Crisis & Emergency Management in a Post-COVID World with John Born

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Kimberly Moy:Good morning, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today. We have a fabulous webinar topic for you. My name is Kimberly and I am the Master Public Administration Program Informational Specialist. And today we are joined by an amazing speaker who I think you’ll really enjoy, but today’s topic is Crisis and Emergency Management in a Post-COVID World. I know that we’re right in the middle of our COVID world, but I think there’s a lot of great things that you’ll take away from this. Just some housekeeping rules, we do have a group chat if you’d like to start chatting with us and there’s also a Q&A box. So if there’s anything that Mr. Born says that you would like elaboration on or if you have any questions about, feel free to use that Q&A box and we’ll be taking questions throughout as well. So without further ado, let’s get started here. So I’d like you all to meet Mr. John Born who is an executive in residence with the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs here at Ohio University. So hello, Mr. Born. How are you?

John Born:I’m well. It’s good to be with everyone.

Kimberly Moy:Thanks. Do you mind telling everyone a little bit about yourself, a little bit about your experience?

John Born:Sure. I serve as a visiting professor and executive in residence, as you mentioned, at the Voinovich School at Ohio University and also work with the Scripps School of College of Communication at Ohio University. That is a position I’ve held now for the last couple years. Before that, I spent 32 years of my life in public safety, law enforcement, emergency management, and homeland security. The last five of which as a cabinet director in the state of Ohio for a cabinet level agency, the Ohio Department of Public Safety. And prior to that, I spent my career in law enforcement, rising from trooper to the colonel, which is the superintendent, the head of the highway patrol. And fortunately or unfortunately over those 32 years I experienced a large number of both emergency and crisis, both from a frontline practitioner, but also from a policymaker, and a policy decision maker, and an advisor at that time to the governor. And also served as a homeland security advisor.

John Born:So I tell people even though I have experience in this field, anyone if they tell you that they are an expert, you should be a little bit cautious because you really are as good as your last crisis that you have either prepared for or operated within.

Kimberly Moy:Excellent. And I can tell just from our previous conversations that I know you don’t like to call yourself an expert, but compared to the everyday person you are definitely an expert in my mind. About a year and a half ago, you and I had a wonderful conversation about crisis and emergency management. And it was in 2019, which feels like a lifetime ago. And I remember at the time thinking this is so nice. I don’t really think that I’ll ever need this information again and I put it in the back of my mind. And then 2020 happened and I couldn’t wait to get in touch with you again. So we talked a lot at the time about crisis and understanding what a crisis is. So let’s just start from the very beginning here. Can you tell us about crisis, and defining it, and understanding where we are now in the whole situation?

John Born:Absolutely. I think that actually is both the best place to start and the most important place to start because we really need to know what we’re talking about. The terms crisis, emergency, and disaster are frequently interchanged. And while there are crisis events that are certainly emergencies and disasters, crisis is really a risk and opportunity. In fact, if you look at almost any definition within a dictionary, if people still use dictionaries today rather than Googling it, you’ll find that it essentially is a turning point. And that is why, at least both in my experience and from a definitional perspective, risk and opportunity is really probably the best way to think of a crisis. I had been involved in events that certainly had an incredible potential for both a negative impact on life and property and as importantly for many organizations on their ability to recover from a crisis. At the same time, those same potential negative events turned into some of the strongest positive opportunities for both the organization or communities. And so an example that I can relate to right away is in 2016.

John Born:The city of Cleveland in Ohio hosted a national special security event. That is a federal designation by Congress. $50 million is allocated every four years to each of the political conventions at a host city. In this case, the Republican Convention was hosted in Cleveland. And $50 million is allocated for security. And if you go back in time, four years seems like an eternity. But at that time, there were a lot of things going on in the United States both politically and otherwise. City of Cleveland and police department was actually the host agency and the host city. And it was the only city and the only department at that time where the police department was under a federal consent decree from the Department of Justice that was hosting a national special security event. The amount of predictions, and I think well informed predictions, for potential negative effects on the city of Cleveland, the people there, as well as the participants in that convention were predicted at an all time high.

