts in New Orleans: A Book Talk by Tom Wooten
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 12:30 PM
Location: Belfer L-4, Hauser Center Conference Room

A book about collective resilience, We Shall Not Be Moved tells the stories of five New Orleans neighborhoods—Broadmoor, Hollygrove, Lakeview, the Lower Ninth Ward, and Village de l’Est—as residents rebuild in the years after the levee failures. In this presentation, Harvard author Tom Wooten focused on the potential and limits of community-based recovery efforts. He also highlighted the role that Kennedy School students and faculty played to support Broadmoor's recovery effort.

Organized by the Social and Urban Policy PIC and co-sponsored by the Program on Crisis Leadership, the Black Policy Caucus, the Crisis Management Student Group, and the Regional, State, Local and Tribal Governance PIC.

Hauser Center Frontline with Faculty Series: Crisis Management and the Social Sector
Date & Time: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 4:15 PM
Location: Belfer, Weil Town Hall, Lobby Level Harvard Kennedy School
Speaker: Herman B. "Dutch" Leonard, George F. Baker, Jr. Professor of Public Management, HKS; and Professor of Business Administration, HBS

In responding to and recovering from large, complex disasters (like Katrina; the Haiti, Chile, and Japan earthquakes; Irene, and Sandy), we argue that a decentralized, “fast and light” response will outperform a more centralized response. What are the implications of this for the social sector, which plays a key role in providing resources and expertise in the aftermath of disasters?

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Haiti: Progress and Challenges Three Years Later, a JFK Jr. Forum Panel
Date & Time: Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 6:00 PM
Location: JFK Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School
Speakers: Lieutenant General Ken Keen (Retired, U.S. Army); Sean Penn, Chairman and CEO, J/P Haitian Relief Organization; and Hon. Michele Pierre-Louis, Former Prime Minister of Haiti
Moderator: Mary Jo Bane, Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management, HKS

In this panel discussion, speakers explored Haiti's post-earthquake reconstruction, then in its third year.

Sponsored by Harvard University's Institute of Politics, the Program on Crisis Leadership, and the Crisis Management Student Group at HKS.

For more on this event, read the Harvard Gazette article or view the video of the panel discussion:

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