Dr. Stephen Flynn is the Founding Director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University where he leads a major university-wide research initiative to inform and advance societal resilience in the face of growing human-made and naturally-occurring turbulence. At Northeastern, he is also Professor of Political Science with faculty affiliations in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs.
Dr. Flynn is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on critical infrastructure and supply chain security and resilience. He is co-author of the textbook, Critical Infrastructures Resilience: Policy and Engineering Principles (Routledge, 2018) and has led teams in conducting post-disaster infrastructure resilience assessments, initially with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and then from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In 2014, Flynn was appointed by the Secretary of Homeland Security to serve as a member of the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Council (HSSTAC). He also serves as chair of the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) Security Advisory Committee. Additionally, he holds research affiliations with the Wharton School’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He previously served as Founding Co-Director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security at Northeastern University. Dr. Flynn is also the principal for Stephen E. Flynn Associates LLC, where he provides independent advisory services on improving critical infrastructure security and resilience.
Before joining the faculty at Northeastern University in 2011, Dr. Flynn served as President of the Center for National Policy. Prior to that he spent a decade as a senior fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Prior to September 11, 2001, Dr. Flynn served as an expert advisor to U.S. Commission on National Security (Hart-Rudman Commission), and following the 9/11 attacks he was the executive director of a blue-ribbon Council on Foreign Relations homeland security task force, again co-led by former Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman. He served as the principal advisor to the bipartisan Congressional Port Security Caucus, advised the Bush Administration on maritime and homeland security issues, and after the November 2008 election of President Barack Obama, served as the lead policy advisor on homeland security as a part of the presidential transition team. From 2003-2010 he served as a member of the National Research Council’s Marine Board.
Dr. Flynn has presented expert congressional testimony before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on 31 occasions. He has delivered keynote addresses at more than one hundred international and national conferences. Dr. Flynn is a frequent media commentator and has appeared on Meet the Press, 60 Minutes, The News Hour, The Today Show, the Charlie Rose Show, CNN and on National Public Radio. He has written two of the most widely-cited books on homeland security: The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation (Random House, 2007) and America the Vulnerable (HarperCollins 2004). Five of his articles have been published in the prestigious journal, Foreign Affairs. Excerpts of his books have been featured in Time, as the cover story for U.S. News & World Report, and as the subject of two CNN documentaries.
A 1982 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Dr. Flynn served in the Coast Guard on active duty for 20 years, including two tours as commanding officer at sea. As a Coast Guard officer, he served in the White House Military Office during the George H.W. Bush administration and as a director for Global Issues on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton administration. He was a Guest Scholar in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution from 1991-92, and in 1993-94 he was an Annenberg Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania. He received the M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, in 1990 and 1991 and in 2009, he received an honorary doctorate of laws from Monmouth University.
Mel Bernstein, Ph.D. is the Chief Operating Officer and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University. Previously, he was Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education at Northeastern University, Chairman of the Board at George J. Kostas Research Institute, LLC, and Professor of the Practice in Technology Policy and Materials Engineering at Northeastern University. He earned his doctorate in Metallurgy and Material Science from Columbia University.
Dr. Bernstein joined Northeastern University in July 2010 after serving as the Vice President for Research at the University of Maryland. While at Maryland, Dr. Bernstein led the effort to promote strong growth among the University’s research programs and developed partnerships with government agencies and corporations to foster the integration of cross-campus entrepreneurial efforts.
In 2003, Dr. Bernstein created The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of University Programs, where he served as its Director. In that role, he led the establishment of a growing and integrated network of merit-based national centers, bringing together the best academic talent from Engineering, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Social Sciences and the Humanities, to work in areas critical to Homeland Security. He then served as Acting Director of the Office of Research and Development at DHS.
Before joining the Department of Homeland Security, Dr. Bernstein was Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Brandeis University. Dr. Bernstein has also served at Tufts University as Vice President for Arts, Sciences and Engineering, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Physics, and as Provost and Chancellor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Dr. Bernstein has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific and technical papers, co-edited four books and published numerous articles, during a research career at Carnegie Mellon University where he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Material Science and Engineering.
Jennie C. Stephens is the Director for Strategic Research Collaborations at the Global Resilience Institute, Director of Northeastern’s School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs and the Deanís Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy. 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 ìusabilityî 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 ìSmart Grid (R)Evolution: Electric Power Strugglesî (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.
Dr. Robin White is the Executive Director for Research 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.
