Swedish Emergency Management Agency Visits CHDS

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The Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) recently welcomed representatives from the Swedish Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Principal Administrative Officers, Jakob Wetterud, and Hans Andersson. The Swedish government requested a meeting with CHDS to explore the possibility of creating graduate programs for Sweden’s officials. For the construction of their curriculum, Sweden will be using the CHDS as a template.

The role of the Swedish Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is to develop the preparedness of Swedish society to manage serious crisis, reduce vulnerability, and improve the capacity to handle crisis. The Swedish government is in the process of improving their current system by establishing graduate education programs and promoting interagency and intergovernmental cooperation. Intrigued by The Center’s educational emphasis, the Swedish government sent representatives, to learn about the programs and courses offered by CHDS. “We came to look at the curriculum and see how you educate and train people,” said Andersson. “We are seeking a more professional, educated, and improved model for emergency management.”

Although the probability of a terrorist attack in Sweden is lower than in the United States, SEMA still considers all aspects of emergency management imperative. The two representatives spent the day learning about the numerous elements that make-up the Center, while also being briefed in the diversity of programs and technologies CHDS has to offer. After meeting with the delegation, CHDS Public Affairs Director, Heather Issvoran stated, “CHDS welcomed the opportunity to share our unique model of graduate education and hybrid distance learning technology with SEMA, they won’t have to start from scratch.”

Andersson and Wetterud were impressed by what they learned, but were quick to point out how SEMA remains warranted in the task of creating a functional program for Sweden. “We can’t simply copy the CHDS model,” said Andersson. “We are a smaller country and therefore have to create a frame that covers all aspects of emergency management and incorporates an all hazards approach.”

Andersson and Wetterud plan on sharing what they have learned at CHDS with the Swedish government. The ultimate goal is to develop a similar program that will cater to the specific needs of the SEMA.

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