Leading Through Chaos

In this NPS-CHDS Viewpoints, retired National Guard Brigadier General Mike McDaniel, a master’s degree alumnus, discusses his role in addressing the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. A change in the source of the city’s water supply resulted in discolored drinking water with high levels of toxins, resulting in furor and making national headlines in the fall of 2015.

Now Dean of the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, McDaniel was brought in by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver in February 2016 to oversee the Flint Action and Sustainability Team Start program to retool the water system.

McDaniel talks about the importance of understanding risk when making public decisions, the importance of communication and building partnerships when staff and resources are thin, how communicating with the public is critical and how adaptation is key.

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