John Born:But ultimately that event turned into one of the greatest opportunities to showcase Cleveland and the opportunities for Cleveland. And Cleveland flourished, it ended up being one of the safest national special security political convention events in history, since they began making those designations. And it certainly one of the most collaborative events. And that certainly, looking back to the people that were a part of it, probably wouldn’t have been a crisis, but that’s a good example of where opportunity was maximized, risk was minimized, and a crisis ending up turning into a positive event for everyone involved.

Kimberly Moy:That is amazing. And it’s crazy to think how during a crisis you can have an opportunity, a case to shine. Especially when you’re in the thick of it. So talking about the crisis that we’re currently in, I can’t even pinpoint which one because there’s so many. How do you know when you’re in one? I mean, I feel like it was we were fine and then when we weren’t fine. And even the statistic here from Ernst & Young that says in their 2020 Global Risk Survey, so this was a survey that occurred during the pandemic, people responded that 79% of people felt like their organizations were not well prepared. And I wonder if a lot of that had to do with not understanding that this was, in fact, a crisis. So talk to me about when does it happen, how do you know.

John Born:Actually, both a great question and a good starting point. First of all, defining what a crisis can be for not only an organization, but for an individual, is the first step. The second step then is recognizing when those conditions are present, that you’re either approaching a crisis or you’re in the middle of a crisis. Some events, natural disasters, for example, you may be able to predict when the crisis may be impending. A hurricane, for example, but the preparations for a hurricane really can change the impact on both organizations and people. The number one mistake, and me included that I can tell you after 32 years of being through these experiences, is that it’s easier said than done to be able to recognize whether you’re in a crisis. There’s two important things, one is the outset of the crisis and the second is the duration or the length of the crisis. And they really are two different categories. One is an event aftermath and one is an evolving crisis.

John Born:And so an event aftermath, for example, might be a natural disaster such as a tornado that comes through with very little warning for a community. The negative effects of that event are over, it’s done. And then it becomes a recovery or the crisis aftermath or the event aftermath. An evolving crisis, which we are in. We’re still in an evolving crisis. And so not only is it an evolving crisis for the United States, it’s a worldwide crisis. And so you sometimes don’t always know when you’re beginning it or when you’re out of it, but at some point we will be through this pandemic crisis. And there’s a saying for those both in public safety and emergency management is that we’re really good at preparing for the crisis that just occurred. We’re not quite as good as preparing for the crisis that has not yet occurred. And there really is a science behind that. That’s why programs like this NPA Crisis Emergency Management Program is so important because it not only prepares you with what I would say knowledge and skills, but it provides you with a different perspective.

John Born:And that’s actually what obviously higher education does, is it provides you with a different perspective so that you can not only think differently, but you can prepare differently so that you’re not always chasing the crisis that just occurred.

Kimberly Moy:I like that. I remember we talked a lot about chasing the crisis. And I’m wondering from your experience do you think for any organization or individuals that there are warning signs [inaudible 00:11:19] individuals can start to [inaudible 00:11:24] hey, you might have an emergency, or a crisis, or an … Like you’ve mentioned in the past, it doesn’t have to be a natural disaster. It could be a social media crisis or an IT hack that will enact these plans. So what is it? Is it a feeling? Is it a gut feeling?

John Born:Yeah, and I think it really falls into what I would say there are three core areas. And in the courses we talk about all these core areas, communication, collaboration, and leadership. If you’re effective with all three of those, you’re likely going to be effective before, during, and after crisis. Communication, collaboration, and leadership. And with each of those, there are the before, the during, and the after. And one of the most important things that an individual and an organization can do is to identify what are your risks. Not just possible risks, but your probable risks. And then what are those things that you need to do to ensure the continuity of your organization? And if it is an internal crisis, let’s say an employee misconduct or employee sabotage, some of those are the most difficult things to prepare for, but they are things that you can prepare for. And leadership is the absolute key. People tend to create a synonymous definition of leadership as being a formal title.

