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Crisis Response Journal Crisis Response Journal

Robert McAlister

Robert McAlister - Director Glenbarr Consultancy

After leaving the British Army, where he experienced operational service in various roles, Robert moved into the private sector, working in senior security and risk management posts,
Robert joined Westminster Local Authorities Community Protection Department in its infancy to work on crime and disorder projects across the city, including the implementation of its command, control and surveillance systems as Head of City Co-ordination.

In 2003, this work was recognised, and led to a Police Commissioners Commendation for ‘Making Westminster a Safer City’.

His post expanded in 2009 to include Head of Civil Contingencies, managing and directing the Emergency Planning, Business Continuity and Special Events functions across Westminster on a corporate basis.

As part of preparations for the UK 2012 Olympics Games, he was the lead officer for developing and managing the local authority’s C3 Plan (Control, Co-ordination and Communication); this included preparation, resilience and operational delivery. He developed and implemented the 2012 testing and exercising programme.

In 2014, against an increased UK security threat, Robert took on an additional role as the Acting Head of Community Safety with responsibilities as diverse as Counter Terrorism (Prevent and Prepare), introducing new UK Anti-Social Behavior Legislation and a joint agency Integrated Gangs Unit.

He has been a lecturer on CAST (Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology), CPNI (Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure) Protective Security and Surveillance courses since 2004.

Robert represented Westminster on the international stage in several advisory visits to United States and Brazil and South Africa as part of a joint Counter Terrorism Command Metropolitan Police Team delegation. During his time with Westminster, he hosted and presented to over 30 different countries to promote the work of City Co-ordination and Civil Contingencies at strategic, tactical and operational levels.

In parallel, as part of the UK Civil Protection Mechanism for the Civil Contingencies Secretariat Training Programme, he deployed to the L’Aquila Earthquake in Italy in 2006 and the Evros Flooding on the Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey borders in 2008, giving him a unique insight and experience of natural and humanitarian disaster management.
Robert now runs his own consultancy – Glenbarr – which provides specialist advisory and training across varied portfolios that include the following:
– He is a BUDMC core team lecturer for Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre and International MSc CPD Courses,
– He provides Crisis Management instruction on UK and International HMG Rapid Deployment Team and International NGO Hostile Environment Awareness Courses. These teams have since successfully deployed to the worlds crisis zones such as Ukraine, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

His experience and knowledge has recently been rewarded by being invited to be a member of a strategic Advisory Panel looking at good practice Risk and Security training with an internationally-recognised UK training provider, which will help shape and enhance this type of training well into the future.

In 2015 he worked in Sierra Leone under Operation Gritrock to deliver strategic crisis and disaster management training to the Office of National Security to develop capacity building and transition planning during the Ebola and Flooding crises.

Pursuing a talent for developing centres of training excellence both in the UK and Internationally, and recognising a crucial gap in global Crisis Leadership training, Robert created the concept, models and materials for the new RVTS East Crisis Leadership Academy in Norway. Designed to develop Crisis Leaders of The Future, this programme was successfully launched in December 2017.

He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Panel for Crisis Response Journal, specialising in international crisis and disaster topics. He has had several articles and blogs published including Austerity Measures and Crisis Response, Sierra Leone Flood and Ebola Response, Working in Hostile Environments and Crisis Leadership.

Robert is CIPD Qualified Trainer and CIPD Associate Member.