Companies Harvest Investments in Business Continuity through Covid-19

Covid vaccine bottles

In interviews with executives from nine global companies, researchers from the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard University (NPLI) and Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRI) explored cross-sector leadership lessons learned from the pandemic response from early 2020 through August 2021. Among their key findings are: Preparation Matters: Interviewees reported consistently that investments in preparedness and business continuity capability allowed them to effectively transition intro response mode everywhere from the supply…

NPLI Faculty Comment on COVID19 Response

NPLI faculty members Lenny Marcus, Eric McNulty, and Rich Serino have all been active commenting on the COVID19 response in the media and through webinars and other channels. We will keep an update list of these appearances here. Some are behind paywalls and that is beyond our control. In summary, their guidance is: Leadership matters: At times of great turbulence, it falls to leaders to set the tone and tempo…

Dr Gregory Ciottone Named WADEM President

Dr. Gregory Ciottone, who serves as the NPLI’s director of medical preparedness, has been named incoming president of WADEM, the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine at their recent conference in Brisbane, Australia. Ciottone  also an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School and is the Director of the Division of Disaster Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he works clinically in the Department of…

Harvards’ NPLI Program Celebrates Inaugural Hall of Fame Inductees

The National Preparedness Leadership Initiative recently announced its Meta-Leadership project Hall of Fame.  Projects were chosen for their positive impact on critical issues of public safety, disaster preparedness, and disaster response. In each of the NPLI’s 17 cohorts, participants’ form into multi-organizational teams to develop projects intended to make a tangible difference on a real-world problem confronting communities and those responsible for their preparedness and resilience. Two of the initial…

NPLI Profiled for 15th Anniversary

The Harvard Gazette ran a feature story to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative: The NPLI is a joint program of the Harvard Chan School and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). The annual executive education program has been attended by 750 leaders from 95 organizations in more than 30 states and 10 countries. It has reached thousands more leaders through symposia…

Leadership Key to Florence Response

NPLI alumni are once again at the front lines of responses to massive storms. Hurricane Florence, described as “the storm of the century” is dumping millions of gallons of rain on the eastern seaboard and driving significant storm surges. Coastal and inland flooding is widespread. Through the media, NPLI Distinguished Senior Fellow and former FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino has been noting the importance of leadership to the success of…

NPLI Faculty Peter Neffenger Featured in ‘Resilient World’ Podcast

Peter Neffenger, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative alumni and faculty, was recently featured in the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience “Resilient World” podcast. It’s hosted by Christine Wormuth, director of the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience. In the episode, Neffenger describes the importance of building resilient systems, sharing wisdom from his experience as former Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and as the former…

A Novel Approach to Chemical Attacks

Dr. Greg Ciottone, Director for Medical Preparedness at the NPLI, recently published a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine addressing the challenges of responding to medical response to chemical attacks. Chemical attacks are on the rise and present an emerging challenge for first responders. The article reviews: …the toxidromes (constellations of signs and symptoms that are characteristic of a given class of agents) for known and suspected chemical-warfare…

The Challenges of Extreme Hurricanes

The extraordinary wallop from back-to-back hurricanes in 2017 tested the capacity and capability of the response system. There were many challenges as well as stories of resourcefulness, resilience, and courage from Texas to Puerto Rico. Recently, the Leadership Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health convened an all-star panel to discuss what we’ve learned about extreme hurricanes that should be carried forward for future planning and training.…

Serino Shares Best Practices in Public Health Preparedness and Response

NPLI Distinguished Fellow Richard Serino recently shared proven techniques for leaders to positively influence preparedness and response for public health emergencies. Given the worse-than-expected flu season, this advice could not be more timely. Among Serino’s advice was the importance of transparency when communicating with the public: tell them what you know, tell them what you don’t know, and tell them what you are doing to close the gap. Serino noted…