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Harvard Kennedy School


Prof. Arnold Howitt, Harvard University


Harvard Kennedy School
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy

Arnold M. Howitt is Senior Adviser of the Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at HKS, with responsibility to advise its executive education and research programs. He also co-directs the Program on Crisis Leadership, jointly sponsored by the Ash Center and the Taubman Center for State and Local Government. Dr. Howitt was Executive Director of the Ash Center from 2008-2016, and Executive Director/Associate Director of the Taubman Center from 1984-2008.

As a faculty member, Dr. Howitt works extensively in executive education for senior officials. He chairs or co-chairs Leadership in Crises, Leadership in Homeland Security, and the General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar, and co-founded and has taught in Crisis Leadership for Higher Education and the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. He has also been deeply involved in executive education programs for China, serving as faculty chair of China Crisis Management and co-chair of the China's Leaders in Development, Shanghai Executive Public Management, and Beijing Executive Public Management programs.

Dr. Howitt's research focuses on public management and intergovernmental policy implementation, particularly emergency preparedness and disaster management. He has conducted research or consulted for public agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as lecturing widely on these subjects.

Among other writing, Dr. Howitt is co-author/editor of Public Health Preparedness (2017), Natural Disaster management in the Asia Pacific (2015), Managing Crises: Responding to Large-Scale Emergencies (2009), Countering Terrorism: Dimensions of Preparedness (2003), and Perspectives on Management Capacity Building (1986), and author of Managing Federalism: Studies in Intergovernmental Relations (1984).

Dr. Howitt received his AB from Columbia University and MA and PhD in political science from Harvard University.

Selected Publications

Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles

  • Leonard, Herman B., and Arnold Howitt. "Organising Response to Extreme Emergencies: The Victorian Bushfires of 2009." Australian Journal of Public Administration 69.4 (December 2010): 372-386.
  • Leonard, Herman B., and Arnold Howitt. "Katrina as Prelude: Preparing for and Responding to Katrina-Class Disturbances in the United States--Testimony to U.S. Senate Committee, March 8, 2006." Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management 3.2 (June 2006).
  • Howitt, Arnold, and Jonathan Makler. "On the Ground: Protecting America's Roads and Transit Against Terrorism." Brookings Institution Series on Transportation Reform (April 2005).


  • Howitt, Arnold (as co-author on Committee on Air Quality Management in the United States). Air Quality Management in the United States. National Academies Press, 2004.
  • Howitt, Arnold (as co-author on Committee on Evaluation of the Metropolitan Medical Response System Program). Preparing for Terrorism: Tools for Evaluating the Metropolitan Medical Response System Program. National Academies Press, 2002.

Book Chapters

  • Howitt, Arnold, and Herman B. Leonard. "Advance Recovery and the Development of Resilient Organizations and Societies." Integrative Risk Management: Advanced Disaster Recovery. Ed. Simon Woodward. Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue, 2010, 45-58.
  • Howitt, Arnold and Herman B. Leonard. Prepared for the Worst? Dilemmas of Crisis Management. Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies. Ed. Arnold Howitt and Herman B. Leonard. CQ Press, 2009, 1-12.
  • Howitt, Arnold, and Herman B. Leonard. High Performance in Emergencies: Two Modes of Operation. Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies. Ed. Arnold Howitt and Herman B. Leonard. CQ Press, 2009, 611-624.
  • Leonard, Herman B., and Arnold Howitt. “Against Desperate Peril: High Performance in Emergency Preparation and Response." Communicable Crises: Prevention, Response, and Recovery in the Global Arena. Ed. Deborah E. Gibbons. Information Age Publishing, 2007.
  • Howitt, Arnold, and Jonathan Makler. "Protecting America's Highways and Transit Systems Against Terrorism." Taking the High Road: A Metropolitan Agenda for Transportation Reform. Ed. Bruce Katz and Robert Puentes. Brookings Institution, 2005.
  • Howitt, Arnold, and Robyn L. Pangi. "Intergovernmental Challenges of Preparing for Terrorism." Countering Terrorism: Dimensions of Preparedness. Ed. Arnold Howitt and Robyn L. Pangi. MIT Press, 2003.
  • Howitt, Arnold, and Ralph Gakenheimer. “The Mexico City Metropolitan Area Transportation System: Mobility and Air Pollution.” Air Quality in the Mexico Megacity. Ed. Luisa T. Molina and Mario J. Molina. Kluwer, February 2002.

Edited Volumes

  • Howitt, Arnold, and Herman B. Leonard., eds. Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies. CQ Press, 2009.
  • Howitt, Arnold, and Robyn L. Pangi, eds. Countering Terrorism: Dimensions of Preparedness. MIT Press, 2003.

Research Papers/Reports

  • Howitt, Arnold, Winston Harrington, Alan J. Krupnick, et al. "Exhausting Options: Assessing SIP-Conformity Interactions." Resources for the Future, January 2003.
  • Howitt, Arnold, and Jonathan Makler. "Regulating Transportation in New Nonattainment Areas: Areas Under the 8-Hour Ozone Standard." Transportation Research Record 1842 03-3224, 2003.
  • Howitt, Arnold. “Promoting Regional Collaboration,” in Beyond the Beltway: Focusing on Hometown Security. KSG Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness Report, September 2002.

Magazine and Newspaper Articles

  • Howitt, Arnold, and Herman B. Leonard. "Beyond Katrina: Improving Disaster Response Capabilities" (two-part series)." Crisis/Response Journal. September 2006.
  • Howitt, Arnold, and Herman B. Leonard. "A Command System for All Agencies?" Crisis/Response Journal. March 2005, 40-42.
  • Leonard, Herman B., and Arnold Howitt. "In the Heat of the Moment." Compass: A Journal of Leadership Fall 2004: 19-23.

Outside Professional Activities

Transparent Engagement

Harvard Kennedy School is proud of its energetic involvement in the world. To better understand how to solve public problems by improving policy and leadership, we engage directly with policymakers, public leaders, governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses whose activities affect those problems. However, we recognize that such engagement can raise questions about perceived and potential conflicts of interest, so we disclose publicly the key professional activities of our faculty outside the Kennedy School.

Outside Professional Activities For Arnold Howitt

  • Iwate University, Morioka, Japan. (1) Global Fellow (2017-present). Unpaid. (2) Speaker (2017) Paid.
  • Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. (1) School of Public Policy and Management. Member, Academic Committee, Center for Crisis Management Research (2009-present). Unpaid. (2) institute for Public Safety Research, International Advisory Board. (2013-present). Unpaid. (3) Schwarzman College (2017). Paid.
  • Nanjing University, School of Government, Nanjing, China. International Board of Advisors, Journal of Risk, Disaster, & Crisis Research (2015-present). Unpaid.
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Crisis/Response Journal (2014-present). Unpaid.
  • Member, Finance Committee, Young Audiences of Massachusetts (2013-2017). Unpaid.
  • Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. Visiting International Professor, Inter-School Graduate Program for Sustainable Development and Survivable Societies (2013). Unpaid.
  • Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. School of Social Development and Public Policy.,Adviser, Case Research Center (2012-2015) Unpaid.
  • National Graduate Institute for Public Policy, Tokyo, Japan. Speaker (2013). Paid.
  • Canon Institute for Global Studies, Tokyo, Japan. (2012-2013) Speaker. Paid.
  • Kansai University, Osaka, Japan. Visiting Scholar in the Faculty of Safety Science (2012). Unpaid.
  • Korea National Diplomatic Academy. Discussion-based learning workshop leader (2012). Paid.
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