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THE UK’s leading professional body for people working in resilience, emergency planning and disaster management is to hold its first ever virtual two-day conference.

The Emergency Planning Society will hold the event later this month, using technology to deliver a world-class educational programme which will, for the first time, also be open to non-members free of charge.

With a theme of ‘New Perspectives to our Wicked Problems? Leadership. Trust. Unity. Competence’, the conference will be held over September 23rd and 24th.

The Society’s Chair, Jacqui Semple, said: “Each year we hold a conference over two-days which brings together the leading experts in the field of resilience to speak to our members about the key issues affecting the profession.

“It is one of the key benefits our members enjoy. This year, in a time of unprecedented challenge for those working in resilience, we wanted to open up the chance to attend to all those working in, or studying, resilience in a spirit of learning, sharing and enhancing knowledge and practice.

“This year, as a result of COVID-19 and the restrictions it has brought, we’re unable to hold a conference which people can attend in person, but we’re thrilled to be able to bring our programme to people virtually and work in partnership with the University of Manchester.

“Over the course of two days, people can attend individual sessions of interest and to fit in with their own schedules and we look forward to welcoming. I know that everyone who attends will find of interest and of professional benefit. We look forward to welcoming our colleagues across resilience, emergency planning and disaster management to the event.”

There is a packed programme of excellent speakers who will present over the two days and they will include:

  • Professor Donald Kettl, Sid Richardson Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Professor Andrew Silke, Professor of Terrorism Risk and Resilience, Cranfield Forensic Institute
  • Rob Nixon, Deputy Chief Constable Leicestershire Police
  • Dr Chris Cocking, Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton
  • Professor Duncan Shaw Professor in Operational Research and Critical Systems, University of Manchester
  • Dr Jennifer Bealt Research Associate at the Alliance Manchester Business School
  • Norman McKinley,  Executive Director of UK Operations British Red Cross
  • Jehangir Malik, Programme Director for the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergency Partnership within British Red Cross
  • Ian Cameron, MA Civil Protection, MEPS, IAEM, NATO Civil Expert Media & Risk Communication,
  • Bob Wade, International crisis communications consultant and trainer
  • Nathan Hazelhurst –  Senior Emergency Management Officer, Emergency Management and Resilience Team, Surrey County Council
  • Helen Turner, Force Resilience Manager British Transport Police

Members of the Society will receive an invitation and joining details via email. Non-members who wish to attend should email admin@the-eps.org to receive joining details.

The full programme for the Conference is below:


A new perspective to our wicked problems?

Leadership. Trust. Unity. Competence.

Emergency Planning Society Annual Conference

In partnership with the University of Manchester


Programme 23rd September

11:00 – 12:00 TBC

Professor Andrew Silke

Professor of Terrorism Risk and Resilience, Cranfield Forensic Institute


14:00 – 15:30  Building Trust For Leadership In Emergency Management


Professor Donald Kettl 

Sid Richardson Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, at the University of Texas at Austin

24th September


11.00 – 11:45   An SCG Chair’s experience of COVID-19, including the first lockdown’  


Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon

Leicestershire Police


12:00 – 13:00   Voluntary and Community Sector Emergency Partnership – Response to Covid 19 Learnings from 2017 being implemented during Covid19.
Norman McKinley

Executive Director of UK Operations British Red Cross


Jehangir Malik

Programme Director for the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergency Partnership with British Red Cross.

13:00 – 14:00  International lessons for recovery and renewal from COVID-19


Professor Duncan Shaw Professor in Operational Research and Critical Systems, University of Manchester


Dr Jennifer Bealt Research Associate at the Alliance Manchester Business School

14:00 – 15:00  Crisis Communications & Countering Covid Cobblers


Ian Cameron MA Civil Protection, MEPS, IAEM, NATO

Civil Expert Media & Risk Communication


Bob Wade 

International Crisis Communications Consultant and Trainer


15:00 – 16:00

Dr Chris Cocking Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton, with an interest in crowd behavior during emergencies and post disaster psycho-social support.


Speaker Biographies

Norman McKinley is Executive Director of UK Operations at the British Red Cross, responsible for the delivery of all its domestic programmes in the UK. This includes oversight of its emergency response and recovery work. The UK Operations directorate has more than 1,900 staff and 9,500 volunteers.Norman works with a team of national directors to ensure all programmes are targeted to those greatest in need during a crisis. As a senior team they are committed to ensuring that everything the organisation does is underpinned by a person-centred approach to design and delivery. Its values and fundamental principles also guide how it operates internally – and with others – to identify and respond to crisis need among some of the most vulnerable.

