Dr. Stephen Flynn is the Founding Director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts where is also a Professor of Political Science with affiliated faculty appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Additionally, Prof. Flynn is Co-Director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security.
He has previously served as President of the Center for National Policy and spent a decade as a senior fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Flynn has served in or has directly advised every presidential administration since George H. W. Bush, to include serving as the lead homeland security policy advisor for the Presidential Transition Team for Barack Obama. Dr. Flynn was an active duty commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard for 20 years, where he served two tours as commanding officer at sea. He is the author of The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation (Random House, 2007), and the national bestseller, America the Vulnerable (HarperCollins 2004). He holds research affiliations with the Wharton School’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
In September 2014, he was appointed by Secretary of Homeland Security to serve a member of the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Council (HSSTAC). He holds the M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and B.S. from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Dr. Robin White is the Executive Director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She previously served as Executive Director at the Community and Regional Resilience Institute and as Senior Mediator and Program Director at Meridian Institute. She joined Meridian after a 20-year management career in the nation’s national laboratory science and engineering complex.
During Dr. White’s years in the national security world, she was a leader in science and technology fields related to risk assessment and environmental impacts, nuclear nonproliferation, and national and homeland security. She brings from these assignments extensive skill and experience in strategic and operational planning, public/private partnerships, program/organizational management, and collaborative strategies related to government affairs and public policy.
As a senior executive, Dr. White worked with and within large multi-organizational teams in complex collaborative structures, where vision and persuasion were essential in achieving outstanding group performance. Dr. White’s work at Meridian focused on resilience, disaster response and recovery, homeland security, and issues related to national and global stability and security. She has led multi-organizational and multidisciplinary teams in exploring collaborative solutions to improved disaster recovery; has been extensively involved with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s work in disaster recovery and response and in the public/private partnerships necessary for critical infrastructure protection; and has worked closely with local communities seeking to improve their resilience to disasters and crises.
Dr. White has been an integral member of the Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI) projects to increase the resilience of local cities, towns, and neighborhoods, create a national community of interest, and work with national policy makers and influential stakeholders on policies and practices to nurture resilient communities. A frequent speaker and presenter, Dr. White has made more than 100 presentations to government and nongovernment groups on issues relating to national security, homeland security, nonproliferation, and the risk assessment of environmental impacts. She has numerous publications in various books and journals on assessing human health risks and environmental impacts.
Dr. White holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee.
Associate Director of Research and Innovation
On January 13, 2017, Dr. Philip Anderson assumed his current responsibilities as Associate Director of Research and Innovation, at the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University where he helps lead a university-wide research enterprise to inform and advance societal resilience in the face of growing man-made and naturally-occurring turbulence. He also serves as Affiliate Professor of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.
Before joining the senior management team at the Global Resilience Institute, Dr. Anderson served as ANSER Chief Operating Officer. For nine years, he also served as director of the Homeland Security Studies & Analysis Institute (HSSAI), the first congressionally chartered, federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for homeland security, operated by ANSER on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security. Throughout his tenure, he led the effort to expand HSSAI's influence and impact across DHS and to the broader policy community.
Dr. Anderson has served as a trusted advisor to senior government officials at the highest levels. He was one of the early pioneers in developing Homeland Security policy establishing the Center for Strategic and International Studies' (CSIS) Homeland Security Program shortly after 9/11. His work in this area helped shape our country's thinking about how to create the Department of Homeland Security and about how to protect our critical infrastructure and balance privacy and security in the post 9/11 era. In addition to advising Administration officials, Dr. Anderson was relied upon by numerous media outlets for expert analysis and testified frequently at various congressional hearings. He remains a Senior Associate at CSIS focusing on Defense and Homeland Security policy issues.
Dr. Anderson has served as an advisor for the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and also sits on the Materials and Manufacturing Advisory Board at the Penn State Applied Physics Laboratory. Previously, Dr. Anderson developed and executed Lucent Technologies–Bell Labs' government business strategy as Vice President and General Manager of their Washington Operations. While there he focused on information security and communications technologies for the public safety community. His strategy and skills at collaboration and developing strategic partnerships were instrumental in winning the Iraq post conflict reconstruction contract, among numerous others, generating significant revenue growth for Lucent during the four years he was there. Prior to his work at CSIS and at Lucent,
Dr. Anderson was a career Marine Corps officer with significant command experience as well as, International Security, Defense Policy and Counter Terrorism experience. In addition to his undergraduate degree, Dr. Anderson holds a Masters in International Relations and a Masters and Ph.D in Education from George Mason University.
Associate Director of Strategic Research Collaborations
Jennie C. Stephens is the Associate Director of Strategic Research Collaborations at the Global Resilience Institute and the Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Her research, teaching, and community engagement focus on social and political aspects of the renewable energy transition, reducing fossil fuel reliance, and strengthening societal resilience by integrating social justice with climate and energy policy. Her work explores institutional and cultural innovation in energy, including gender diversity and energy democracy, technological optimism, and enhancing the “usability” of climate science in strengthening climate resilience.
Professor Stephens received a 2017 Arab-American Frontiers Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences, she is a 2015-2016 Leopold Leadership fellow, and her book “Smart Grid (R)Evolution: Electric Power Struggles” (Cambridge University Press, 2015) explores social and cultural debates about energy system change (co-authored with Wilson & Peterson).
Before joining Northeastern University in 2016, Professor Stephens held the Blittersdorf Professorship at the University of Vermont (2014-2016) and was on the faculty at Clark University (2005-2014).She earned her PhD (2002) and MS (1998) at Caltech in Environmental Science & Engineering and her BA (1997) at Harvard in Environmental Science & Public Policy.
Associate Director and Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Mark Patterson is Associate Director and Chief Technology Officer of the Global Resilience Institute, and Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences, and Civil and Environmental Engineering. He also serves as Faculty Head of the Three Seas program, a unique year-long experiential program in marine science at the graduate level.
Patterson’s research focuses on using advanced underwater robotics to reduce the cost of monitoring the ocean and improving national security in ports and harbors. Patterson was awarded the Lockheed Martin Award for Ocean Science and Technology from the Marine Technology Society for outstanding contributions to ocean engineering of underwater robots, and an Outstanding Faculty Award from the Governor of Virginia during his previous appointment at the College of William & Mary. He also works on global change biology of coral reef ecosystems. His lab collaborates with government and industry to develop decision support tools to improve environmental management of wetlands impacted by built infrastructure like tide gates.
A recent effort funded by the Schmidt Family Foundation is developing new sensing technology for the emerging issue of microplastics in the ocean, one that has global implications for food security. Patterson served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, and was awarded Member of the Year for his work promoting marine robotics competitions. He also holds an Antarctic Service Medal of the United States of America for his work using underwater robots to assess the health of ocean waters around the Antarctic peninsula.
An amateur radio operator, he has first-hand experience with recovery and resilience operations in numerous civil and environmental disasters in the US, Mali, Sudan, and the Caribbean. He received his A.B. magna cum laude, A.M., and Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University.