Warren Edwards is a Senior Fellow at the Community and Regional Research Institute (CARRI) with offices in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Washington, DC. The mission of CARRI is to help develop and then share critical paths that any community or region may take to strengthen its ability to prepare for, respond to, and rapidly recover from significant man-made or natural disasters with minimal downtime of basic community, government, and business services. CARRI believes that a resilient America must be anchored in resilient American communities. CARRI combines community engagement activities with practical research activities. CARRI’s expertise is based on knowledge and evidence. CARRI’s work has been incorporated into the web-enabled Community Resilience System and the Campus Resilience Enhancement System.
The Community and Regional Resilience Institute began as a research project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where Mr. Edwards was the Director of the Southeast Region Research Initiative, a research collaboration of five federal laboratories and numerous research universities throughout the southeast U.S. Mr. Edwards transitioned CARRI from ORNL to Meridian Institute (www.Merid.org) in 2011 and was its Executive Director until May 2016.
After retiring as a Major General from the United States Army and before joining Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Mr. Edwards served as the Chief Operating Officer for Oak Ridge Technology Connections (TechConnect), LLC. In that position he established the start-up business plan, the operating systems, policies, and business procedures for a high-technology consulting enterprise and brought them to full operating capability. Prior to TechConnect, Mr. Edwards was a Senior Director for CACI, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. In that capacity, he established the Atlanta operations office for CACI and managed a series of programs throughout the Southeast supporting the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.
During his more than 30 years of military service, Mr. Edwards held numerous positions culminating as the Deputy Commanding General, Coalition Land Component Command/3rd US Army, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). Mr. Edwards graduated from the University of Richmond, Richmond Virginia and holds a Masters of Military Arts and Sciences from the US Army Command and Staff College and a Masters of Science in International Studies from the US Naval War College.
Mr. Edwards and his wife, Diane, currently reside in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Dr. Mark Patterson is Chief Technology Officer of the Global Resilience Institute, and Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences, and Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Patterson is leading an interdisciplinary team focusing on communications and digital resilience. The team is developing techniques to make any urban area resilient to loss of cell phone infrastructure through rapid shift to a smart ad hoc mesh networks on cell phone WiFi. An amateur radio operator (WB2OIL), he has been a key participant in disaster response and remote communication operations in the US, Mali, South Sudan, Grenada, and Jamaica.
Patterson’s research also focuses on using advanced underwater robotics to reduce the cost of monitoring the ocean and improving national security in ports and harbors. He 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.
With support from the Schmidt Family Foundation, his lab is developing sensing technology for the emerging issue of microplastics in the ocean, one that has global implications for food security. 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. He also works on global change biology of coral reef ecosystems.
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 US for work using his robots to assess ecosystem health, and a Public Service Award from the American Radio Relay League for coordinating disaster response during a major hurricane.
He received his A.B. magna cum laude, A.M., and Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University.
Dr. Liz Allen contributes to interdisciplinary resilience research initiatives at Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute, applying a sociotechnical systems perspective to study sustainability and social justice implications of the sharing economy, energy system transitions, and climate change adaptation. She also supports international research coordination and partner engagement within the Global Resilience Research Network. Liz holds a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University. Her doctoral research explored approaches to stakeholder engagement in regional climate change impacts modeling and analyzed how environmental models are used in land use planning. Her community engagement work centers on collaborative system dynamics modeling and participatory research to help decision-makers understand system interactions and feedbacks across multiple sectors and plan for resilience.
CJ Grasso currently serves as Associate Director for Research at the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University. Mr. Grasso joined GRI as Program Manager in 2016. In this role, Mr. Grasso has managed projects related to natural and man-made disasters and has studied ways in which communities and individuals can build resilience to future disruptions. Mr. Grasso has also worked extensively with communities to perform community assessments in support of resilience-based economic development planning and implementation.
Mr. Grasso holds a Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Security and Resilience Studies from Northeastern University. He also is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree at Northeastern with a focus on the resilience of enterprises to various forms of stress and disruption.
Timothy is currently pursuing his MBA at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Before joining GRI, Timothy graduated from Bentley University with a BS in Managerial Economics with a concentration in Economic Analysis and minors in Spanish and Sports Business Management. While at Bentley, Timothy was captain of the Swim and Dive Team, president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and a Resident Assistant.
Sam Fennell is currently a research assistant at the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University. He graduated from Western Oregon University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and is now pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Northeastern. During his time at Western Oregon, he worked on campus managing and volunteering at various LGBTQ+ and Gender equity centers.
Bhavya is a Bachelors of Pharmacy graduate from India. He has 4 years of professional work experience in Pharmaceutical domain. He is currently pursuing his MS in Project Management from Northeastern University. He joined GRI in May 2020 and ever since, he has been a part of multiple projects. Currently, he is a Research Assistant and is working on Maine EDA project.
