Donell Harvin

Dr. Donell Harvin is a homeland security and public health emergency subject-matter expert, and serves as faculty in Georgetown University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Masters Program and the Applied Intelligence Masters Program.

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Dr. Harvin is graduate faculty at Georgetown University where he teaches in the Applied Intelligence and the Emergency and Disaster Management degree programs. He is a Senior Defense and Political Science Researcher with the RAND Corporation, working extensively with the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), he advises a variety of clients on policy-level decisions relating to homeland and national security including violent extremism, terrorism and counterterrorism, public health and all-hazards preparedness, resiliency, and emergency response.

Additionally, he serves as a subject-matter expert for several organizations including the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT), INTERPOL Bioterrorism Prevention Unit and the Naval Post-Graduate School, Center for Homeland Security Executive Education Program (EEP), where he conducts executive-level seminars in emergency management, terrorism and threat mitigation. He is also the first US-based member of the Counter Terrorism Preparedness Network (CTPN) a global consortium of major cities.

Dr. Harvin is the former Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for the Government of the District of Columbia (DC), where he oversaw the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Center (DC's Fusion Intelligence Center), as the Executive Director with a mission to collect, analyze and share threat information and intelligence amongst state, local and federal partners. During this time, he oversaw the District's operational intelligence and response to the Insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6th, 2021.

Prior to HSEMA, he served as an agency executive in the medical examiner’s office for DC and in New York City, directing large-scale forensic operations, including leading several 9/11 sifting operations, emergency management-related planning and response and led the agency’s occupational health and safety program.

Previous to those positions, he was the Chief Research Scientist for the NYC Department of Health in its Bureau of Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response (BEPR). There he served as the lead scientist for the Radiation Response Unit and Environmental Response Group and served as the project lead research scientist on several key initiatives including NYC's BioWatch program, the NYC Radiological Response Plan, NYC Radiological Mitigation Plan and planning for WMD events. He has a broad Hazardous Materials (HazMat) response, weapons of mass destruction, occupational health and safety and health physics background.   

His public safety background spans 30 years which includes water rescue, Fire/EMS, public health, hazardous materials and WMD response, emergency management, crime scene management and complex forensic operations. He has responded to incidents ranging from the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 as a member of FDNY to the Sandy Hook Shootings as the forensics lead for NYC and has served as the lead emergency manager for several NYC agencies during large-scale incidents. Dr. Harvin holds an undergraduate degree in Fire and Emergency Services Management, graduate degrees in Emergency Management (MPA), Terrorism Studies (MA), and Environmental Science (MPH) and is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) specializing in environmental epidemiology, public health disasters and biological threats.

For his dissertation, he conducted experiments and gathered data as a research fellow at Cornell University School of Medicine, where he performed shotgun DNA sequencing of pathogens that he had sampled from emergency response vehicles across the country. His goal was to establish the baseline microbiome of the environment that first responders work in, and gain insight into potential exposure pathways for pathogens that may be introduced into emergency response vehicles.

Dr. Harvin continues to maintain a close connection with the first responder community and serves as a sworn law enforcement officer with the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police (DC MPD) in a reserve capacity.