It was a year to remember for preparedness and response leaders: hurricanes, fires, floods, shootings, and more challenged leaders and their organizations again and again. This made it a challenge to select a 2017 Meta-Leader of the Year as National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI) alumni were involved in many of these events.
Each year, the Meta-Leader of the Year designation is conferred upon an outstanding leader whose breadth of thinking, direction and work has achieved wide and significant impact. The selectees are truly “leaders of leaders,” serving as role models and inspiration for the many people touched by what they do and accomplish.
Jono Anzalone (Cohort XI), Vice President for International Services at the American Red Cross, was selected for his ongoing to help communities better prepare for and respond to a wide range of disasters. While Red Cross involvement with storms in the U.S. gathered the most attention here, Anzalone was also involved in the response to extensive flooding in Southeast Asia.
NPLI founding co-director Leonard Marcus said, “We were impressed with Jono from the moment he arrived here in Cambridge [for the NPLI program]. His enthusiasm for the mission of the Red Cross, his curiosity about leadership, and his pursuit of good – in the best sense of the word – moved us here at Harvard and impressed his colleagues in the NPLI cohort. We were later able to partner with Jono in the Cargill Foundation leadership development program that we presented in the Midwest. At the time, we were impressed with Jono’s respect among his peers and the extent to which they looked to him for guidance and direction. We were further moved by his involvement in the recent spate of hurricanes and the extent to which knowing that Jono was present and on board provided others with a sense of confidence and direction.”
Anzalone was presented with the award during NPLI Cohort XVI’s opening session in December 2017.