John Born:And what I think in my experience has been is that leadership is those that step up and effectively communicate and collaborate with others to identify the risks, to identify those key functions within an organization that is really, really important to be able to have continuity of operations. And then prepare your organization for that. Unfortunately, with the pandemic that we’ve all experienced, we’ve seen those organizations that clearly were well prepared for continuity. I don’t know that anyone ever really can prepare themselves for a worldwide pandemic of 100 year magnitude, of the possibility or probability. But ultimately you’re going to see organizations come out of this pandemic stronger. You’re already seeing that. You’re going to see governments, nonprofit organizations come out of this pandemic stronger and then you’re going to see some, in fact probably many, we’ve already seen that come out either weaker or they no longer are as organizations able to exist. All of that comes down to communication, collaboration, and leadership.

Kimberly Moy:[inaudible 00:14:22] an employee, mid level employee at an organization, that there are opportunities for people like myself to step up and showcase how, and pivot, and do all these things that you [inaudible 00:15:02] during a crisis.

John Born:There are. I think we might have a little bit of audio difficulties, Kimberly, but I think I correctly heard all of those. And let me give you one example of that, of how important it is. That not just people at the top that are the formal leaders of the organization, but critical leaders in crisis events are throughout an organization. And leader is actually informally defined as the person that can lead others. And that doesn’t necessarily mean in a crisis. The most effective crisis is the one that no one knows about. And when I say that, it’s a crisis as far as the negative events or negative consequences are averted. And it ends up being a success story that a few employees within an organization have taken it upon themselves to be able to essentially turn a potential negative into a positive. One of the things that I had learned in my time, both in preparing for crisis events and emergency events, is that the people in the middle of the organization are the ones that know the mechanisms of their organization, where there are vulnerabilities.

John Born:And so, for example, within the world of information technology, everyone now recognizes the potential for cybersecurity. And how that can not only paralyze the operations of government, of nonprofits, and of the private sector, but the inner relationship between government, the private sector, and nonprofits becomes absolutely key in a crisis. An example of that was in 2014 in Ohio, the city of Toledo experienced a water crisis. There was a bacterial contamination of the water supply in the city of Toledo. It effected about 400,000 people in a Metropolitan area in the middle of a heat wave in the summer. You couldn’t not only not drink the water, you couldn’t touch the water. You couldn’t brush your teeth, you couldn’t wash baby bottles. You were not allowed to use it because of this micro system bacterial contamination of the water. The people that led the success of the successful resolution of that with no civil disturbance, no loss of life, no significant long term impacts were people in the middle of the organizations.

John Born:Whether that was private sector organizations that were moving water so that the store shelves weren’t empty, community leaders, volunteers that were distributing water, identifying those high risk needs of people, their neighbors. Those are the unsung heroes of that water crisis. And when I talk about it, a lot of people have heard of the Flint water crisis. And obviously that’s a water crisis that’s still sustained. Water is, I think in my estimation, one of the great risks and opportunities of huge when it comes to crisis, but when I mentioned the Toledo water crisis, even in the state of Ohio, I don’t remember it. I don’t think I heard of it. That is the example of the crisis averted. And certainly people had negative impacts, but the people in the middle of the organizations, whether it’s the city of Toledo and the water department employees, or the public officials, and leaders, or the county, or the state, or the federal resources, or the collaborative relationship that took place among all of those. Those are the real leaders that emerged, the unsung heroes in a crisis.

Kimberly Moy:Amazing. I do remember that story. We talked about it, let’s talk about crisis leadership. And you’ve mentioned several times that great leaders, not necessarily a title, are the people who really help bring success and quick resolutions to any crisis. So what kind of skills do these people possess and is it something that is teachable? Is it learnable?

