Lessons Learned from 2017 Crisis Response

Juliette Kayyem
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 6:00pm
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

A discussion with
José Andrés
Internationally-Recognized Culinary Innovator, Author, Educator, Humanitarian, Chairman, World Central Kitchen and Chef & Owner, ThinkFoodGroup
Jason Jackson
Senior Director of Emergency Management, Walmart
Jeh Johnson
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (2013-2017)
Senior Fellow, The Homeland Security Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, HKS
Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Brad Kieserman
Vice President of Disaster Operations and Logistics, Red Cross
Juliette Kayyem (Moderator)
Robert and Renee Belfer Lecturer in International Security, HKS
National Security Analyst, CNN
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Intergovernmental Affairs (2009-2010)

Panelists José Andrés, internationally-recognized chef; Jason Jackson, Senior Director of Emergency Management at Walmart; Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; and Brad Kieserman, Vice President of Disaster Operations and Logistics at the Red Cross joined moderator Juliette Kayyem in a discussion on how to improve disaster response based on the country’s 2017 experience.  The panel emphasized the fact that no two disasters are alike; the importance for the government, the private sector, and NGOs to work together; and the necessity for advanced logistics and communication in disaster response.

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Named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” and “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the United States, he is known for his avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning group of 28 restaurants throughout the country and beyond. His innovative minibar by José Andrés earned two Michelin stars in 2016 and 2017 and with that, José is the only chef globally that has both a two-star Michelin restaurant and four Bib Gourmands. Andrés’ work has earned numerous awards including the 2015 National Humanities Medal, one of 12 distinguished recipients of the award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mr. Jason F. Jackson recently returned to the role of Senior Director, Emergency Management for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in May of 2017. This department is responsible for mitigation, preparing and planning for, and orchestration of the response and recovery efforts for all forms of business disruptions globally; to include natural and manmade disasters, security related issues, significant epidemiological issues, and other emergencies.
Prior to this role, Jason was the Senior Director, Operations Strategy for Sam’s Club, overseeing development, implementation and change management of key initiative strategies for the operational components of the US business. Jason was appointed to this role in January of 2016.
Prior to this role, Jason was the Vice President, Business Integration – for Sam’s Club working on key initiatives surrounding digital/physical integration, member access, and future-state format design. Additionally, he led the Transformation Management Office that coordinated the implementation of key US business strategies. He was appointed to this role in May 2014.
Prior to this role, Jason was the Vice President, International Business Process – Latin America for Walmart International. This team was responsible for working with local market leadership and enterprise support teams to develop and implement key strategic initiatives that evolved business processes and capabilities across Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Central America. He was appointed to this role in August 2013.
Prior to this role, Jason was the Senior Director, Innovations for Sam’s Club. This team makes new ideas a reality for the organization by driving ideas from inception to full implementation. Jason’s team specifically focused on supporting the Membership, Marketing, Insights, and eCommerce business units for Sam’s Club and led the large and complex Sam’s Club 2.0 initiative. Jason was appointed to this role in November 2010.
Prior to this role, Jason was the Senior Director of Member Program Development for Sam’s Club, which included responsibility for the ideation of new concepts and programs that benefit over 45 million Sam’s Club Members. This role included nurturing, vetting, developing, and driving to market new concepts, benefits, and ideas. Specifically, Jason’s teams pioneered and launched the eValues promotion program, big data support platform “information engine” and Sam’s Club Mobile applications across iOS, Android, and RIM as well as mobile web. Jason was appointed to this role in November of 2008.
Prior to this role, Jason was the Senior Director of Emergency Management for Wal-Mart, Stores, Inc. Jason most recently returned to lead this team again, but in his former leadership built up the organization from it’s near genesis to a globally recognized center of excellence. The group formalized business continuity planning processes, preparedness and public-private partnership initiatives, recovery efforts, and crisis monitoring and response. Included during this era were responses to such events as the southeastern Asia tsunami (2004), hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005), and Sichuan, China Earthquake (2008). Jason was appointed to this role in June of 2004.
Jason started his career with Wal-Mart, Stores Inc. in February, 2002 in the Global Security Division and served in a variety of roles including, Director of Business Continuity, Senior Manager, Business Continuity, and Manager, Global Security. Immediately prior to working for Wal-Mart, Jason worked both as a trooper/special agent for the Arkansas State Police and an Assistant Chief for the Sylvan Hills Fire Department. Further work history includes several years of work in emergency services (i.e. fire service, EMS, and law enforcement) at municipal, county, and state levels.
Jason has served on several governmental and private boards, committees, and work groups on private sector emergency management and business continuity related topics. Currently, Jason is a board member of
Compassion NWA serving community needs in Northwest Arkansas. Jason has a strong passion for mentoring and developing others that includes the operation of the leadership blog The Leader’s Locker.
Jason holds an undergraduate degree in Emergency Administration and Management (BS) from Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, Arkansas and graduate degrees in both Organizational and Business Security Management (MA) and Business Administration (MBA) from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Jason is a native of Oregon, but relocated over two decades ago to Northwest Arkansas where he lives with his beautiful wife and children. Outside of work and family, Jason enjoys playing music, running, and serving his church and community.

