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Quijano Focuses on Leadership in Crises at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

Assembly Homeland Security Committee Chair Annette Quijano returned this week from the week-long Leadership in Crisis program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where she joined a select group of forty international and national leaders from the public and private sectors in examining what constitutes excellent performance in emergency situations, and what it takes to achieve it.

“As Chairwoman of the Assembly Homeland Security Committee, I found this course incredibly insightful,” stated Assemblywoman Quijano. “Working alongside leaders from organizations with an emergency response component and discussing their various experiences in specific situations is the best way to ensure that New Jersey’s emergency response protocols are as efficient as can be. We need to learn from each other to be able to prepare for all of the situations that can and will occur over time.”

The Program on Crisis Leadership seeks to improve society’s capacity to deal with natural disasters, infrastructure, technology, and system failures, as well as emergency infectious diseases and terrorism. This comprehensive perspective helps leaders develop risk reduction strategies, emergency preparedness and response plans, and disaster recovery procedures.

“This program is based on real historical situations. Instead of talking about theoreticals, we analyzed the major and minute aspects of crisis situations, including the public health fight to contain SARS in Toronto, the Baltimore Tunnel Fire of 2001, county firefighters taking charge of the 9/11 Pentagon emergency, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Fukushima tsunami and nuclear disaster, and Hurricane Sandy.

“I look forward to taking this knowledge and skillset back to Trenton where we can continue to ensure that New Jersey is doing everything it can to properly prepare for all crises that can take place.”