Institute for Crisis, Emergency, and Risk Management

About CERM


Crisis, Emergency and Risk Management (CERM) as a research and academic focus began in 1994 with the establishment of the GW Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management (ICDRM).


The CERM graduate education program began in 1998. It encompasses the research and professional practice areas that are commonly described as Emergency Management, Crisis or Business Crisis Management, Business Continuity, Continuity of Operations, Safety and Security, Disaster Response and similar disciplines. 

The GW CERM program is one of the oldest in existence, established by experienced professionals with strong academic backgrounds in emergency management and crisis management, systems development, systems operation, and assessment/improvement. It is the only engineering-based emergency management program in the US. While no prior engineering education is required, students graduate with a Master of Science (MS) recognized as an engineering degree, reflecting the disciplined approach to management detail required by technical organizations.   This is, in fact, the focus of “Engineering Management” as a professional discipline. 

Graduates are prepared for challenging careers in managing technical organizations, with specific expertise for managing risk for both an organization itself and the organization’s mission related to crises and emergencies. This expertise covers risk analysis, risk-informed decision making, managing a program that reduces risk during normal times (mitigation) and is fully ready to rapidly respond, control and recover if hazards or threats occur. Knowledge and skills are conveyed for managing in the emergency context of a dynamic, high-stakes uncertain situation, along with the expertise needed for addressing both a wide range of hazard types and the varied operation within governmental, private sector for-profit and not-for-profits organizations and emergency response teams. 

The remarkable range of our alumni’s careers demonstrate that the management knowledge and skills acquired in this program are applicable across this wide range of opportunities.

Research reports associated with ICDRM's mission are currently being posted; stay tuned for more.

To learn more, please contact the program coordinator, Prof. Joseph Barbera, at [email protected].