Posted on September 21, 2017

Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies inaugurated its new, region-focused, Executive Master's Degree Emergency & Disaster Management programme on Wednesday.

The ceremony was attended by Qatar's Minister of Energy and Industry HE Dr Mohammed bin Saleh al Sada, diplomats and industry leaders. The launch of the new programme was held during a symposium under the theme 'Leadership and Resilience in Emergency Management' held at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) and attended by GU-Q's new Dean Dr Ahmad S Dallal and the Dean of the School of Continuing Studies Kelly Otter.

The Executive Master of Professional Studies in Emergency & Disaster Management (EDM) will focus on the GCC and is designed to shape the next generation of leaders in government, private sector and other organisations to effectively plan and manage response efforts in time of emergencies, be it natural disasters or man-made. In his keynote speech, Sada praised the initiative for supporting the greater objective of Qatar's National Vision 2030 in order to achieve sustainable and secure development of the country. He underscored the importance of continuous development of new methodologies to combat and mitigate all emergencies that expose humanity to all kinds of risks. The minister also called for preparedness at all levels and in every walk of life and the commitment to have emergency management as a core value and culture.

"It is important to build resilience and security of any nation or region. Such emergency and disaster management preparedness programmes should encourage critical thinking and strategic leadership skills. It can be imparted to students, participants, business and government executives. The subject is very vast and of paramount importance," he said. He also related the relevance of Georgetown University's new offering with the current challenges faced by Qatar owing to the blockade imposed by its neighbours. The official stressed on Qatar's preparedness to counter any form of emergencies including in the energy sector.

"Qatar's response to the blockade has been well-recognised. Qatar mitigated the crisis by activating its emergency programmes and business continuity plans. Despite the blockade we have not defaulted on our delivery and commitment of oil and gas, not missing even a single shipment to our customers," he said.  "Energy is an indispensable input for the growth of any nation. Qatar's energy resources, particularly our natural gas and oil on the one hand and electricity and water on the other, are the prime drivers of our nation's economy and social wealth. It is essential that we ensure utilisation of our prime resources, their protection and delivery to the customers in Qatar and beyond our borders in a safe, secure and reliable manner. Qatar takes emergency and disaster management very seriously," Sada added.

Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies Dean Kelly Otter said they have enlisted the engagement to the new programme of scholars and practitioners from sectors such as transportation, logistics, energy security, business and commerce and health and medicine. Students of the new programme will also have the opportunity to collaborate with industry's leading corporations who are operating in the region and make valuable connections to further their professional worth, she added. "We aspire to be a truly global university and the school of continuing studies supports this goal by serving emerging needs of this part of the world. As we wrestle with the collective challenges of the disasters of natural and those that are manmade we need to engage voices from other parts of the world," Otter said.

The symposium, which formed part of the first five residency sessions for the students, also featured Country Emergency and Security Manager at Qatar Shell John Galt, Vice President and Joint Interest Manager at ExxonMobil Qatar Dominic Genetti and Khalid al Hashmi, assistant undersecretary for cybersecurity at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

source: Qatar Triune