John Born:Absolutely. And I know there’s been lots of books by extraordinarily intelligent people, insightful people, talking about whether leadership is if you’re a born a leader you can learn those skills. It’s been my experience that over time not only you sometimes see the unlikely leader, again, from a formal position, but within an organization step forward. There are a couple key things that I think are inherent within a good leader and both of these are both attributes and skills that you certainly can learn. One is communication. And, in fact, whether it’s a hostage situation, a natural disaster, a cyber incident, an organizational event, a budget crisis, it’s going to affect their community. Communication is absolutely the key, communication to an effective leader. And that isn’t just external communication, that’s internal and external communication. And, really, at the heart of it what we’re talking about is trust. You’re building trust from communication, you’re also building action through communication. I know, for example, we had a series of tragic shootings in central Ohio about 20 years ago.

John Born:It seems like a lifetime ago and a lot of people were worried about driving on interstate highways where it would appear to be random shootings were occurring. A huge number of state, federal, and local law enforcement resources and assets, technology were deployed. Probably more so at that time in my law enforcement career than I’d ever seen deployed. In the end, that crisis ended up becoming in the rear view mirror as a result of effective communication. So the tactical operations, the aerial assets or aviation assets to be able to catch the individual that was doing this. All, I’m sure, had a deterrent effect or a positive effect that in the end it was communicating with the public and engaging the public in the effort to not only keep themselves safe, but to ultimately apprehend the person that was doing the highway shootings. That may seem like a leap, then, when you think about organizational leadership, but vision and communication is key. The second element of that is the vision.

John Born:This isn’t, again, the vision of necessarily a formal leader, but someone that can articulate what it is that we’re trying to achieve. And then empower people is the third element. So if you think of just in an emergency, just an individual emergency on a much smaller, but just as important, scale, someone is having a medical emergency. Someone that’s a bystander steps up and takes the lead and begins to administer first aid. But then also communicates to bystanders, someone call 911, someone help me with this task. Hearing that out and empowering people on even an individual scale is an emergency. Being able to do that on a larger scale obviously takes not only a learned ability, but the tools to be able to be successful. And that’s actually truthfully one of the really cool things about being involved in this program, is that you are empowering people as a visiting professor or an instructor to be able to maximize their own skills, learn new skills, and then take that back within their own organization.

Kimberly Moy:Great. So you talked a lot about communication. How does an organization determine how transparent they should be with their internal and external audiences. I know early on during the COVID crisis it was hard because no one really knew. And I don’t blame any leaders for not really knowing, but it seemed like one day you’re working from home and one day you’re not. And then you should be prepared to come to the office, maybe not. And we’re going to close for three months or maybe not. So do you think that transparency sometimes can lead to mistrust and how should that be determined?

John Born:Well, it first starts with what I would all the science behind preparing and planning for a crisis. And that is essentially defining what are those risks that are likely or possible within your area. So an example that I would use is, if you live in the state of Florida, there are known potential risks. And obviously Florida has their share of natural disasters that are impacting them. So let’s just take natural disasters as a potential risk. You essentially identify those risks, a volcanic eruption. I’m not completely confident of this, but I’m reasonably confident there’s a very, very low risk in the state of Florida. There may be other risks but a volcanic eruption. So that right there is an example of going through essentially a catalog of those risks that are higher for your organization. Then once you’ve identified those risks, you identify what steps your organization and you need to do to ensure that continuity in your organization. Assuming, for example, that a certain number of employees are not going to be available.

John Born:So the one thing that I can tell you after 9/11 and the attacks on the World Trade Center in September of 11 is that there started to be an examination of those other types of formal risks. And within the world of emergency management, they have a term for this, but it’s probably not as important knowing what the term is, is knowing the process for that risk assessment. That is the first step of being able to prepare for it. And then after you’ve identified those risks and those functions within your organization that are key, it sounds really fundamental because that’s what it is. Then you have to ensure that you know how your organization and how you can go about the daily tasks, where you’re going to do it, and who you’re going to do it with. So an example of that is that I ask people, many of the students in the course, is that if this crisis happens right now, where do you go and what do you do.

