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…

Jono Anzalone Named 2017 Meta-Leader of the Year

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,…

Cohort XV Project Teams Tackle Tough Issues

Each NPLI resident executive education program culminates in the presentation of team meta-leadership projects, developed and executed over six months between the opening and closing on-campus sessions. Students from public, private, and non-profit sectors work collaboratively to identify critical leadership challenges and identify solutions. This year’s teams tackled timely and difficult issues ranging from improved interventions to prevent deaths from opioid overdose, to developing a platform for “whole community” participation…

Aviation Meta-Leadership Summit Held at Boston’s Logan Airport

Addressing the need to meet emerging threats through a “whole of airport community” approach to security, Massport—in partnership with the NPLI and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)—presented the first Aviation Security Meta-leadership Symposium on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at The Hilton Boston Logan Airport. The event brought together more than 160 leaders from federal, state and local agencies and organizations, including representatives from police, fire and emergency medical services, Airlines…

Integrating Children’s Needs into Preparedness

NPLI Distinguished Visiting Fellow Richard Serino co-authored a piece for The Hill making the case for including the needs of children in all preparedness plans. Serino and his co-author, Jeff Schlegelmilch, argued: Children represent nearly a quarter of the U.S. population — a massive cohort impacted by a disaster that is dependent on the rest of the community. Children lack the capacity to advocate for, and in some cases, event…

Meta-Leadership and Cyber Security

In late 2016, the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and the United States Air Force Cyber College co-hosted a one-day dialog on the leadership challenges in cyber security at Harvard Law School. The participants included representatives from the private sector as well as various federal agencies. The dialog was facilitated by the NPLI’s Dr. Leonard Marcus and Eric McNulty. The overarching take-away was that the greatest challenge is not technical, but…

Jane Cage Named Meta-Leader of the Year

When Cohort XV came to Cambridge for their opening session in early December, they had the chance to meet a special alumnus: Jane Cage (Cohort XI). Jane is chairman of the Joplin (MO) Citizens Advisory Recovery Team and was a tireless volunteer in the aftermath of the EF-5, multi-voretx tornado that ripped through Joplin hard on May 22, 2011. The tornado killed more than 150 people and injured more than…

Leadership Challenges in Crisis Communications

Crisis and disaster response are laden with communications challenges for leaders: within agencies, across the response enterprise, with political officials, and with the general public. Get it right and everything goes much more smoothly. Rich Serino (Cohort I and current Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the NPLI) recently sat down with Anthony Mangeri, an advisor to DomPrep Journal, to discuss best practices and challenges for leaders in communications in the midst…