Functional Areas and Objectives

The Institute focuses on three functional areas:

  • education

  • research and

  • professional development

Our strategic objectives are to continue our program of excellence as:

  • an international center of excellence in crisis, emergency/disaster and risk research

  • an internationally recognized inter-disciplinary graduate degree program in crisis, emergency, and risk management and homeland security, and

  • an academic center for professional information exchange via electronic networking as well as traditional conferences, forums and workshops. 

The Institute's location provides the opportunity for its personnel to serve as a Washington DC connection for other academic disaster research and education centers and for expert information exchange across a broad array of professionals. An ongoing initiative to serve this objective is the GWU Institute for Crisis Disaster and Risk Management - Homeland Security, Emergency and Risk Management Forum. The forum series is conducted under "not-for attribution"  rules and occur during the academic year when experts are available, promoting frank exchanges between the audience and forum presenters. This benefits the students, faculty, and a broad range of professionals who attend, providing insights that are not commonly available in the usual conference setting.  

The  Institute's faculty and research scientists have extensive operational experience managing organizational activities and decision-making before, during, or after an emergency or crisis incident. The domains of interest encompass natural, industrial/ technological, and human-induced hazards and threats, plus continuity of operations and risk reduction. The Institute forums, workshops and academic courses bridge from management and scientific/engineering theory to application of theory in practice, drawing upon the real-world experience of both full-time and adjunct faculty.

In summary, the Institute supports research, education, and professional development in four areas:

  1. Disaster/Crisis/Risk Awareness

  2. Emergency/Crisis Planning and Mitigation

  3. Emergency/Crisis/Risk Management, both strategic and tactical, and

  4. Post Disaster/Crisis Activities, including Recovery Management.