Coast Guard partners with local institution to discuss the importance of resilience

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON — The U.S. Coast Guard and the Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security at Northeastern University joined together in holding an inter-agency conference on building local and national resilience on May 1, 2012, in Burlington, Mass.

Kostas Institute founding co-directors Dr. Stephen Flynn and Peter Boynton led a round-table discussion with senior leaders from local, state and federal agencies about the importance of resilience as a national and homeland security imperative. Next Boston Globe columnist and former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Julliette Kayyem shared the lessons she learned from her leadership role in helping to manage the federal response to the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. And, Dr. Joseph DiRenzo, Chief of the Operations Analysis Branch at the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area headquarters in Portsmouth, Virginia, made a presentation on novel patrolling tactics to bolster the security of port and waterways.

The Kostas Research Institute was established in the fall of 2011 with a $12 million grant by George J. Kostas of Houston, Texas, a Northeastern University graduate from the Class of ’43 and a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. The mission of the institute is to foster collaborative, use-inspired research that will help the nation to better withstand, respond to, recover from and adapt to manmade and natural catastrophes. “We live in a world with no risk-free zones,” said Flynn, “and it will be the communities, regions, and countries that demonstrate a capacity for resilience that will end up having a comparative advantage over those that do not.” The conference participants concurred that identifying what it takes to be resilient and acting on that knowledge will be indispensable to achieving growth, safety, and security for the United States.

“Given the Coast Guard’s broad scope of safety and security missions, it is the ideal agency to help inform and apply the kind of resilience efforts underway at the Kostas Research Institute,” said Boynton.” Coast Guard Rear Admiral Dan Neptune, who commands the First Coast Guard District headquartered in Boston agreed. “The Coast Guard is locally-based, nationally deployed, and globally connected, bringing military expertise and response capability to the nation’s ports and waterways. The range of our missions demands innovative initiatives that we can develop and share with others by partnering with the Kostas Institute,” Neptun said.

Attending the day-long conference were senior officials from the U.S. Coast Guard, Boston’s Federal Executive Board, Massachusetts Office of Emergency Management, Transportation Security Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Boston Fire Department, Boston Police Department, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Massachusetts Port Authority and the Massachusetts Executive Office for Public Safety.

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