Crisis Management & Business Continuity

Preparing for a crisis is not a luxury; it is a necessity. You know the odds are high that your company will suffer a disaster or crisis at some point. You cannot say you weren't ready; today's extreme public and government scrutiny demand that you should have been prepared. MIT's Crisis Management and Business Continuity course will help prepare you for the inevitable.

This comprehensive course provides up-to-date assessments and knowledge on issues that affect you and your organization — cyber security, supply chain, terrorism, pandemic, DR trends, emergency response, leadership, data breach, communications, news media, social media — from the experts involved with these efforts. We also examine strategies for job and career improvement. You will have the opportunity to interact with our lecturers and with your peers from industry, academia, and government.

By the end of the course, you will have the tools, knowledge, and understanding to benchmark, assess, and improve your business continuity, disaster recovery, and crisis management program. This includes the course manual (print and/or e-files), templates, and current articles. You will gain valuable contacts, have plenty of networking opportunities, and acquire insights for immediate implementation.

Lead Instructor(s): 

Steve Goldman
Richard Larson


Jul 27, 2020 - Jul 31, 2020

Course Length: 

5 Days

Course Fee: 





  • Open

It is highly recommended that you apply for a course at least 6-8 weeks before the start date to guarantee there will be space available. After that date you may be placed on a waitlist. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled up to 4 weeks before start date if sufficient enrollments are not met. If you are able to access the online application form, then registration for that particular course is still open.

Registration for this program will close July 1, 2020.

Participant Takeaways: 

  • Presentations by and discussions with industry and government leaders/subject matter experts
  • Current status of issues that affect you and your organization
  • Interactions with peers from academia, industry, and government
  • Lessons learned from multiple case studies
  • Benchmark your BCP/DRP/CM program
  • Course manual – printed and/or e-files
  • Various templates for your immediate use
  • Current articles by industry authors
  • The book The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected by MIT Professor and course lecturer Dr. Yossi Sheffi
  • The book You're It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When it Matters Most, co-authored by Harvard affiliate and Crisis Course Lecturer Eric McNulty
  • Complimentary after-class networking activities
  • MIT Professional Education Certificate of Completion
  • MIT Crisis Management Course Coffee Mug!

Who Should Attend: 

This course is for the Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Emergency Management, and Crisis Management practitioner or responder as well as for the executive who oversees these disciplines. Other staff who would benefit from this course include corporate executives, directors, and staff from IT/MIS, Environment Health & Safety, Risk Management, Public Relations, Human Resources, and Security. This course is also suited for federal, state, and local government officials and Emergency Managers.

Both novices and experienced personnel will benefit greatly from this course. If you cannot go, tell your director/executive so he/she can attend to better understand your complex profession.

Program Outline: 

This course offers an effective combination of lecture, case studies, and class participation activities conducted by knowledgeable and experienced instructors who are leaders in their fields. Many case studies of actual crisis situations are used to emphasize and enhance the concepts. Several interactive class activities provide additional hands-on experience. Participants will also practice what is learned: the course concludes with a crisis simulation in which participants take active roles in a simulated disaster, including a realistic news media briefing.

NOTE: Topics, speakers, and schedule are subject to change.

Day One

Welcome and Introduction; the Basics

  • Course Information and Outline; the MIT Experience
    • Steve Goldman, Dick Larson, Lou DiBerardinis, Suzanne Blake
  • The Basics of Crisis Management and Business Continuity
    • Dr. Steve Goldman
  • BC Laws, Standards, and Metrics
    • Don Byrne, President, Metrix411

Lunch break

The Practice of BCP

  • Case Study: From aircraft incidents to operations disruptions
    • Penny Neferis, Director Emergency Response & Care, JetBlue
  • Pandemic Update: Issues, response, and case studies
    • Professor Richard Larson, MIT
  • Your Boston Survival Guide: How to speak, eat, and drive like a Bostonian
    • Dr. Steve Goldman

After-class complimentary reception/networking activity for participants, traveling companions, and faculty

Day Two

Current Issues

  • Supply Chain Management: Before, during, and after a crisis
    • Dr. Yossi Sheffi, Director, MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics
  • Emergency Preparedness & the Dimensions of Meta-Leadership
    • Eric McNulty, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard University

Lunch break

  • Cyber Security and Data Breach Update
    • Dr. Nader Mehravari, and Dr. David White, Axio, Inc.
  • IT and Disaster Recovery: Trends and Technology
    • Stephanie Balaouras, Analyst - Infrastructure & Operations, Forrester Research

After-class complimentary group/ networking activity: Boston Duck Boat Tour and New England Lobster (or other) dinner for participants, traveling companions, and faculty (space-available basis)