John Born:That answer to that question from anyone listening to this, if there’s a hesitation, is that indicator of whether or not you’re prepared both individually and organizationally. So an example of that is where we would’ve had not 25 years ago active shooter drills and preparations within schools. Now that seems to be a relatively common practice. Fire drills, on the other hand, have been going on for 50 years. If I ask that question to anyone on this call, where do you go and what do you do if there’s a fire in your building, probably there’s no hesitation. Everyone knows what to do, but if I ask you where do you go and what do you do if you lose all power for an extended period of time within your facility, an example also for this current pandemic is what happens when you do not have internet capabilities. How are you going to function as an organization? We’ve been incredibly fortunate, if you can say that, that the silver lining in this pandemic crisis is our ability to communicate effectively through other means. For example, through video.

John Born:If you can imagine 20 years ago, what would we have done? How would we have functioned? What would’ve been the outcome of this crisis that we’re now in? Would it have been better or worse? So those are the things that those are very teachable skills that you can effectively communicate in a course like this or courses like this.

Kimberly Moy:Is there a risk of too much information, though, ever or is all information good information?

John Born:I think there is a risk of too much information if it is not focused information. You need not only to prepare for that, but the one thing that is really important in crisis and emergency management is practice. So when you learn a skill and you begin to prepare for a crisis in an emergency, that thing, if it’s sitting on a shelf six months from now and no one can tell you where it is, you failed. You have to make sure that you exercise and practice. This does not have to be an expensive or a comprehensive effort. Sometimes just a regular discussion within the organization is absolutely key for effective preparation. So the answer to your question is yes. If you’re trying to memorize a three ring binder about every potential crisis and what steps you need to take, it’s probably overwhelming and people aren’t going to do it. But you can really narrow that down through effective leadership into what you need to know most.

Kimberly Moy:That’s great. I have some key takeaways already, so it’s about planning, identifying the risks, and just making sure that as much as possible you can figure out what to do, and when, and with who. And then from there you can communicate and practice because I feel like practice is key here. In a post COVID world here, we’re thinking the worst case scenario. I know you always speak about the leaders of the world should always think with the worst case scenario mindset, but did you think that that has changed? I feel like every day or every week now there’s a new crisis for our leadership and even ourselves as individuals. So it’s like you just keep these experiences, and keep planning, and keep evolving in order to survive and thrive, if that even …

John Born:Yeah.

Kimberly Moy:Is that something?

John Born:No, I think it’s exactly the two words that you want. First of all, you want to not only physically survive, and I’m talking about people, and that’s the most important aspect of this, but property of the organizations need to survive. But you really can, and I can tell you I’ve lived it. I’ve experienced it, I’ve witnessed it. You can thrive through a crisis. You can actually become stronger as a person, stronger as an organization. There’s been a couple really good books written on what happens after epidemics and pandemics. And some of the most amazing things that have improved the quality of life in the world have followed epidemics and pandemics. So the other key thing is if you have the knowledge and have prepared yourself, it really doesn’t take up a tremendous amount of time. You do not have to live in the world of a crisis to be prepared for a crisis. You can effectively … You still there?

Kimberly Moy:Yeah, we’re still here. Mr. Born? Hello?

John Born:Yeah, I dropped you there for a second. Sorry.

Kimberly Moy:It’s all good. This is [crosstalk 00:32:23] don’t worry, I have plans for it.

John Born:Yeah. So you can effectively … I’m sorry, Kimberly. I just lost the audio for a minute there. You can effectively prepare for a crisis and not necessarily live within that whole state of readiness. In fact, my experience has been that if you’re well prepared, and confident, and have the knowledge both organization and individually, it really is a very, very small component of an organization, of a government or a nonprofit organization to be prepared. You don’t have to live this approach as if Armageddon is coming. You have a confidence that you know what you’re going to do, you know how you’re going to do it, you’ve rehearsed it, and then you move on about your daily business. Your organization should not spend too much time and resources in this effort, but having the people that have had both the knowledge, and skills, and some practical experience either through academic or real life crisis event is the key.

Kimberly Moy:Awesome. That’s great. So we’ve mentioned a little bit ago that great leaders communicate and they establish trust. So in some cases when trust is lost, can leaders establish trust and how do they reestablish trust?

