Instructor: John Thomas
Suggested prior knowledge: None
Prerequisites: None
Semester(s) Offered: See course list

Current Course Schedule


    Course Description

    The 21st century risk environment is a mix of natural and manmade threats including wildfires, hurricanes, floods, extreme heat events, power outages, industrial accidents, pandemics, cyber intrusions, human misdeeds, and social unrest. Within this evolving threat environment, critical infrastructures essential to public health, safety, and security are inherently vulnerable to unanticipated catastrophic disruptions and cascading failures. This threat scenario challenges leaders to navigate radical change and unanticipated operational disruptions in our complex, interconnected world.

    Resilience Engineering and Leadership in Crisis examines the qualities, concepts, and practices of resilience leadership amid conditions of chaos, uncertainty, and catastrophic breakdowns of complex social, ecological, and technological systems. Drawing on resilience policy, case studies, and contemporary literature, the curriculum constructs a practical understanding of resilience as an intricate network of dynamic processes embedded within and across complex systems.

    The course applies a holistic approach to critical infrastructure resilience and crisis leadership, fostering subject-matter understanding, critical issues analyses, and insight into crisis leadership. Throughout the semester, students engage in progressive assignments that culminate in a semester-long project. They select a complex system scenario, conduct a comprehensive threat analysis, perform resilience assessment, and create a crisis management plan, forming the core components of the semester project.

    Skills and Knowledge Gained 

    • Understand the core principles, practical applications, and methodologies associated with resilience, resilience engineering, and crisis leadership.
    • Analyze the impact of resilience policy on threat readiness and response leadership in relation to unanticipated system disruptions.
    • Apply tools and methodologies to assess the resilience of a system against possible threats and examine interdependent role of humans interacting with complex systems.
    • Develop a comprehensive resilience framework that integrates socio-technical systems and processes, culminating in a company crisis management plan.
    • Gain access to knowledge, skills, and practices of resilience leadership for influencing attitudes, behaviors, strategies, and operating processes in teams and organizations.
    • Evaluate the interconnected, interrelated, and interdependent relationships between complex social, ecological, and technological systems.
    • Synthesize knowledge and methodologies to evaluate security and resilience in today’s risk environment with applications to people, organizations, and critical infrastructures.

    Why should you take this course? 

    Apply knowledge gained to evaluate security and resilience and prepare resilience reports, organizational plans, and leadership strategies that address unanticipated threats and disruptions.

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