NEWS RELEASE: CEOs and government leaders to probe preparedness gap for rebuilding after catastrophes at Pace University Jan. 11

Did rebuilding have to take so long after the 9/11 attack on New York City’s world trade center, or start so slowly after hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans? What if an attack were biological or nuclear?

Readiness – or unreadiness –for rebuilding after catastrophes is an increasing concern of businesses and governments, yet despite the multimillion-dollar stakes, both sectors admit they are only starting to develop adequate preparations.

To explore that gap, and emerging practices for getting businesses, governments and communities back on their feet, Pace University today announced that it is convening top-level players and experts from the public and private sectors for a day-long “Summit on Resilience: Securing our Future through Public/Private Partnerships” on Wednesday, January 11, 2012.

 

For immediate release

CEOs and government leaders to probe preparedness gap for rebuilding after catastrophes at Pace University Jan. 11

Summit to hear keynotes from Tom Ridge, first US Secretary of Homeland Security, and Margareta Wahlström, head of UN risk reduction office

Other presenters include CEOs of Verizon and Rudin Management; people in charge of corporate security for Boeing, Jet Blue, Verizon, Target, Southern California Edison, and Mass. General Hospital; government disaster chiefs from Florida, Los Angeles, NYC

 

NEW YORK, NY, November 29, 2011 – Did rebuilding have to take so long after the 9/11 attack on New York City’s world trade center, or start so slowly after hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans? What if an attack were biological or nuclear?

Readiness – or unreadiness –for rebuilding after catastrophes is an increasing concern of businesses and governments, yet despite the multimillion-dollar stakes, both sectors admit they are only starting to develop adequate preparations.

To explore that gap, and emerging practices for getting businesses, governments and communities back on their feet, Pace University today announced that it is convening top-level players and experts from the public and private sectors for a day-long “Summit on Resilience: Securing our Future through Public/Private Partnerships” on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. Pace, the closest university to the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, both teaches and researches related issues.

The keynote speakers are Tom Ridge, the first US Secretary of Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania, now CEO of Ridge Global, LLC, and the UN’s Margareta Wahlström, the Geneva-based expert who is the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Confirmed panelists include the CEOs of Verizon and Rudin Management, senior security officers from Los Angeles, New York City, and the hurricane-prone state of Florida, and people in charge of security from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Massachusetts General Hospital, and major corporations including Boeing, Jet Blue, Target, and Southern California Edison.

Additional information and registration are available at www.pace.edu/resilience .

No system

“As a country we still don’t really have a system in place for rebuilding after a major disaster,” said Pace President Stephen J. Friedman, a former corporate lawyer, SEC commissioner, and executive vice president of The Equitable Companies. “Virtually all the government agencies involved are concerned with law enforcement or humanitarian relief, and the government and private roles have not been thought through or defined.”

“The summit will try to gain a better perspective on obstacles to effective public/private partnerships and identify potential solutions and emerging practices that already are in use,” said professor Joseph Ryan, chair of the Pace academic department of Criminal Justice and Security, who is leading Pace’s planning.

“A clear understanding of who will do what and how they should do it after the first stages of recovery from catastrophe is much needed around the world,” added Wahlström. “It is an important part of reducing long-term risks, especially in the case of predictable events. We need to develop a culture of resilience which is focused on sustainable recovery. The private sector is the perfect advocate for resilient thinking because of its direct relationship with customers, suppliers and everyone in between.”

The invited audience will include corporate and nonprofit leaders and managers, scholars, policy planners, first-responders, and security directors from economic sectors like transportation, utilities, logistics, and food.

Participants are expected to leave with an improved understanding of challenges and emerging practices in areas like information technology, finance, insurance, communications, transportation, medical care and political and international relationships.

“Companies have 90 percent of the resources, and governments have the authority, but they need to find ways to work together better to improve their responses. Scholarship and education in this field need encouragement. We’re hoping to accelerate both,” explained Nira Herrmann, dean of Pace’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, which is co-sponsoring the summit.

Pace is conducting the summit in collaboration with the US Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California.

Agenda

After Wahlström’s morning keynote, private-sector plans and concerns will be presented by a panel moderated by Friedman and including Ivan G. Seidenberg, the outgoing CEO and current Chairman of Verizon, Inc. and William C. Rudin, CEO of Rudin Management Company.

A second panel will outline public sector initiatives, moderated by Philip Palin, Senior Fellow at the National Institute for Strategic Preparedness. It will include the City of Los Angeles’s General Manager for Emergency Preparedness James Featherstone; the Commissioner of New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, Joseph Bruno; Bryan Koon, a former Chief of Security at Wal-Mart who is now Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and David Kaufman, the Director of Policy for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Andrew Revkin, the respected author of the DotEarth blog at The New York Times and now a Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace, will synthesize the morning’s observations.

Following Ridge’s keynote at lunch, emerging practices in public/private partnerships will be presented by a panel moderated by Rose Littlejohn, the leader of National Operations in Career and Technical Education for PricewaterhouseCoopers and comprising the chief security officers of Verizon (Michael Mason), Boeing (David Komendat), Jet Blue (Kenneth Maxwell), Target (Michael Rackley), Massachusetts General Hospital (Bonnie Michelman), and Southern California Edison (Jana Monroe).

Wrapping up the sessions will be Ryan and Glen L. Woodbury, Director of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Homeland Defense and Security center.

About Pace University

Pace University’s expertise in catastrophe planning is expressed in research by faculty members and program offerings, which include a master’s in Homeland Security, a new Cyber Security Institute, and courses that deal with risk management, emergency nursing, and emergency law.

For 105 years, Pace has produced thoughtful professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

Visit Pace on the web: Pace.edu | Facebook | Twitter | Flickr | YouTube. Follow Pace students on Twitter.

Media Contact

Chris Cory, Pace, 212-346-1117 cell 917-608-8164, ccory@pace.edu

 

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