In a year that highlighted the essential role of emergency management professionals, 15 students from Georgetown’s Masters in Emergency and Disaster Management (MEI) program were recognized at a closing ceremony Virtual.
The MEI degree, which is offered by the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and supported by partner QF Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), is designed to shape the next generation leaders in the private sector, government and nonprofit organizations by teaching them the principles of preparedness and how to mitigate potential threats and manage international response and recovery efforts.
The opening speech of the virtual ceremony was given by Dr. Kelly Otter (photo), Dean of SCS, who welcomed the students to a global community of MEI alumni working to keep their communities safe.
“The Emergency and Disaster Management program is the only one within our professional graduate programs: to prepare leaders to plan, manage and respond to today’s increasingly complex disasters,” said said Dean Otter. “Your resilience and problem-solving skills will stand you in good stead in the field of emergency and disaster management, and especially in these truly unprecedented times. “
In his congratulatory remarks, GU-Q Dean Dr Ahmad Dallal stressed the importance of emergency and disaster management skills for national security and for ensuring rapid global recovery from catastrophic events. “With your degree in this field from Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, supported by a dedicated team of expert instructors, you are well positioned to provide the expertise necessary to help the world navigate their way to recovery and to prepare for an uncertain future. “
In a virtual walk through an online gallery ahead of the graduation ceremony, students showcased their flagship projects focusing on critical issues affecting communities in Qatar and around the world. Topics included the use of safety and security technologies to mitigate disasters at major sporting events such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, best practices in the humanitarian and relief sector, and improvement of Qatar’s adaptation strategies related to climate change.
Program participant Ali Mohammed Al-Hammadi presented a synthesis project focusing on public attitudes towards contact tracing applications in Qatar. “A perfect example that illustrates the importance of having disaster management skills right now is COVID,” he said.
“The world is already facing multiple hazards and disasters, even before COVID, and we need to be ready for the next one. “
Al Hammadi said his decision to pursue an MEI degree through Georgetown was prompted by his role as captain in Qatar’s interior ministry and wide area network officer in the ministry’s telecommunications department. “Due to the nature of my job, disaster planning and management are essential to the continuity of our business. I truly believe that fully acquiring these skills is essential to ensure that we have a working environment that is fully prepared for any unforeseen incident.
The virtual closing ceremony was posted on the MEI’s Facebook page and will continue to be available for viewing online.
Welcoming its fifth cohort in September 2021, the MEI program offers a blend of virtual learning and five on-site international residencies in five different countries that provide critical hands-on experience and engagement opportunities with leading experts in the field. .