Emerging leaders complete NPS-CHDS course

Thirty-two participants completed on March 8 the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security Emergence Program. The program is aimed at up and coming professionals.

Emergence 1702

The recent cohort brings the total number of Emergence alumni to 62, with the first cohort completing the course in March 2017.

“We have been fortunate at CHDS to create, develop and implement many wonderful programs. I have to say, the Emergence Program seems to be a program that is extremely worthwhile,” said Ellen Gordon, CHDS Associate Director of Executive Education. “We found both groups of absolutely wonderful participants are very dedicated to their roles in homeland security and I believe set a high standard for our future leaders.”

Emergence cohort 1702 completed the course on March 8. (Photo by Guadalupe Javier Baltazar)

The idea behind the course was to target homeland security practitioners in the early stages of their careers to address emerging issues and trends while polishing innovative thinking and policy development skills. Topics included traditional homeland security matters along with new components such as an Innovation Lab, individual action plans and presentations, and a group policy exercise.

“I believe that we live in an ever-changing and evolving world, and that the young future leaders in this sector owe it to our future generations to change with the times and acclimate to highly technical, innovative, and scientific approaches to worldly threats in all sectors of public and private homeland security, defense, and personal preparedness,” said participant Jennifer Lixey Terrill of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Lixey Terrill said the session titled “Innovation and Homeland Security,” by Dr. Rodrigo Nieto-Gomez, was “very interesting and thought-provoking as it touched on decision making tactics that can greatly impact my ability to respond during emergencies.”

“It was helpful to learn strategies for dissecting problems into smaller components,” she noted. “In doing so, as we solve the smaller pieces one-by-one, we are really solving the bigger problem, as an accumulation of those parts.”

Zachary Fry of the Maryland Governor’s Office of Homeland Security commended the course for offering a diversity of perspectives that provided insights beyond an individual participant’s varying points of view.

“It’s not possible to think outside of your own box, but you can listen to someone from a different box,” Fry noted. “We have a duty to return home and champion the idea that ‘information-sharing’ is more than passing out business cards and sending occasional emails; information sharing needs to be problem-oriented so we leverage our entire public safety community to craft more effective solutions together.”

Cody Lockwood of the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department said a session led by Chris Bellavita, CHDS Director of Academic Programs, was helpful in fostering complex and innovative thinking was relevant to his profession.

“He had the ability to make us all dig deeper and think more intellectually with just a few words and questions,” Lockwood noted. “I feel that I owe the homeland security profession my work on innovative ideas on policy and practice regarding fire service and emergency response for Homeland Security type incidents.”

The Emergence program is meeting its goal of helping develop a homeland security workforce with critical thinking and policy development skills.

“We created Emergence because there is a significant rotation occurring in the homeland  security workforce with the most experienced officials retiring and a highly motivated, educated and tech savvy generation stepping into management and leadership roles,” said CHDS Senior Consultant David O’Keeffe.  “The discussions and debates in the Emergence classroom have been amazing. The participants bring with them energy, diverse perspectives, creative ideas, and experience that confirms the value and importance of the Emergence Program.”

Emergence cohort 1702

  • Amy Benacquista, Disaster Planning and Preparedness Representative, NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services – Office of Emergency Management
  • William Clark, Deportation Officer, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Joanna Culkin, Police Officer First Class, Fairfax County Police Department
  • Erin Curran, Deputy Chief of Staff, Boston Emergency Medical Services
  • Magdeline Decamps, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, New York City Department of Transportation.
  • Patrick Depass, Criminal Investigator/Special Agent, USSS
  • Zachary Fry, Special Assistant, Maryland Governor’s Office of Homeland Security
  • Shelly Gooding, Emergency Management Specialist, Calvert County Government
  • Matthew Goodson, Corporal, Missouri State Highway Patrol
  • Kenta Ishii, Quarantine Public Health Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Stephen Janes,  Firefighter/Paramedic, Los Angeles City Fire Department
  • Antoine Kelly, Assistant Fire Marshal, Lexington County Fire Service
  • Catherine Kelly, Refugee Officer, DHS/USCIS
  • Randy Kuykendoll, Community Police Officer, Portland Police Bureau
  • Shawna Lemley, Emergency Management Planner, City of Arlington, Texas
  • Cody Lockwood, D.C. Fire and EMS
  • David Madonna Jr., Immigration Services Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Amy Marchello, Program Management Analyst, DHS/FEMA
  • Joseph Meluch  Emergency Operations Center Manager, Indiana Department of Homeland Security
  • Greg Merten, Command Center Controller, U.S. Coast Guard / Sector Columbia River
  • Gilbert Perez, Military Police Officer, United States Marines Corps
  • Daniel Plume, Officer, Fayetteville Police Department
  • Jamie Poole, Outreach and Technology Coordinator, Clackamas County Disaster Management
  • Michael Sharp, Acting Chief of Staff, USDA APHIS VS Surveillance Preparedness Response Services
  • Lindsey Shaw, Risk Analyst, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Samantha Shoop, Intelligence Analyst, Pennsylvania State Police
  • Stephanie Sikinger, Crime and Intelligence Manager, Milwaukee Police Department
  • Jana Spring, Chemical Security Inspector, DHS/NPPD/ISCD/IP
  • Jennifer Terrill, Emergency Management Coordinator, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Michelle Torres, Emergency Management Specialist III/Outreach Branch Chief  state of Alaska, Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
  • Laina Vittone, Police Officer, United States Park Police
  • Xiao Qiang Zhong, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Customs and Border Protection