Crisis Response Initiative

Equipping state and local leaders with tactics and resources to respond in a crisis.

The Center For Digital Government brings together virtual conversations with government officials and leading crisis response experts on varying topics.

Cybersecurity at the Edge

Rethinking security strategy to support the new work-from-home normal.
May 20 @ 10 a.m. Pacific / 1 p.m. Eastern

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As state and local government agencies respond to a global pandemic, public sector workforces and workplaces have shifted to a new remote normal – working from home. This new way of work requires agencies to rethink their cybersecurity approach to counter threats that are targeting remote workers. This 30-minute virtual conversation will bring together government officials and leading cybersecurity experts to discuss how to strengthen cybersecurity at the edge. Specifically, we’ll address:

  • Emerging cybersecurity threats around working from home
  • How agencies should secure the new edge of their workforce
  • What the future holds for cybersecurity post-pandemic


  • Maria Thompson, State Chief Risk Officer, North Carolina Department of Information Technology
  • Mark Weatherford, former First Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Dan Lohrmann, former Chief Security Officer, state of Michigan


  • Dustin Haisler, Chief Innovation Officer, e.Republic

Taking Your Work Virtual

How states and localities are moving their workforces and workplaces into the digital era.
June 10 @ 10 a.m. Pacific / 1 p.m. Eastern

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An urgent need to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect employees forced state and local agencies to rapidly implement remote work. As the nation slowly recovers, what’s the lasting impact on how and where public employees work? This session will unpack lessons learned from the immediate response and explore how the COVID crisis may shape long-term workforce strategies. Our expert panelists will cover:

  • The connection between remote work capabilities and resiliency/business continuity
  • Potential changes in leadership attitudes about remote work, and what that may mean for employee recruitment and satisfaction
  • The policy framework for sustained and successful remote work
  • Long-term technology strategies to support secure and scalable remote work capabilities


  • Rob Lloyd, Chief Information Officer, San Jose, CA
  • Mike Leahy, Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Maryland


  • Teri Takai, Co-Executive Director, Center for Digital Government

Communication in Crisis

Understanding how and what to communicate in crisis situations and how technology can amplify your response.
July 2 @ 10 a.m. Pacific / 1 p.m. Eastern

In a crisis, government communication with citizens must be clear, consistent and broadly available. This session will explore how states and localities are communicating authoritative information about COVID-19 to the news media and directly to citizens to explain evolving conditions and policies, and to counter misinformation. We’ll look at best practices emerging from the pandemic response and what they mean for public sector communication and citizen engagement strategies moving forward. Our panelists will cover:

  • Building and maintaining credibility
  • Effective communication strategies as the nation enters what’s likely to be a protracted recovery
  • Meeting citizen information and engagement demands at the speed of social media
  • Maintaining consistent messaging across multiple platforms
  • Adapting traditional news conferences to social distancing requirements


  • Ervan Rodgers, CIO state of OH


  • Phil Bertolini, Co-Executive Director, Center for Digital Government

Leading During a Crisis

Exploring best practices and leadership tactics to respond in a crisis situation.
July 29 10 a.m. Pacific / 1 p.m. Eastern

The COVID-19 pandemic was yet another reminder that state and local leaders must be ready to cope with large-scale disruption. Effective leadership at the city, county and state level has been vital for limiting the spread of the virus and maintaining support for social distancing efforts. And strong leadership will be just as important as communities navigate the economic recovery and cope with declining revenues. Our panelists will cover:

  • Leadership lessons from the immediate virus response
  • Perspectives on leading communities through the next phase
  • Leading and managing staff during an economic downturn


  • Stephanie Dedmon, CIO TN Department of Finance & Administration
  • Marguerite Beirne, CIO, Westchester County Department of Information Technology (DoIT)


  • Teri Takai, Co-Executive Director, Center for Digital Government

The Crisis-Ready Digital Experience

Building a digital experience optimized for any crisis situation.
Aug. 26 @ 10 a.m. Pacific / 1 p.m. Eastern

One clear lesson from COVID-19 is that digital services are a vital part of government resiliency strategies. When social distancing requirements made in-person government transactions undesirable or unavailable, web and mobile channels became some of the primary means for delivering services to citizens and businesses. This session will explore:

  • How the COVID-19 experience will shape digital services strategies going forward
  • Best practices for rapidly launching and scaling digital services
  • New insights on designing effective and resilient online services and apps


  • Tanya Hannah, CIO King County, WA
  • Mike Hussey, CIO UT Department of Technology Services


  • Phil Bertolini, Co-Executive Director, Center for Digital Government