Degrees in Emergency & Disaster Management

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21st Century Challenges Demand a New Breed of Emergency and Disaster Management Professionals

With the changing landscape of the 21st century, emergency managers must possess a greater level of preparation and knowledge in order to meet the increasing challenges resulting from global population growth, increasing urbanization, and the growing demand on resources. Climate change, extreme weather, and rising seas are likely to exacerbate resource scarcities and threaten U.S. industrial infrastructure, while greater access to technology and rapidly growing economies in the developing world pose potential threats from terrorist organizations. As a result of these evolving complexities, future emergency management professionals will be required to act strategically, think globally, and lead with confidence.

These are just some of the issues that will test the readiness and resiliency of emergency and disaster management professionals, according to David J. Kaufman, Emergency & Disaster Management program Advisory Board member and former director of the Office of Policy and Program Analysis at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):1

“Addressing these transformations will be challenging; confronting the complexity that arises from the interaction of multiple drivers—such as demographic shifts, technology, environmental changes, and economic uncertainty—will require new approaches, tools, and capabilities.”

The executive master’s in Emergency & Disaster Management prepares students to tackle 21st-century challenges with confidence. Graduates will be able to lead the strategic vision of teams and organizations in today’s global landscape of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

Alumni from the Emergency & Disaster Management program have gone on to assume roles in diverse areas—from local domestic emergency management to international humanitarian response—including:

  • Chief of Staff, Nuclear Enterprise Support Directorate, Defense Threat Reduction Agency
  • Emergency Manager, Arkansas Tech University
  • Director, Partner Cooperation at Standing Joint Force Headquarters for WMD Elimination, National Nuclear Security Administration
  • Director of Administration, County of Lycoming
  • Director of Emergency Management & EMS, Portage County
  • Disaster Preparedness and Response Coordinator, Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service
  • Disaster Program Specialist, USAID/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
  • Emergency Management Specialist, Miami-Dade County Emergency Management
  • Field Operations Projects Manager (Middle East), Spirit of America
  • Grants Management Specialist, FEMA
  • Operations & Planning Consultant, LES Ready!
  • Program Manager, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Physical Security Division, U.S. Department of State
  • Program Specialist, Emergency Management Planning, Santa Clara County Fire Department
  • Senior Operations Coordinator, Save the Children


1. Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2012). Crisis Response and Disaster Resilience 2030: Forging Strategic Action in an Age of Uncertainty. Available: Last accessed 31st, Aug 2015. 

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