Left to right: Mr. Charlie Fisher, Dr. Gavin Smith, and LTC Corey New

“The role DoD will play in future disasters like Katrina will be much larger.” said Charlie Fisher, VP of Consulting Operations at Witt Associates.

Last week, UNC-IDB SSFP students had the opportunity to listen and engage with three different industry experts as the class discussed the growing role of the military in disaster response.  The panel was facilitated by IDB’s very own, Amb. David Litt (Ret.), Executive Director for the Center of Stability and Economic Reconstruction, and included Charlie Fisher, Dr. Gavin Smith, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters (UNC Hazards Center) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence – Coastal Hazards Center, and LTC Corey New, incoming Brigade Commander of the DLA Susquehanna Distribution Depot. LTC New is also a 2009 IU-UNC LogMBA graduate and a recipient of the William T. Powell, Jr. Scholarship Award.

Much of the discussion centered on the different issues of “horizontal and vertical integration”. The overarching question being how do to conduct coordination across multiple government agencies, NGOs, and private sector organizations (horizontal) while matching Federal policies to local government/community needs (vertical). This comprehensive discussion is thoroughly covered in Dr. Smith’s recent text, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: A Review of the United States Disaster Assistance Framework (Island Press 2011).

UNC-IDB SSFP students are exposed to many key strategic issues such as national security, communication, business operations, technology, and change management as part of their broadening opportunities during the program. Panels such as this one allow students to take a step back and examine issues from different perspectives that might not be directly related to their day-to-day duties as military leaders.

Upon program completion, students receive a joint certificate from the IDB and UNC and three graduate level academic credit hours from Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business.

The Center for Stabilization and Economic Reconstruction (CSER) houses a range of programs that center on addressing the challenges of economic recovery of post-conflict and post-disaster states. One of the primary lessons learned from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan was that the U.S. military and the nation’s other governmental agencies must fundamentally reexamine their roles, functions, organization, staffing, budgeting, and education to meet these new challenges.

For more information about UNC-IDB SSFP, please contact Zebrina Warner (warner@idb.org), UNC-IDB SSFP Program Manager. For more information about CSER, please contact Jason Rodriguez (rodriguez@idb.org), CSER Program Associate.