John Born:It’s a great question and it hits at the heart of effective communication. You think about it even in your personal life. Trust once lost is difficult regained, but it can be done over a period of time. And it’s not only through words, but the actions and it’s through the collaborative process. So if, in fact, you’re trying to do anything alone, especially in a crisis, you’re probably not going to have the success. But if you can empower people with the ability to make their own destiny for themselves and the organization, and they see the results that you’re not only there with them, but you’re rooting for them and you’re pulling for them, you can regain that trust. Depending on obviously the breach of the trust of the organization or of the individual. And that’s why it’s so important in a crisis, many times information is just not necessarily complete or accurate. And so early in a crisis, effective early communication is key, both internal and external. As time goes on, people want more details, they want more information just like with this crisis.

John Born:I’m sure a lot of people listening to this have followed the pandemic crisis or the crisis, for example, that’s occurring in Texas during the pandemic crisis. And they are searching for where they can find that trust and that really is at the heart of leadership. It doesn’t matter if it’s crisis leadership or just daily leadership, trust is absolutely key and you build that through effective communication and collaboration.

Kimberly Moy:And that is a perfect segue to our crisis collaboration discussion. You’ve reemphasized several times that collaboration is absolutely key and it may mean the difference between success and failure. And I think that the COVID pandemic, even the current situation, the weather situation going on in Texas, it really showcases how organizations, both private and public, need to collaborate with each other to fill in these gaps and to really be able to help their constituents, their communities, the people that they serve. Do you think that private organizations have … I want to say responsibility, but do you think that they have to step up during these times of crisis? And how does an organization get involved with collaboration? Are there steps? Do you just call someone on the phone and be like, “Hi, I’m so and so and I work here. How can I help?”

John Born:Yeah, if you’re exchanging business cards, and this is an old cliché in the public safety and emergency management, crisis management, field, but if you’re exchanging business cards in a crisis, it’s going to be very difficult to necessarily build a relationship and trust. You can do it. Sometimes some of the strongest relationships are built during some of the most difficult times, but you’re much, much more effective. And so the people from the private sector, or the public sector, or the nonprofit organizations all have a vested interest in making sure that a crisis is resolved effectively and that you’re prepared for it. Going back to the example that I talked about in 2016 with the national special security event in Cleveland, the reason that event, just like the water crisis in Toledo or when Ohio was one of the first states impacted by the Ebola crisis in 2014, the success of those crisis events, if I can call them success, despite the tragedies that occurred, was as a result of the collaborative relationship between the community, the private sector, and the government.

John Born:And that is not only a skill, but it is a practice that has to be ingrained, if at all possible, prior to the crisis. So in 2016 what we saw was is the business community was extraordinarily concerned about what would occur not only to their businesses, but to the city and the region that they loved and that they were located. So they had a motivated reason beyond the business reason, but a motivated personal reason to try to do everything they could do to engage. Likewise, the public officials, the government officials at the state, local, and federal level knew that we could not do this alone. I can remember about a week prior to that event going up with the governor and meeting with the governor at a number of community and business leaders in the city of Cleveland and communicating to them what we were hoping and what we needed from them. And the unsung heroes out of a successful, peaceful event that allowed businesses in the city of Cleveland to thrive after that event live with those community leaders. And engaging those and building relationships and trust.

John Born:There’s been lots of books written about how collaboration works. Really, it is simple as personal and human relationships and trust. That’s the bottom line. If you can do that, you’re going to be effective with inside your organization and externally as well.

Kimberly Moy:I remember from our previous conversation you said that planning is very important, but also going back and reviewing how the event took place and how you responded. How does your organization perform during that event? Getting better is also a great key to preparing for your next crisis. So I can definitely see how in the lookback or the recap, understanding where those gaps are, and how public or private organizations can fill that, and how collaborations could fill that to make it more successful for the next time. So given what we know, what immediate steps right now can organizations do to foster collaboration? Is it reaching out?

