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,…

Inaugural Master Symposium Held in DC

The National Preparedness Leadership Initiative held its first Master Symposium in Washington, DC in early November. The program, open to alumni of NPLI executive education programs, attracted approximately 50 participants for two days of discussion. Sessions included updates on the dimensions of meta-leadership (the person, the situation, and connectivity) as well as new curriculum modules on organizational transformation, developing emerging leaders and leading across the “arc of time.” NPLI faculty…

What We Can Learn From Wildfire Fighters

NPLI Director of Research Eric McNulty wrote a piece for strategy+business in May 2016 on leadership lessons for any organization that could be derived from the practices of wildfire fighters. It was timely then because of the Fort McMurray fires in Canada. It is relevant again today as we watch brave men and women put themselves in harm’s way in California. We cannot imagine a more daunting situation in which to find oneself…

Kelly Nee to Lead Boston University Police Department

Boston University has announced that Kelly Nee, NPLI Cohort XIV, will be the new chief of its police department. She will be the first woman to hold the post. Nee is a 33-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, most recently as deputy superintendent of its Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis. She has been active crafting training and deployment plans for terror attacks and other major incidents. In a news…

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…

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…

Cohort XIV Returns to Cambridge

Cohort XIV of the NPLI’s flagship executive education returned to Harvard for its concluding session on June 14-17. Team projects ranged from cyberspace to the Arctic. They addressed the meta-leadership challenges of coordinating services for homeless vets, catalyzing preparedness for coordinated multiple terror attacks, and improving critical infrastructure resilience, creating crisis leader advisor certification and support networks,and more. Final projects will be posted to our website over the summer. Guest…

NPLI Team Tackles Cyber Challenges

Cyber threats are emerging as a distinct and persistent challenge requiring new thinking on policy and action. Leadership is a key component to enabling agencies to better work together across government and for the public and private sectors to coordinate and collaborate in their efforts. An NPLI Cohort XII project team took on this issue and recommended a new operating structure modeled after the joint interagency task force in South…