High Level Task Force Urges Long-Term Investment in Resilience Policies, Endorses Readiness Over Reconstruction from Large-Scale Crises

Former TSA Administrator, former Deputy Homeland Security Advisor, former FEMA Assistant Administrator join as Senior Fellows

 WASHINGTON, DC – At the inaugural meeting of the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience, a high-level group of policymakers, experts, and local leaders urged governments to accelerate efforts to integrate resilience into decision-making as a critical component of effective policymaking at the local, national, and international level.

“A single event or disruption can spark any number of unexpected, reverberating consequences which make responding to the initial challenge ever more difficult,” declared the Atlantic Council’s Resilience Task Force members in a communique, noting that resilience is “a policy strategy to manage shocks, recover from the worst effects, and gain in the process.”

The Task Force identified resilience – the capacity of a system, a community, or an individual to bounce back after a major shock – as an antidote to the accelerating waves of disturbance that are becoming a hallmark of the twenty-first century, helping societies, cities, and individuals respond and rebuild in the face of disruptive forces.

The Task Force, whose members include General David Petraeus, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, former undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs at the US Department of State; Mr. Edward Davis, former commissioner of the Boston Police Department; Judge Alice Hill, former senior director for resilience policy at the National Security Council; and Mr. Thad Allen, former commandant of the United States Coast Guard during Deepwater Horizon, concluded that resilience thinking helps governments, businesses, and civil society leaders succeed in the face of pandemics, cyber insecurity, climate change, terrorism, infrastructure vulnerabilities, financial instability, and unexpected migration flows.

Resilience policies in these fields will be the key focus of the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience, which was established thanks to the vision and generosity of businesswoman and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, chairman emerita of TotalBank and executive vice chair of the Atlantic Council.

“We are at a critical moment of increasing global disruption,” said Ms. Arsht. “This Center will promote the abilities of communities and individuals to thrive in today’s unpredictable world.  Using creative and artistic methods to showcase lessons learned from past crises, the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience will help societies bounce back better, faster, and stronger.”

To identify best responses to the array of challenges facing policymakers and elected officials today, three senior fellows have joined the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience.

  • Peter Neffenger, former administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will focus on resilience scenario gaming as a distinguished fellow,
  • Amy Pope, former deputy homeland security advisor, will examine community responses to irregular migration flows,
  • Brian Kamoie, former assistant administrator at FEMA for grant programs, will use his personal experience to identify lessons learned from stories of resilience.

“I am delighted that Peter, Amy, and Brian have joined the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience,” said Frederick Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council. “Their many years of experience leading the United States’ emergency responses to crises like Deepwater Horizon, the Ebola and Zika epidemics, and migration across the United States’ southern border will help us understand what resilience policies have previously succeeded and failed, and advocate these best practices to policymakers and elected officials worldwide.”

The Task Force communique, including a complete list of Task Force members, can be found on the Atlantic Council website.
About the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience
Founded in 2016, the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience addresses the challenges we face by advancing approaches that promote the abilities of nations, cities, communities, and individuals to respond effectively to disruptions, understand and manage complex interdependent systems, and thrive in today’s unpredictable global environment. It aspires to be a leading advocate for integrating resilience-oriented policy into all levels of society—from the government, to the private sector, and civil society. Its work will map the pathways for societies and systems to bounce back quicker, better, and stronger from major disruptions.