Drawing on both his personal experience and academic insights, Chief Joseph Pfeifer will take you inside the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in NYC to show how leaders must act decisively yet remain flexible in a changing threat environment. Crises require response leaders to make critical decisions under conditions of vast uncertainty and perform complex organizational tasks to protect life and property. In extreme events, a hierarchical command and control structure is often inadequate and may even hinder the necessary inter-organizational response. How can leaders handle the cognitive and organizational demands of a mega-crisis?
Joseph Pfeifer served for 37 years in the Fire Department of New York City, retiring a few months ago as an Assistant Chief and the Chief of Counterterrorism and Emergency Preparedness.
Pfeifer was the first Chief at the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, played a major command role during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and helped manage NYC’s Ebola response efforts. He was the founding director of FDNY’s Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness and helped lead many post-9/11 management innovations at FDNY.
Currently, Pfeifer is a senior fellow at the Program on Crisis Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School, a senior fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, and a visiting instructor at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Pfeifer earned master’s degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School, Naval Postgraduate School, and Immaculate Conception and has written widely in professional journals and books.
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