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The MPA in Emergency and Disaster Management
Disaster Central
MCNY's Emergency and Disaster Management Blog

A Conversation with Kay

December 30, 2010

By Matthew Ricci-

MCNY President Vinton Thompson, Dean Humphrey Crookendale, and Program Director Ali Gheith, welcomed a small number of students and faculty members from the MPA in Emergency & Disaster Management (EDM) program, who had the pleasure of being part of an intimate conversation with Kay Goss, CEM—the former Associate Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Ms. Goss made herself available to members of the program to give the opportunity to share the work of our faculty and students, and give some feedback to how we can further develop our program.

Those in attendance included Professors Chuck Frank, Mick Maurer, Lorraine Motola, and Johnny Velez. The students in attendance were Bibi Leslie, Matthew Ricci, and Dilshad Jafarly, who were joined by alum Matthew Khaled, CEM. All were very grateful, not only for her having taken the time, but in her approachable demeanor and thoughtful advice – backed by years of pioneering the professionalization of the field.

At FEMA Kay Goss was in-charge of the National Preparedness, Training and Exercises Directorate, a position she held from 1994, when appointed by President Clinton, until 2001. She is currently the Senior Advisor for Emergency Management and Continuity Programs at SRT International, and has served as an adjunct professor at many institutions, including the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Ms. Goss who is very enthused about international programs also teaches at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in person and via distance learning. Additionally, Ms. Goss is the Chair of the Education and Training Committee and member of the CEM Commission of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).

The conversation started with an explanation of MCNY’s history as a program, starting with the creation of the curriculum after the 9/11 attacks, up to present day. Faculty and students discussed the program’s long term aspirations, history of overseas class projects in Israel, and future projects in Chile, England, and other countries. Ms. Goss shared the enthusiasm in further developing the program, and offered her own anecdotes about the history of education and professionalization in emergency management. The discussion was also about the successes of our six (6) international students that were brought over from Haiti to obtain an advanced degree in emergency management to implement academic concepts and theories in a practical setting once they return (to Haiti) with new skills and tools to help in the recovery effort and other phases of Comprehensive Emergency Management.

Ms. Goss also took the time to connect with each student in the room, beginning with very helpful advice of how to approach our Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) credentialing. She gave excellent advice to one student who had recently found success in creating a Business Continuity program at her organization.  This author personally benefited from her generous support with advice concerning documenting and publishing an upcoming trip to Hospital Bernard Mevs, a trauma/critical care hospital in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

With the program’s leadership constantly looking to stay current and find new approaches for ongoing development of the EDM program, the take away from such an accomplished and helpful woman as Ms. Goss was an extremely beneficial experience.

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Posted by Disaster Central in Emergency Management Planning, Emergency Preparedness, Government, Homeland Security, Interview, MCNY EDM Program. Comments Off on A Conversation with Kay

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