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The Global Resilience Institute hosts launch event in Washington, D.C.

On May 23, 2017, the Global Resilience Institute held its D.C. launch event at GRI’s D.C. office just blocks from the White House. The launch event comes on the heels of GRI’s Inaugural Boston Launch and its recent flash talks and networking event. Attendees included current and former federal, state, and local government officials, industry stakeholders, and academic researchers. The event also provided an opportunity for GRI to showcase the valuable lessons learned and policy recommendations coming out of the Institute’s recent and ongoing research projects to practitioners charged with increasing societies’ security and resilience.

Flynn and Royce
Dr. Stephen Flynn converses with Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Dr. Stephen Flynn, Founding Director of GRI, addressed the group about the importance of bolstering resilience in the face of 21st Century threats, and emphasized that this could only be achieved through the interdisciplinary cooperation of those in attendance, alongside their colleagues around the world. Dr. Flynn stated that the imperatives of resilience require stakeholders to work together to understand the systems we rely on, engineer resilient designs, formulate effective policies and recommendations, incentivize adoption of responsible practices, and be ready to recover when inevitable disruptions do occur.

Kirstjen Nielsen, Chief of Staff for the Secretary of Homeland Security, focused on current efforts with the Department of Homeland Security to integrate resilience into current practices and security systems. Ms. Nielsen stressed that DHS mission is one that requires the federal government to be partners with public, private, and academic stakeholders. Remarks concluded with Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who has worked with Dr. Flynn over the course of the last decade, towards the goal of resilience through the Federal Government. He highlighted his 2007 success in passing cargo security mandates in H.R. 1, after years of working in the Senate and negotiating with industry groups. Senator Markey also discussed his current efforts to decrease the potential security risks from devices connected to the Internet of Things by passing the SPY Car Act, which would establish federal security and privacy standards for drivers to combat the threat of medical devices and automobiles being hacked and placing public safety at risk. These laws, Senator Markey said, underscore the need for meaningful engagement of the industries they will affect.

Later this year, the Global Resilience Institute will host a workshop in Boston that will bring together partner institutions from around the world as part of its first annual international resilience workshop event.

Sources and Further Reading:

  1. January 9, 2007 -HOUSE PASSES MARKEY MEASURES TO SCREEN 100% OF AIR AND SHIP CARGO IN 9/11 BILL – Senator Ed Markey
  2. Markey, Blumenthal Introduce Legislation to Protect Drivers from Auto Security, Privacy Risks with Standards & “Cyber Dashboard” Rating System – Senator Ed Markey
  3. The South Caroline Deluge: Lessons from a Watershed Disaster – Stephen E. Flynn