Skip Navigation Links

General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar

Participants will be nominated to attend the General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar. Please see the Who Should Apply page for more details.

Program Director: Laura Simolaris


The General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar was designed by Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Crisis Leadership and HKS Executive Education, specifically for National Guard and United States Coast Guard General and Flag Officers. The Program on Crisis Leadership (PCL)seeks to improve society’s capacity to deal with natural disasters; infrastructure, technology, and systems failures; emergent infectious disease; and terrorism. Professors Dutch Leonard and Arn Howitt have researched, studied, and analyzed leaders and organizations facing crisis situations for over a decade. Their book Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies gives students a clear understanding of the different types of disasters governments confront and of the key challenges governments face in preparing for and responding to these events.

The General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar will assist the National Guard and the United States Coast Guard in developing leadership skills and organizational capabilities to respond to 21st century homeland security emergencies.

Through intensive case study-based discussion of recent events, participants will develop concepts and frameworks for the design and execution of response in complex, multi-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral environments. Throughout the discussions, the central questions will focus on leadership: what do leaders need to do before an event, how do they need to operate during an event, and how do they make the greatest possible contribution to the nation’s security?

The General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar’s teaching approach centers on the Harvard case study method supplemented by lectures, exercises, and small group work. Case studies provide exposure to real-world issues and help participants work through possible approaches and solutions to the problems that confront leaders. Case teaching, which seeks to capitalize on the power of a diverse learning group, leverages participants’ experiences to set the stage for open and lively discussion.


Copyright © 2016 The President and Fellows of Harvard College