Day Three

Today's class will be held at the U.S. Government's FEMA/DHS Regional Response Coordination Center

Government Agency Response

  • Local and Hazmat Emergency Planning and Response
    • Bill VanSchalkwyk, Director, Harvard EH&S and Lieutenant, City of Groton Fire Department
  • State Emergency Planning and Response
    • Allen Phillips, Operations Manager, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

Lunch break and tour of the FEMA/DHS RRCC

  • Federal Emergency Planning and Response
    • John McGough, Preparedness Division, FEMA Region I, Department of Homeland Security
  • Working with the FBI on Terrorism and Data Breaches
    Brian LeBlanc and Tom Doyle, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Using Business Continuity to meet the Sendai Framework
    • Ahmed Riad; Board member, UNISDR ARISE

After-class complimentary reception by MIT Professional Education

Day Four

The Media, the Internet, and Your Crisis

The news media: what we are going to do to you. Individual presentations by newspaper, radio, and TV news reporters/editors; each will also address the implications of social media

  • Newspapers/Radio/Websites
    • Joe Sciacca, Editor-in-Chief, The Boston Herald
  • Television/Visual Media
    • Howard B. Price, TV News Editor and Producer
  • Social media issues and crisis response
    • Dr. Rick Reed, Social Media Program Manager, Intel Corporation
  • News Media Panel Session
    • All media representatives

Lunch Break

Case Studies

  • Case study: BCP/DRP/CM for a large multi-national corporation
    • To be determined
  • Managing Global Crises: Hilton’s challenges, successes, and lessons learned
    • Dawn Turton, Director, Business Continuity Management, Hilton
  • Open class discussion: any and all topics and issues

Day Five

Insights for Your Program and Your Career

  • BCM Trends: Impact on your program and your career
    • Cheyene Marling, EVP, People Solutions & Program Analytics, Firestorm Solutions LLC
  • Leadership insights for the BCP Manager
    • Steve Goldman

Crisis Simulation

  • Course instructors present a realistic simulation of an unfolding, multi-incident crisis including workplace violence and a data breach. Participants take active roles as federal, local, corporate, news media, or other responders to manage and recover from the events
    • Steve Goldman, Howard Price, Dick Larson, Lou DiBerardinis, Suzanne Blake

Course Wrap-up; Certificates of Completion Awarded

  • Steve Goldman, Dick Larson, Lou DiBerardinis

Afternoon Tour of MIT (complimentary for participants and traveling companions)

Course Schedule: 

Class runs 9:00 am - 5:00 pm on Monday; 7:50 am - 5:30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; and 8:00 am - 2:00 pm on Friday.

Optional complimentary after-class networking activities for participants and their traveling companions include a reception Monday evening, a Boston Duck Tour & New England dinner Tuesday evening (on a space-available basis), and a "Restaurant sign-up & Go" Wednesday evening. We also offer an optional complimentary tour of MIT on the Sunday afternoon prior to the course, and on the Friday afternoon after the conclusion of the course.

Participants’ Comments: 


"The course lecturers were all subject matter experts in what they do, or had acquired great first hand practical experience in BC/DR and or crisis management. This allowed them to provide useful and valuable examples that can be quickly applied on the job. The breadth and depth of the material covered was great and unexpected. Other courses I have attended were too narrowly focused on methodology of developing and creating plans, and not enough 'big picture view of BC.' This course blended all the different aspects of BC."


"Great combination of effective communicators and subject matter expertise. No 'duds' and that is saying a lot. The course validated my company's internal processes while still providing some cutting edge information for me."


"In addition to copies of the presentations, other pertinent materials were provided that can be taken back into the work environment and used immediately. I had an opportunity to interact with peers in a setting that promoted an open and candid discussion about the issues and application of principles."


"Just a marvelous group...could have spent forever listening...sharing thoughts...and asking questions!"


"The practice exercise was phenomenal!"


"It is a great course. An eye opener to business continuity management, especially at this period when the business world is filled with so much uncertainty. An opportunity to learn and share experience with leaders and professionals from over the world. The course really prepared me for task of putting in place an effective and realistic plan to address uncertainties or emergencies that may arise during business."


"I met all of the personal objectives I had for taking the course. In addition, I was able to take away many great ideas for improving my organization's plans and training programs regarding their plans."


"The course content was relevant and consisted of real-life scenarios. The caliber of presenters was phenomenal! I really enjoyed being in a great learning environment. It was great to be able to connect with BCP/Crisis Management professionals from around the world."


"The quality and expertise of the lecturers was the greatest asset of the course. These were people that had experienced very high-profile events and were able to share 'real world' experiences - not 'text book theories'."



This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.