Leadership Challenges in Emergency Management
A Moderated Panel Discussion

Jane Kushma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Institute for Emergency Preparedness
Jacksonville State University

Janet K. Benini, CEM®
Affiliated Professor, Public Policy Institute
Georgetown University

Eric Holdeman
Principal, Emergency Management and Homeland Security
ICF International

November 5, 2008

Live Meeting Recording (WMV) This is a large file and requires Windows Media Player or Windows Media Components for QuickTime, or a similar product to view.
Transcript (HTML)
(MS Word)

Slides (Adobe PDF)

Related Websites:
Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications, U.S. OPM
Collaborative Leadership
Center for Creative Leadership
The Community Leadership Association
Center for Servant Leadership
Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence and Emergency Response

Collaboration in Times of Crisis, Partnership for Public Service

Up Arrow to Top of Page RATINGS
3 Ratings Submitted: 2 attended, 1 read, 0 viewed
0 (0%) Academia 1 (33.3%)
3 (100%) Business 1 (33.3%)
0 (0%) Government 0 (0%)
0 (0%) Volunteers 0 (0%)
0 (0%) Other 1 (33.3%)

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"I found this forum discussion most informative. However, there is not enough time to discuss issues. I would suggest more time should be devoted to the 'discussion' portion of all of these forum discussions. 1.5 hours may be better than 1. I have only attended two discussions, but both were hardly discussed due to the lack of time available. These are very important issues - perhaps to even have a forum discussion that lasts beyond the 'live' time such that other questions may be posted/answered and deeper discussions can result from the areas that hold greater interest to the group. There are many leadership questions to address and this group did an excellent job bringing up problems which exist and the solutions needed to resolve these. Thank you to everyone!"
Connie White
Arkansas Tech University, Dept. of Emergency Administration and Management

"As a line manager for a government agency, trainer in CT/WMD, community involvement in emergency management, I found the forum interesting focusing on the lack of support from high levels is and has always been the key to success of the EM Program. Whether it be the individual who was tossed into the position to fill a slot, get a title, or had a sincere dedication to being prepared, elements from above have made it difficult. It can be as simple as lack of budget, interest, or belief that there is a purpose there. I believe that in many cases the objective of getting "funds" to fill coffers has been the goal of some organizations and agencies without which there would be no interest in EM. This forum was great and to identify a leading cause was great. Unfortunately, I was only able to review the transcript and found it beneficial for noting the forum. I would suggest that slides as well as references be listed at the end for easy access and eliminate the need to review the slide and distracting from the transcript. Also, when individuals have blogs referenced during dialogue, the adding of their sites would be beneficial. As an additional topic for future consideration, I would suggest a kind of follow up to this one reflecting how some individuals placed into the EM position tend to just follow area ideas and ignore information and news from other sources. I see this practice and feel it's an easy way to shift blame if something happens and also limits the availability of information and training to those who have a genuine concern and interest in emergency management and all it stands for. Of course, to deny that thinking on one's own could result in subtle retaliation is a great issue."
Will Gaefcke

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Jane Kushma is an Associate Professor of Emergency Management at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Dr. Kushma has been teaching emergency management at the college level for more than twelve years, and has led curriculum development efforts at both the graduate and undergraduate levels at several institutions.

She developed and teaches the course, "Emergency Management Leadership and Organizational Behavior." Currently she is developing a course treatment on the theme of Leadership in Emergency Management for EMI's Higher Education program. She has recently assumed the position of Managing Editor for the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

She has a Ph.D. in Urban Policy and Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington and also a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research areas are disasters and public policy, vulnerable populations, and volunteer management. Previously, she provided support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Recovery Division's long-term community recovery efforts for Hurricane Katrina.

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Janet Benini is a part-time, Affiliated Professor at the Public Policy Institute of Georgetown University, where she teaches a course on "Leadership During Crisis". She also teaches "Catastrophe Management and Crisis Leadership" for George Washington University.

From 2003 to 2005, Janet Benini was Director of Response and Planning for the White House Homeland Security Council. Her responsibilities included being the White House lead on the development of the Homeland Security Scenarios, National Response Plan, National Incident Management System, and Catastrophic Incident Response Plan.

Mrs. Benini has been an emergency manager for U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) before and after the White House assignment. Previously, she worked in emergency management with the State of California for twenty-one years. Serving as Chief of Program Development for the California Specialized Training Institute, she oversaw the creation of training programs and exercises for government and business professionals.

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Eric Holdeman is a principal with ICF International's Emergency Management and Homeland Security team. Previously he served as Director of the King County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) where he was responsible for emergency management and E-911 regional support to all areas of King County (which is the greater metropolitan area of the City of Seattle), and for facilitating regional coordination between levels of government and emergency management programs in the public and private sectors.

Immediately prior to assuming his position in King County he worked for the Washington State Division of Emergency Management for five years. Eric is a Past President of the Washington State Emergency Management Association (WSEMA).

Eric writes a popular blog, Disaster Zone: Emergency Management in the Blogosphere, that covers a wide range of emergency management related topics. He has previously written on the topic of facilitative leadership.