Improving Logistics Cooperation in Crisis Environments

Dec 07, 2012, 09:37 ET from Institute for Defense and Business

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Stabilization and Economic Reconstruction (CSER) at the Institute for Defense and Business (IDB), on behalf of the Joint Staff Director for Logistics (J-4) and the Deputy Chief Management Office of the Department of Defense, conducted the seventh offering of its seminar on Logistics Cooperation for Stabilization and Reconstruction. The week-long seminar took place in Chapel Hill, NC, from December 2-7, 2012. The executive education program is designed to improve logistics cooperation among the public, private, and voluntary sectors in crisis environments, both domestic and international.


"The gaps or inefficiencies in logistics during crises are all too evident and have been the subject of much public complaint," noted Ambassador (Ret.) David C. Litt, the Executive Director of CSER. "This seminar assembles a significant group of relevant actors in order to break down misperceptions, build trust and improve cooperation in logistics. In fact, enhanced logistics cooperation can sometimes lead the way to broader understanding among different organizational cultures involved in crisis response."

The 34 participants brought diverse, real-world experience to the seminar, drawing on lessons from crisis responses across the US and around the globe. Many of their organizations today consult, coordinate, and even plan with one another in small groups, but rarely do all of them coalesce into a fully effective network. The seminar was able to expose participants to their biases about each other, and demonstrate the value of collaboration as they try to execute their relief, rehabilitation or reconstruction efforts in the wake of crisis--whether caused by conflict or disaster. Additionally, through a case study participants explored the logistics challenges in the 2008 Cyclone Nargis relief effort in Myanmar (Burma) as seen from the perspectives of four different responding organizations. They also worked on a fictitious scenario based on past historical disaster incidents in India. They collaborated as logisticians in diversified groups and presented their findings to a Subject Matter Expert Board that included General Roger A. Brady, USAF (Ret.), former Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe. General Brady is also serving this year as an IDB Executive Fellow.

Along with the practical knowledge gained through the seminar the logisticians, operators and planners left Chapel Hill with an expanded network of professional relationships, critical to success in an increasingly disparate and complex environment.

Speakers representing a diverse range of organizations presented varied topics at the seminar including:

  • Lt Gen Brooks Bash, Joint Staff Director of Logistics – Graduation Speaker
  • Dr. Jamison Day, University of Denver – "Fostering Coordination Without Unity of Command"
  • Ms. Mikela Fenech-Pace, Government of Malta – "Host Nation Roles and Responsibilities"
  • Mr. Colin Hourihan, United Nations World Food Programme – "United Nation Roles and Responsibilities"
  • Dr. Rick Gilkey, Emory University – "Breaking Down Barriers, Establishing Trust"
  • Mr. Jim Stewart, FEMA – "Logistics Cooperation in Domestic Disaster Response"
  • Dr. Steve Walton, Emory University – "Managing Complexity in Crises"
  • LCDR Karen Eifert, U.S. Navy – "Public Affairs Challenges"
  • Mr. John Crowley, Harvard University – "Information Sharing in Crisis Environments"
  • Gov. Scott McCallum, Aidmatrix Foundation – "Information Sharing in Crisis Environments"
  • Admiral Eric T. Olson, USN, (Ret.) former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command & IDB Executive Fellow – Dinner Speaker
  • Major General Somsak Roongsita, Government of ThailandBurma Case Study and Lessons Learned
  • Mr. Robert Demeranville, USAID OFDA – Burma Case Study and Lessons Learned
  • Colonel David Parker, U.S. Pacific Command – Burma Case Study and Lessons Learned

About the IDB

The IDB is a non-profit research and education institute formed in 1997 by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina. The institute provides custom executive education programs in the areas of logistics and technology, life cycle systems, leadership and organizational transformation, strategic studies, and stabilization and economic reconstruction.

For more information on the CSER program please contact Ms. Binita Raval, Program Associate, or Mr. Ronnie Mann, Jr., Operation & Program Manager at, or call at 919-969-8008.

Media Contact: Maya Zumwalt, Director of Communication, 919-969-8008

SOURCE Institute for Defense and Business