FEMA: Leading in the COVID-19 Crisis

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April 7, 2020

LBJ In the Arena: April 7, 2020

Renowned public management scholar and LBJ Professor Don Kettl talks with Admiral Thad Allen, the lead federal official for the responses to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the national incident commander for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Allen brings his expertise on addressing large-scale, complex disasters and operational challenges that require unity of effort among diverse stakeholders to our current context.


Additional reading

System Under Stress
Donald F. Kettl
CQ Press, March 2013
A book taking a detailed look at the challenges of leadership in a crisis — in particular, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 economic meltdown.

Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared
Report of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, May 2006
A detailed and highly insightful report by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in the wake of the nation's struggle to respond to Hurricane Katrina.

'You Have to Lead from Everywhere'
Harvard Business Review, November 2010
In this interview, Admiral Thad Allen explores, at greater length, the challenges to leadership from Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

'Forged in Crisis' author on lessons from five of history's great leaders
CBS News, Oct. 5, 2017
Are leaders born — or made? In this interview, author Nancy Koehn argues that great leaders are forged from adversity.

After-action report on the response to the September 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon
Arlington County, Virginia, 2002
After the stunning effort to respond to the attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Arlington County prepared an "after action report," detailing the efforts of the first responders to deal with the crisis. It makes for stunning reading.