Donald F. Kettl is the Sid Richardson Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Volcker Alliance and the Brookings Institution.

He is the author or editor of numerous books, including The Divided States of America: Why Federalism Doesn’t Work (2020); The Politics of the Administrative Process (8th edition, 2020); Can Governments Earn Our Trust? (2017); Little Bites of Big Data for Public Policy (2017); Escaping Jurassic Government: Restoring America’s Lost Commitment to Competence (2016); System under Stress: The Challenge to 21st Century American Democracy Homeland Security and American Politics (2014); The Next Government of the United States: Why Our Institutions Fail Us and How to Fix Them (2008); and The Global Public Management Revolution (2005).

He has received three lifetime achievement awards: the American Political Science Association’s John Gaus Award, for a lifetime of exemplary scholarship in political science and public administration; the Warner W. Stockberger Achievement Award of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, for outstanding contributions in the field of public sector personnel management; and the Donald C. Stone Award of the American Society for Public Administration, for significant contributions to field of intergovernmental relations.

Professor Kettl holds a PhD in political science from Yale University. Prior to his appointment at the University of Texas at Austin, he taught at the University of Maryland, where he served as Dean of the School of Public Policy. He has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a fellow of Phi Beta Kappa and the National Academy of Public Administration.

Professor Andrew Silke is head of Cranfield University’s Counterterrorism, Intelligence, Risk & Resilience (CIRR) group and is widely recognised as a leading expert on terrorism and low intensity conflict. He has published extensively on these areas and his most recent book, the Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism, was published in 2019. He has been a member of the European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence (RAN CoE) which works with practitioners to develop state-of-the-art knowledge to prevent and counter radicalisation. He is a member of the UK Government’s Cabinet Office National Risk Assessment Behavioural Science Expert Group and serves by invitation on the United Nations Roster of Terrorism Experts.

Dr Jennifer Bealt is a Research Associate at the Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) with research interests in building resilience to disasters. She is currently working on The Manchester Briefing on COVID-19 which gathers and disseminates international lessons for local and national government on recovery and renewal from the virus. She is also involved with the Techno-Economic framework for Resilient and Sustainable Electrification (TERSE) project which aims to build resilient and sustainable energy networks for developing countries. Previously at AMBS she has worked on the UScore2 Project which designed a practical city-city disaster risk reduction peer review tool for cities across EU member states and beyond via the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient campaign (MCR). Jennifer received her Integrated Masters in History from the University of Manchester (2011) and then spent a year at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine undertaking an MSc in Humanitarian Studies (2012). Jennifer received her PhD in Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Brunel University, London (2017).

Duncan Shaw is Professor in Operational Research and Critical Systems (Alliance Manchester Business School) at the University of Manchester. He works in the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute focusing on social and decision making aspects of disaster planning and response including community resilience. On COVID-19 he produces the weekly Manchester Briefing (international lessons on response and recovery, available at www.ambs.ac.uk/covidrecovery). Duncan sits on numerous research, policy, planning and evaluation committees for the European Union, United Nations, international NGOs, UK government, NGOs. He chairs a committee on Community Resilience for the International Standards Organization and wrote the standards on spontaneous volunteers (ISO22319), conducting peer reviews (ISO22392), mass evacuation (ISO22315), and vulnerable people (ISO22395).

Ian Cameron is an International Media & Communications Consultant, Trainer and Video Producer, combining 35 years broadcast experience as a Reporter, Producer and News Editor in BBC TV, Radio and Online with the academic rigour needed for a master’s degree in Civil Protection: He specialises in Warning & Informing and Crisis Communications in both traditional and social media, covering effective communication techniques, countering fake news, video literacy and preparing for the AI onslaught on crisis communications. He’s a NATO Civil Expert in Risk Communication and Media and he wrote the Social Media Guidelines for NATO’s Civil Protection Group (CPG). He’s part of the Core Planning Team for NATO’s annual 30 nation exercises involving around 2,000 people for the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Recovery Coordination Centre (EADRCC.