Kimberly Moy:(silence)

Kimberly Moy:Hello? John, are you still there? I think we may have lost John for a minute. It sounds like his phone may have died. But that’s okay because you’ve got me and I’m sure when he gets back he will join us very shortly. So feel free to pop those questions into the question and answer box [inaudible 00:42:04] gets back because I can talk to you now about Ohio University’s online Master of Public Administration program. So this is one of the programs that John teaches in. It is a total of 36 credit hours, so you can complete that in just about actually two years exactly and it is 100% online. We do offer four concentrations, just one of them being crisis and emergency management. And, again, you would be taking those courses with Mr. John Born here. And we also offer public leadership in management, nonprofit management, and state and local government management. So if this is your wheelhouse, if you think that you can do better by serving your community and being a leader, or even just learning how to lead it effectively, the online MPA program is for you.

Kimberly Moy:And if you’re located in Ohio, there’s also an executive MPA version as well. They do meet “in person”, when in person is back online. So just know that that is available for you. Our concentration courses, here we have three for every concentration. So the crisis and emergency management, you will be taking crisis collaboration, crisis leadership, and crisis planning. So if any of this information that you’ve heard up until now sounds interesting and you want to deep dive into it, this might be for you. You will take our core of very strong public administration courses, so you’ll learn how to lead, you’ll learn how to communicate, you’ll learn how to interpret data. And then you’ll have the opportunity to really deep dive into these concentrations that’ll allow you to become an expert in your field. Many, many times people ask us what type of scholarships we have and we do offer scholarships. So if you are an active or retired member of the military, you get a scholarship. This is automatic, so you don’t have to apply. You just have to let us know and we’ll make the tuition scholarship change for you.

Kimberly Moy:If you’re an Ohio University alumni or you serve on one of our partner organizations, which if you think you might be, just let us know. We’ll have to apply with your resume, so we’ll be on the lookout for that as well. And the scholarship is a $1,000 tuition discount, so all very good things. And let’s see, we have our admissions … You’re back. Hello, Mr. Born, welcome back. I was just doing my …

John Born:I am. Sorry about that. You should always have a backup plan, so I have a backup phone. So I apologize for that. If you want to go ahead and finish or we can transition to the answer to that question. I heard the question, but I dropped off right after that.

Kimberly Moy:No problem. Why don’t we go back? I was just doing the pony show about our beautiful program.

John Born:It really is a unique program nationally and it’s an honor to be a part of it. So one of the points I wanted to make was how important it is for especially public officials today to be prepared for it. So the social justice movement you saw impacted the United States in the summer, I think for some public officials they are or would’ve been unprepared for. Maybe now they’re better prepared for, but understanding the dynamics of the heart of what it takes not only to resolve that challenge within an individual community, but how that fits in globally. And I don’t mean just worldwide, but globally within the issue of social justice because, if you’re only dealing with that within, for example, one police department, you’re ignoring the perspective of the underlying reasons and causes of that. And that’s the really interesting thing about the people that are taking these courses that I found, is that I learn as much from them as that they are learning from me. And they’re learning from each other and that is the different perspectives that we all bring towards both crisis identification and preparation.

John Born:And while I may believe one potential crisis is a greater risk than the others, that’s coming from my background and my perspective. And so it’s really, really important that the collaboration take place not only during the crisis, but having a plan and preparing for it. And that’s where our community engagement plan is so important. And we talk about community engagement plan for these courses for crisis and emergency preparation. A lot of people think of that, they think of I’m going to learn how to put on a hazmat suit or I’m going to learn how to respond to an active shooter. And while all of that is important, we do follow what I will say national standards when we are instructing these courses. Really, the bottom line is that you have to approach this more holistically, more broadly, to be able to be effective in predicting that next potential crisis.

Kimberly Moy:I feel like the next potential crisis could be even tomorrow, given the way 2020 and ’21 have been pacing. So do you think it’s even possible for an organization to … We’ve already discussed it, but it’s like do you just keep going? You just keep preparing, keep iterating. And maybe if you’re on this webinar, you’re here for a reason. So it’s time. If you’re thinking about it, it is absolutely time to prepare. I know that we’ve discussed this, that this particular degree and concentration is a perfect blend between the tactical and the academic. So can you talk a little bit about how you constructed it, how these courses came about?

