Arnold M. Howitt is Faculty Co-Director of the Program on Crisis Leadership, which conducts research, executive education programs, and action projects at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is also Senior Adviser of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School.
Dr. Howitt has worked extensively on emergency preparedness and crisis management issues. He has recently been researching Nepal’s emergency response to the 2015 earthquakes, lessons from the emergency response to the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Japan’s response to and recovery from the 2011 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear accident, and China’s emergency air pollution control measures. He also develops case studies on crisis management and disaster recovery issues in the US and several other countries.
Dr. Howitt teaches extensively in Harvard Kennedy School executive education programs for senior US and international officials, both in the field of crisis leadership and general management.
In related activities, he was one of the organizers of international conferences on risk governance held in China (2017) and on disaster recovery held at Harvard (2016), has worked with the City of Los Angeles on disaster recovery planning (2010-11), served as an adviser and trainer-of-trainers for China’s new National Institute of Emergency Management (2010-11), and was one of the organizers of a “lessons-learned” roundtable at Harvard (2011) for leaders of organizations that responded to Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. He also served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Mitigation of Natural Disasters (2008-2009), was a member of a study panel of the Transportation Research Board/National Academies of Science on the role of transit in disaster evacuation (2006-2008), and was a member of an Institute of Medicine/National Academies panel assessing the federal Metropolitan Medical Response System program (2000-2002).
Among other writing, Dr. Howitt is co-author/editor of Public Health Preparedness: Case Studies in Policy and Management (forthcoming 2017), Natural Disaster Management in the Asia-Pacific: Policy and Governance (2014), Managing Crises: Responding to Large-Scale Emergencies (2009) and Countering Terrorism: Dimensions of Preparedness (2003).
A Harvard faculty member and administrator since 1976, Dr. Howitt received his B.A. degree from Columbia University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Harvard University.