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Elizabeth Sherman

Elizabeth Sherman

Assistant professor of American Politics at American University; founder and former director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Keep it on the front pages

The central task for a political leader responding to a catastrophe like the one in Haiti is to mobilize resources that will address the situation as quickly and fully as possible. But how?

First, publicly and firmly express serious awareness of the magnitude of the problem, concern for the humanitarian crisis and determination to marshal a well-coordinated, effective and immediate transport of aid to the suffering.

Second, make it happen. Call on the leaders, departments and organizations that might play a role in organizing material and human resources to insure that the right kind of planning, coordination and implementation occurs.

Third, keep the issue on the front pages and demand accountability of those assigned to the tasks, public, private, non-profit so that the public continues to support the response and that those who must do so in a direct way have the tools and encouragement they need to get the job done, and done right.

Read all responses to the On Leadership question: What is the best role for a top political leader in a response to natural disaster such as Haiti's? Daily progress meetings at the White House? Symbolic on-the-scene consultations and relief work? Announcing big budget Marshall Plans?

By Elizabeth Sherman

 |  January 16, 2010; 5:22 AM ET
Category:  Crisis leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please report offensive comments below.

Leadership doesn't belong in Operations!

get out of the way!

"Go Big" can't go fast, RDF

Posted by: EarthCraft | January 16, 2010 11:44 AM
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