Bob Wade is a seasoned international crisis communications consultant and trainer, with over 30 years of experience. Formerly, he was the resilience communications expert at the Central Office of Information, working at the direction of the Cabinet Office’s Head of Security, Intelligence and Resilience Communications. He achieved high levels of expertise in working with the media in pressurised environments on behalf of central government – including to Prime Ministerial/Secretary of State level – and communicating risk to the wider public, at both strategic and delivery level. During his time with the civil service, he received four awards, two for his work for the UK’s Counter Terrorism Communications strategy, and two for achievements in communicating with the public during the Swine Flu outbreak of 2009-10. He initiated the Regional Media Emergency Forums, and was a member of the Cabinet Office’s National Steering Committee for Warning and Informing the Public  (1997 – 2016).

Following the closure of the COI, Bob set up a company providing crisis communications consultancy and training, for many public sector and Critical National Infrastructure organisations. This included Sellafield Ltd (2014 – 2015) as part of the communications work stream for the Emergency Management Improvement Programme, and Chernobyl (2016) for the ‘EDEN’ European Union project, which included exercises in the Hot Zones of Chernobyl and Pripyat, as well as exercises in Spain, Poland and Belgium, to test recent innovations in CBRNe detection and decontamination. He was trained in CBRN PPE discipline at the Szkoła Główna Służby Pożarniczej (the Main School of Fire Service) in Warsaw. Earlier, he provided the media role play team for Exercise Watermark (2011), the largest civilian exercise held in the UK for 60 years to test flood defences. He works regularly for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2012 – present) on communications response training for British Consulate and Embassy personnel.  During the current lock-down, via the Zoom and Zoho platforms, he has provided crisis communications training for civil servants in Africa for Public Administration International, and for advocates for people with disabilities on behalf of the Media Trust charity.

Jehangir Malik is the Programme Director for the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergency Partnership with British Red Cross.

Previously, Jehangir has been the CEO of various faith-based organisations including Muslim Aid and Director for Islamic Relief UK focusing on faith-based humanitarian action and development, working in UK and in over Thirty countries worldwide. In 2017, Muslim Aid Team were one of the first responders to Grenfell tragedy and have remained actively engaged on numerous voluntary sector initiatives aimed at improving mechanisms within UK disaster response frameworks including the creation of VCSEP and National Emergency Trust.

In 2010, Jehangir was awarded an OBE in recognition of his 20 years of contribution to the humanitarian cause. Jehangir is on the board of trustees at ACEVO (Assoc of Chef Execs for Voluntary Orgs), founder of Muslim Charities Forum and the recently formed National Emergency Trust. Also served a Commissioner on Birmingham Children’s Commission on tackling poverty in Birmingham and a recent judge on the 2019 Civil Society Media Charity Awards.

Dr Chris Cocking has worked extensively in the crowd management sector, consulting at large events in the South East of England. He also advises on emergency planning, and has been a visiting speaker at the Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College.

Other consultations he has provided have been for the London Resilience Team, and the Greater London Assembly. He has been published in over 50 journals and user reports, including a case study by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Scientific and Technical Advisory Group, an impact study by the British Psychological Society.

He is regularly asked to speak about his research to the media, and recently contributed to media debates about public behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also registered on the UK government’s COVID-19 Expert Database and has submitted evidence to UK Parliamentary Select Committee investigations into the pandemic.

Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon has served with Leicestershire Police for 27 years, beginning his policing career there in 1993.

In 2000 he was appointed as Detective Inspector in charge of the City CID and was responsible for introducing the force approach to Offender Management.

In 2008 he was appointed as the Head of the force’s Community Safety Bureau, which was responsible for the development of Strategic partnerships, implementation of neighbourhood policing,  anti-social behaviour, offender management and preventing counter terrorism

His next role, from 2009 to 2014, was as Chief Superintendent for the Leicester City Basic Command Unit. He led local policing for the area and worked with communities during two large scale English Defence League and Unite Against Fascism demonstrations. He was instrumental in the force’s response to disorder during August 2012.

Throughout 2014 and 2015 he was head of business change and developed Blueprint2020 – a programme designed to decide how to make significant savings and take the force into a new era of policing.

In 2015 he became Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, working across Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire on collaborative projects such as the regional East midlands Operational Support Service and East Midlands Criminal Justice Service.

He stayed in this role until April 2017, when he was appointed as the force’s Assistant Chief Constable. He has responsibility for local policing, crime and intelligence and public protection.

In February 2018 he was promoted to Deputy Chief constable and currently leads on professional standards, Business transformation, corporate planning , force performance and continuing as a specialist strategic firearms commander.

Outside of policing, Rob lives in Leicestershire with his family. He is a keen pilot, skier and has developed his construction skills while renovating a derelict property.

Follow the Deputy Chief Constable on Twitter @DCCLeicsPolice