John Born:Yeah, so what I would say is that when you emerge, and I like to think about this after. Not necessarily as you’re walking into it, but as you emerge after this, how are you going to be different? Well, first of all, you’re going to be different not only within your organization, but within everyone that is in public service, public administration, and nonprofit organization because this has never really been a focus of organizations or of people. And the pandemic crisis has brought this to the forefront, is that not only this can impact people and organizations, but the opportunities that are both for individuals and organizations is almost limitless if you’re well prepared. And so I approach this as we constructed this concentration within the program for exactly that, to set the student apart. Not only in what they’re learning, but what they’re prepared for beyond this from a broad perspective, an organization changing perspective. Give them not only an advantage within their careers and their organization, but an advantage in being able to prepare for, resolve, and recover from a crisis.

Kimberly Moy:That is amazing and it is sorely needed. I think no matter where you live you can see how … I wish I could do things better if ran [inaudible 00:50:10] this is how I would do things. And I think that the curriculum that you have put together for us, it really fits that. And, again, when we spoke a year and a half ago, I just thought, “This is good to know, but it’ll never happen to me.” And here we are, so maybe it was me. I apologize everyone for 2020, 2021, but here we are.

John Born:Yeah, and if you think about where we’re going to be, I think I’m an optimist, despite some of the events and experiences I’ve seen in my lifetime and career. Actually, you would maybe counterintuitively think that I would not be, but I am an optimist because I’ve seen both people and organizations do inspirational things. Not only inspirational things prior to a crisis, but inspirational things during a crisis and after. And that’s actually what gives me significant hope. The only challenge will be is having people maintain the focus on this field beyond this crisis that we’re currently in because there will be another one. We will be beyond this one, if world history is any example of what’s going to come in the future. We will move beyond this. It looks like that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we want to make sure that we’re preparing for that next crisis organizationally and individually.

Kimberly Moy:Amazing. Well, that I agree with. All right, let’s just remind our audience we just have a couple of minutes here left. So if you have any questions for Mr. Born, please feel free to pop them in the question and answer box. We have already discussed our Master Public Administration, but in case you are interested in knowing what it takes to get into our program, very quickly here you just need a bachelor’s degree with due preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher, but that is not a necessary thing. I mean, it is preferred, but if you have a 2.8, 2.7, feel free to contact us. I’m sure we can discuss how else you can stand out as a candidate. We also would love to see those transcripts and your current resume. I do love our personal statement because the personal statement allows you to showcase how you’ll use this program in the future and how you’ll use it to shine as whatever it is that you’re doing in the future.

Kimberly Moy:Three letters of recommendation, so two could be from employers, past or present. It doesn’t necessarily have to be from someone who knows you academically because at least for me it’s been a while since I’ve been out of college. And then just our $50 application fee. There is no GRE or GMAT score required, so that is our program in a nutshell. It has been an absolute pleasure speaking with you, Mr. Born. Do you have any final thoughts that you’d like to leave our audience with at all?

John Born:Opportunity. So that’s the only actual thought that I would leave with people, is not only is this program an opportunity, but preparing yourself both individually and helping your organization provide you an opportunity. And it’s an opportunity sometimes that you only get the chance when it comes around to think about before a negative event occurs. And as I have said before, crisis is really risk and opportunity. And we all know the risks, we sometimes focus on the risks. We’re living the risks of this potential crisis, but there is incredible opportunity. And so I would ask people to optimistically think about this not only for themselves, but the organizations and the people they care about the most.

Kimberly Moy:Amazing, I completely agree. I would love to speak with you in a year and a half from now and let us talk about the success in different ways that organizations have pivoted about after this particular crisis. And we’ll see if we have another one, so thank you all so much for joining us this morning. If you have any questions, feel free to continue to hang out with us in the chat box or email us with this contact information here. Mr. Born is also available for questions, so thank you all so much. We’re going to give you back five minutes of your day. So, again, thanks guys.

John Born:Appreciate it.

John Born:(silence)