Recent Developments in the U.S. Approach to Resilience: A Presentation by Stephen E. Flynn, Ph.D.

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Dr Stephen E FlynnThe Obama Administration has made resilience a core security imperative, featuring widely in recent presidential policy directives, strategy documents, and organizational changes.  It has defined resilience as “the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions...[it] includes the ability to withstand and recover from deliberate attacks, accidents, or naturally oc­curring threats or incidents” (PPD-21). 

In his presentation Stephen Flynn will outline how this “resilience-centric” approach is influencing the U.S. approaches to counter-terrorism, cyber-security, and critical infrastructure protection.  Among the major implications is greater emphasis on managing risks associated with naturally-occurring events as well as man-made threats.  Additionally, resilience requires that the defense and law enforcement communities move beyond a pervasive prevention and protection mindset to account for the need to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and adapt to societal hazards.

Chair: Jennifer Cole

Jennifer Cole is a Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), working within the National Security and Resilience Department. Since joining RUSI in January 2007, Jennifer's research interests have focused on the UK's emergency preparedness and response capabilities.

Speaker: Dr Stephen E. Flynn

Dr. Stephen Flynn is a Professor of Political Science and the Director, Center for Resilience Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, where he recently completed a major study on lessons learned for critical infrastructure resilience from Hurricane Sandy (2012) that was sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  He has served as an expert advisor to the Bush and Obama administrations on homeland security, is a frequent media commentator and contributor to Foreign Affairs, and the author of two widely-cited books, The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation and America the Vulnerable.

This event is by invitation only. If you have any queries please contact Hannah Croft, Research Event Officer, at

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