Jeh Johnson was Secretary of Homeland Security from December 2013 to January 2017. Johnson is now a partner with the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP. He has been affiliated with Paul, Weiss on and off since 1984, and first became a partner in the firm in 1994. Johnson is also currently on the board of directors of Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation.
As Secretary of Homeland Security, Johnson was the head of the third largest cabinet department of the U.S. government, consisting of 230,000 personnel and 22 components, including TSA, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Services, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, and FEMA. Johnson's responsibilities as Secretary included counterterrorism, cybersecurity, aviation security, border security, port security, maritime security, protection of our national leaders, and response to natural disasters. In three years as Secretary of DHS, Johnson is credited with management reform of the Department which brought about a more centralized approach to decision-making in the areas of budgets, acquisition and overall policy, and for raised employee morale across the Department.
Prior to becoming Secretary of Homeland Security, Johnson was General Counsel of the Department of Defense (2009-2012). In that position, Johnson is credited with being the legal architect for the U.S. military’s counterterrorism efforts in the Obama Administration. In 2010, Johnson also co-authored the report that paved the way for the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by Congress later that year. In his final days as General Counsel of the Defense Department, Johnson delivered the first of his two notable addresses at the Oxford Union in England, entitled "How Will the War Against al Qaeda End?," which received international attention and acclaim.
In October 1998, Johnson was appointed by President Clinton to be General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force, and served in that position until January 2001. Earlier in his career, Johnson was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (1989-1991), where he tried 12 cases and argued 11 appeals in three years. Johnson is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a graduate of Morehouse College (1979) and Columbia Law School (1982), and the recipient of nine honorary degrees.

Brad Kieserman has been the Vice President for Disaster Operations and Logistics at the American Red Cross since June 2015.  In this position, Brad provides support for preparedness activities and oversees all American Red Cross domestic disaster operations, including all U.S. Territories and Commonwealths. Brad and his team are accountable for staffing, logistics, operations, and situational awareness necessary to plan, implement, and manage scalable relief operations to meet the direct needs of disaster clients and assist in their recovery. Prior to coming to Red Cross, Brad earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Catholic University of America, served in the United States Coast Guard in enlisted, commissioned, and civilian positions for 23 years, and was a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service holding legal and operational leadership positions at the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. During nearly 30 years of public service, Brad has participated in numerous crisis operations ranging from Exxon Valdez oil spill, maritime mass migrations from Haiti and Cuba, international drug interdiction, the piracy of the U.S.-flagged vessel Maersk Alabama, and the response to and recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

Juliette Kayyem is a national leader in homeland and national security. She presently serves as CEO of Zemcar, a lifestyle company focused on connecting busy parents with qualified drivers to solve their family’s transportation needs. A frequent on-air national security analyst for CNN, Kayyem also serves as the Faculty Director of the Homeland Security Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government where she is also the Robert and Renee Belfer Lecturer in International Security.
Previously, Kayyem served as President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. She played a pivotal role in major operations including the handling of the H1N1 pandemic and the BP Oil Spill response; she also organized major policy efforts in immigration reform and community resiliency. Before that, Kayyem was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s homeland security advisor, guiding regional planning and the Commonwealth’s first interoperability plan, while overseeing the National Guard.  She is the recipient of many government honors including the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Coast Guard’s highest medal awarded to a civilian.
Kayyem also uses her decades of experience in both public and private sector risk management and preparedness and resiliency planning to provide strategic consulting to Fortune 500 companies and start-ups in technology, risk management, mega-event planning, and cybersecurity. Some of her clients include Airbnb, Rave Mobile Safety, UPS’ Americans for Securing All Packages, and CyPhy drones.
Kayyem’s memoir Security Mom: My Life Protecting the Home and Homeland, tells stories of her professional life in homeland security and her personal life as a mother.  In 2013, she was named the Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial columns in the Boston Globe focused on ending the Pentagon’s combat exclusion rule against women, a policy that was changed that year.
She is a member of the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Global Cyber Alliance, and formerly served on the DHS Secretary’s Homeland Security Advisory Committee.  Kayyem is also a board member of MassINC and the Red Cross of MA.
A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, she is the mother of three children and married to First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David Barron.