The University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) is celebrating its 20th anniversary. CHHS Founder and Director Michael Greenberger, JD, released the following statement commemorating the occasion:
May 15, 2022: The University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) Celebrates its 20th Anniversary
A Message from CHHS Founder and Director, Michael Greenberger
When we opened our doors on May 15, 2002, we had a single employee (me) and the endorsement and startup funds from the then-President of the University of Maryland Baltimore, Dr. David Ramsay. Today, we have a professional staff of over 30 and we are working on countless public health, emergency management, cybersecurity, and disaster preparedness projects worldwide. In addition to our client projects, CHHS staff is teaching courses, in conjunction with Maryland Carey Law School, in four graduate school programs on crisis management and cybersecurity.
The initial motivation to establish the Center came from the September 11, 2001 terror attacks and our early focus was almost exclusively counterterrorism. However, as time went on, and especially after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, our mission expanded to dealing with “all-hazards” emergency responses. That is, while we still deal with terrorism-related preparedness and response, our work now also includes assisting state and local agencies, federal departments, foreign countries, public and private hospitals and universities on emergency planning and response. These efforts include the ability to prepare for and respond to catastrophic adverse weather events (e.g., Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey and Irma and Superstorm Sandy); deadly infectious disease outbreaks (e.g., Zika and Ebola); and cybersecurity threats.
Of course, nothing has compared to our present work in responding to COVID-19, which has been of primary concern these last two plus years. Beginning in February 2020, our clients began to ask us to supplement our existing emergency management work to address the pandemic. In so doing, our staff has worked tirelessly with client leadership to write and implement plans and operating procedures to provide emergency public health services nationwide. We helped collect and distribute personal protective equipment and COVID-19 tests. We helped organize and run COVID-19 vaccine clinics. We developed and helped implement plans and distribution centers to fight unprecedented food insecurity challenges among our clients’ constituents. We assisted school systems in navigating the change from in-person to remote learning. We provided policy and legal guidance to organizations as they had to make decisions in real-time regarding evolving CDC best practices. This tremendous and ongoing effort has been one of the Center’s greatest challenges and finest accomplishments.
In addition to our client work, CHHS has grown our academic footprint over the last 20 years. In partnership with the Maryland Carey Law School, we are teaching 25 courses in four graduate degree programs. For JD students and law graduates at Maryland Carey Law, we offer a Cybersecurity/Homeland Security Certificate and courses in a Masters of Law (LLM) degree program. Since 2016, we have had nearly 70 students complete the JD certificate and another 35 currently pursuing it. CHHS also spearheads the online Cyber and Crisis Management tracks of the Masters of Science in Law (MSL) degree program. Since the program’s inception in 2015, more than 130 students have earned their MSL in Cyber and Crisis Management.
Additionally, CHHS has had the honor of expanding our expertise to programs offered at the University of Maryland College Park. Through a Law School partnership, CHHS developed and teaches two courses in the Master in Professional Studies (MPS) in Public Safety Leadership & Administration offered through the University of Maryland’s Office of Extended Studies. CHHS also teaches courses to undergraduate students in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences as part of the MLAW program, designed to increase collaboration between the two campuses. We are immensely proud of these academic programs and the opportunities they provide for the next generation of professionals in this field.
In light of current COVID-19 case numbers, we are postponing official celebrations, but we hope to mark this important milestone for CHHS in the Fall of 2022 with an in-person event. In the meantime, please take a look at some of our Center’s background and program highlights in the attached slides.
Michael Greenberger, JD
Founder and Director
For more information on the Center, and its current work, please see the accompanying slide deck.