Andrew is currently a Master’s student in Northeastern’s International Affairs program who focuses his research towards genocide and violence. Having previously graduated with a degree in Political Science, he worked in a diverse set of positions in political campaigns and research. This includes experience at the federal, state, and local levels of politics. A Cape Cod native, Andrew enjoys sailing and seafood. Recently he has taken to board games during the pandemic. Andrew is excited to apply his research skills into his new work with the team at the GRI during his Fall co-op.
Josh serves as the lead liaison for the Operational Support team, and is the state liaison for Massachusetts in support of FEMA. Josh is a Northeastern graduate with a PhD in Law, Policy, and Society. His dissertation focused on state and local electric microgrid policy in the Northeast. In his spare time, he is an adjunct lecturer at Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Prior to his time at Northeastern, he received his MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University and his BA in Environmental Studies at Oberlin College. While originally from New York, he has called the Boston area home for almost a decade.
John (Jack) Lovett is a recent graduate of Northeastern University, where he earned his BA in Political Science & History and a Master of Public Administration. During his time at Northeastern, he completed a number of co-ops and internships, including at the Massachusetts Governor’s Office and most recently at the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. He currently works as an Operational Support Analyst at the Global Resilience Institute, supporting FEMA and COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery efforts in Maine and Rhode Island. Jack is a lifelong Massachusetts resident.
Rajesh Masilamani Anand serves as an Operation Support Analyst for the Maine and New Hampshire Solution Based Team with FEMA to support the economic recovery. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Engineering Management at Northeastern University. He also received his Bachelor’s in Mechatronics Engineering from SRM Institute of Science and Technology. Most of his past experiences are from NGOs, namely National Social Service (Indian govt program). Additionally, he performs stand-up comedy at the university for a student organization called Times New Roman. As an international student, he is excited to interact with a globally diverse group of students and staff community. He strongly believes that his role will help him grow professionally and excel in the global arena.
Priyanshi is an Economics Major Masters student at College of Social Science and Humanities at Northeastern University. She pursued her undergraduate degree in Economics at Delhi University, India. Priyanshi is currently interning as an Operational Support Analyst at Global Resilience Institute. Her role is to facilitate long-term economic recovery through Solution Based Teams in Connecticut and Vermont.
Lydia joined the Global Resilience Institute in January 2019 as a research assistant, and previously served on events and administration team. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with a structural concentration and a minor in Material Science Engineering. Prior to working for GRI, Lydia studied ceramic materials and archaeological materials in Belize and Guatemala. At Northeastern, she is involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, and NU Knits.
Julia joined the Global Resilience Institute in June 2019. As a third year student at Northeastern University, she is pursuing a combined degree in Environmental Studies and Economics with a minor in Political Science. She is a member of the Northeastern Alliance of Civically Engaged Students and has worked as a peer mentor and volunteer at the Orchard Gardens Boys & Girls Club.
Before joining the GRI team, Celia served as the Science Corps Fellow at the National Council for Science and the Environment. Her work there focused on developing mechanisms to connect local governments and academia to further environmental research-informed policy, as well as supporting fundraising and communications initiatives. On campus, Celia is involved with Northeastern’s Sunrise Movement hub and volunteers with the Northeastern Food Recovery Network. Celia is currently completing her bachelor’s degree at Northeastern University, majoring in Sociology and Environmental Studies with a minor in Political Science.
Macy is a third-year student at Northeastern University studying International Affairs with a concentration in Middle East Studies, and minors in Arabic and International Security Studies. She worked as an International Security Assistant at Harvard University Global Support Services for her last co-op, where she researched potential security threats to travelers abroad.
Lauren joined the Global Resilience Institute in June 2019 as Co-op Research Assistant. She is currently in her fourth year at Northeastern pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a concentration in Security Studies, and a minor in International Affairs. Prior to joining the Research Team at the Institute, she was a Research Assistant at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel where she researched hostage barricade attacks in the Western world. Lauren has also worked with Northeastern University’s Global Experience Office as an Ambassador after completing study abroad programs in Greece and Japan. On campus, Lauren is passionate about her involvement with IGNITE and College Democrats.
Shreyas is currently pursuing his MS in Environmental Science and Policy from the College of Science, along with being a Research Assistant for Prof. Lee from the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Prior to joining GRI, Shreyas graduated from CSSH with a BA in Cultural Anthropology as a recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Anthropological Writing, with specializations in African and Southeast Asian development and cultural studies and has worked as a Marketing and Proposal Coop, a Business Development Associate, and a Research Laboratory Technician.