John Johrden is complementing his vast emergency management experience with an M.S. in Emergency Management.
by Rachel Voorhees“[The program] enhances the business side of my education and increases my ability to be a better emergency manager in my full-time job.”—John Johrden
Drawing in a crowd of more than 50,000 participants and spectators, the New York City Marathon is one of the biggest events of the year. In the weeks leading up to the race, law enforcement officials and emergency managers worked around the clock to secure the safety plans for the big day. The mastermind behind the 2013 event’s Continuity of Operations and Emergency Management Plan was independent consultant and University College student John Johrden.
In light of the Boston Marathon bombing in spring 2013, it was important for the New York Road Runners (NYRR) to take extra safety precautions. Mr. Johrden was brought in to design the contingency plans for the event and to build out and manage the marathon’s Communications Center.
“It was a successful event,” Mr. Johrden said. “A quiet day in any EOC [emergency operations center] validates the preparedness, development and implementation of Contingency Plans””
While Mr. Johrden has an extensive background in emergency management, he wanted the formal recognition of a degree to move forward in his career. The Deer Park, New York, resident looked no further than Adelphi’s University College, which appealed to him because of its traditional classes and exclusive program in emergency management.
“[The program] enhances the business side of my education and increases my ability to be a better emergency manager in my full-time job,” Mr. Johrden said.
After receiving his graduate certificate in emergency management, Mr. Johrden moved on to the master’s degree program, which he plans to finish by the end of 2015. The flexibility of the program allows him to take two classes a week while working a full-time job.
“John has a way, without being domineering, to enhance class discussion,” said Kenneth C. Rondello, M.D., assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Public Health and in University College. “He will forever serve as an ambassador for our program.”
Throughout his career, Mr. Johrden has been at the frontline of many emergency management operations. During his 20 years with the New York City Police Department (retired sergeant), Mr. Johrden taught in the Chemical, Ordinance, Biological, and Radiological Awareness Training Unit and Counter Terrorism Division in preparation for the 2004 Republican National Convention. Additionally, after retiring from the police force, he joined a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mobile training team for three years, where he instructed 1,400 agencies nationwide in emergency management.
Prior to working independently, Mr. Johrden worked as a corporate emergency manager for Forest Laboratories, Inc., a pharmaceutical company in Commack, New York. As the senior manager of crisis and emergency management, he built the company’s crisis and emergency management programs, which helped it stay afloat in the event of crisis or disaster. During Superstorm Sandy, he managed an emergency operations center for the company for 29 days from his home, which wasn’t affected.
“[Emergency management] is a needed business position that’s growing every day,” Mr. Johrden said. “It’s about protecting the resiliency of a company.”
Currently, Mr. Johrden is an adjunct professor in the homeland security program at Long Island Business Institute. In January 2014, he will teach Business Continuity part time at Adelphi’s University College.
“We are very lucky to have him in the program,” said Meghan McPherson, coordinator of the Center for Health Innovation and program coordinator of the graduate program in emergency management. “All of my students really care about giving back and John is a prime example of that.”
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