The 2018 Public Safety Summit
Leadership in Turbulent Times
When & Where
April 20-22, 2018
Harvard University | Cambridge, MA

A Report, reflecting on and summarizing the sessions and insights that occured at this Summit, is now available for download.

About the Summit


As the pace and power of social, political, and technological change accelerates in the world, citizens and stakeholders expect everything to happen faster – including the transformation of public safety and policing organizations.

This pace of change also creates a turbulent environment in which policing leaders have to manage the “political economy” surrounding them – including the competing demands of stakeholder groups, the need for delivering innovative new policing models, and the mandate to improve public trust and safety.

To help public safety leaders deliver results in these challenging times, Leadership for a Networked World and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, in collaboration with Mark43, are convening The 2018 Public Safety Summit: Leadership in Turbulent Times to be held April 20 – 22 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

At the Summit, participants will learn about and share best practices on leading innovation and transformation within a dynamic political environment as well as pacing the the level of change effectively. In particular, the Summit will address this critical issue from vantage points including:

• Strategy: How and where can policing structures, systems, and processes support sustainable operations but also innovation?
• Technology: What innovative data, analytics, and network-enabled solutions can bring newfound speed and agility to public safety operations?
• Human Capital: How should recruitment, hiring, and training of human capital change, and how can organizational culture become an enabler of progress?
• Leadership: How can public safety officials manage the political environment to ensure legislators, elected officials, and stakeholders are aligned?

This 4th annual Summit will bring together innovative and progressive public safety and justice leaders, along with leading academics and industry experts to learn and share ideas on how police chiefs, sheriffs, commissioners and other officials can respond to the changing demands of society, and transform their organizations, partnerships, operating models, and cultures to deliver improved policing outcomes and legitimacy.

Who Should Attend?

Summit participants are senior-level public safety executives (Chief, Commissioner, Superintendent, Sheriff, etc.) in function, as well as “Chief Transformation Officers” in practice, who seek to improve organizational performance in the near term and redesign public safety for the long term.

Admission & Participation

The Summit is an invitation-only program for senior-most officials in public safety. Other applicants will be reviewed and accepted on a case-by-case basis, and according in part, to space availability. This event is supported by the hosting and collaborating organizations, so there is no tuition or fee to attend. Travel and hotel arrangements, and related expenses, are the responsibility of individual participants.

Art Acevedo
Chief of Police
Houston Police Department

Brandon Del Pozo
Chief of Police
Burlington Police Department

Michael Harrison
New Orleans Police Department

Chris Magnus
Chief of Police
Tuscon Police Department

Tom Manger
Chief of Police
Montgomery County Department of Police

Brian Manley
Chief of Police
Austin Police Department

Jim McDonnell
Los Angeles County

Peter Newsham
Chief of Police
Metropolitan Police Department, District of Columbia

Kathleen O'Toole
Executive Leadership Group; Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland

Dermot Shea
Deputy Commissioner, Operations
New York City Police Department

Erika Shields
Chief of Police
Atlanta Police Department

Scott Thomson
Chief of Police
Camden County Police Department

Chuck Wexler
Executive Director
Police Executive Research Forum

Previous Reports


Leadership for a Networked World’s applied research, student innovation challenge, and on-campus summit programs are an initiative of Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie, Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH), part of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. TECH is a hub for students, faculty, alumni, and government and industry leaders to learn together, collaborate, and innovate. LNW accelerates these efforts by connecting leaders across sectors and developing cutting-edge thought leadership on innovation and organizational transformation.

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