By the time Taylor Bunch enrolled in the International Executive Master’s in Emergency & Disaster Management program in 2019, he had already served in multiple warzones as a medic with U.S. Army Special Forces.
He had participated in countless combat operations and received the Combat Medic Badge for managing numerous mass casualty events and battlefield evacuations under hostile fire in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And that was just his military career. For more than two years, he had been an Emergency Management Specialist at the State Department, where he deployed in support of Diplomatic Security Operations in high threat areas. He also oversaw the development and implementation of first responder protocols in “a CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiation, and Nuclear) environment.”
All of this might lead you to ask whether Bunch, who graduated in 2020, should have perhaps been teaching the emergency management classes rather than attending them.
It’s a good question, but it misses the point about the nature of executive-level training. At this juncture in their careers, many of these graduate students are already experts, some, like Bunch, in multiple areas. What they are seeking is a program that puts their emergency training into a broader context and examines the multiple and, at times, simultaneous threats to our nation and world today.
Before starting the program in September 2019, Bunch became Senior Inter-Agency Planner at the State's Directorate of Operational Medicine, where he directs strategic planning and contingency operations. The Directorate led the evacuation of U.S. citizens from Wuhan, China, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and successfully repatriated thousands of other U.S. citizens over the last year.
“I was seeking out some more formal education to tie into my experience,” Bunch said of Georgetown’s program. “To be able to speak, not only across the government, but internationally to provide a holistic response to emergency management disaster response.”