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Course Description

MGT-340 - Crisis Leadership & Decision-Making for Elected Officials

The Crisis Leadership & Decision Making for Elected Officials Seminar uses one of four Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government case studies to examine the dynamics of crisis leadership and decision making from an elected or senior official’s perspective. The four hour seminar uses the case study to frame the discussion on ways to overcome leadership challenges in planning and responding to a large scale incident. The final outcome of the seminar is the development of an individual and jurisdiction roadmap of actions needed to improve preparedness and emergency response.

Available Case Studies: (Jurisdiction chooses which case study to cover during the class) 
• Charting a Course in a Storm: US Postal Service and the Anthrax Crisis 
• Command Performance: County Firefighters Take Charge of the 9/11 Pentagon Emergency 
• “Almost a Worst-Case Scenario”; The Baltimore Tunnel Fire of 2001 (Parts A, B, C) 
• Hurricane Katrina: Preparing for “The Big One” In New Orleans (Part A) and Responding to an “Ultra-Catastrophe” in New Orleans (Part B)

Seminar Topical Areas:
•  Planning for Effective Disaster Response: Plans are notorious for ending up on the floor when the crisis occurs and must have the right amount of detail, structure and flexibility to be useful.
•  Leadership during a Crisis: Newly elected or appointed officials need to think through their substantive functions and moral responsibilities as crisis leaders in advance of a crisis, rather than addressing their obligations for the first time in the midst of a crisis. 
•  Recognizing the Extraordinary; Improvising the Necessary Response: Every major disaster presents a unique situation and often predetermined emergency plans and response behavior that function quite well in dealing with routine emergencies are frequently grossly inadequate or counterproductive in dealing with a catastrophic incident. Even the best plans cannot anticipate every emergency situation. 
•  Complex, Multi-Jurisdictional Coordination: As a crisis increases in complexity and multiple agencies or jurisdictions are tasked to provide support, leadership and command responsibilities may need to be transferred from those initially in charge to others with different skills or broader authority. This evolution of crisis leadership frequently produces substantial friction between agencies and jurisdictions. 
•  Maintain Scalability and Surge Capacity: As the crisis grows, more resources are needed, and this creates more tasks and requires a greater variety of responder capabilities.
•  Developing a Jurisdiction Preparedness Roadmap: From the lessons learned during seminar discussions and reading of the case study, a jurisdiction preparedness roadmap will be developed to guide future emergency preparedness planning.

How this course is offered:

Delivered onsite at a location designated by the requesting jurisdiction.  To learn more or schedule a delivery, contact Rick Comley at

Prerequisites & Other Information:

No tuition is charged.

Course Specifics

Hours: 4.00
Provider: TEEX
Sponsor: Federal Sponsor
Disciplines: Emergency Management
Government Administration

Available Classes

No classes found.

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