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Dr. Stephen Flynn is Founding Director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University where he leads a major university-wide research initiative to inform and advance societal resilience in the face of growing human-made and naturally-occurring turbulence.  He is a Professor of Political Science with affiliated faculty appointments in the College of Engineering and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.  Prof. Flynn is also Co-Director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security at Northeastern.  He has previously served as President of the Center for National Policy and spent a decade as a senior fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2008 he served as the lead homeland security policy adviser for the Presidential Transition Team for President Barack Obama.  Dr. Flynn was an active duty commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard for 20 years, including two tours as commanding officer at sea. He is the author of The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation (Random House, 2007), and the national bestseller, America the Vulnerable (HarperCollins 2004). He holds research affiliations with the Wharton School’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.  In September 2014, he was appointed by Secretary of Homeland Security to serve a member of the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Council (HSSTAC). He also serves as chair of the Massachusetts Port Authority Security Advisory Committee. Prof. Flynn holds the M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and B.S. from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.


  • Honorary Doctorate of Laws, Monmouth University, 2009
  • Ph.D. in International Relations, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1991
  • M.A.L.D. in International Relations, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1990
  • B.S. in Government, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 1982

Research & Scholarship Interests

critical infrastructure resilience; public policy
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

College Research Initiatives

Honors & Awards

  • The Infrastructure Security Partnership Annual Award for Distinguished Leadership in Critical Infrastructure Resilience, 2010
  • Top 25 Most Influential People in Security 2009, Security Magazine
  • Maritime Security Service Recognition Award, 2005, presented by the Maritime Security Council for outstanding leadership in raising the standards of maritime security worldwide

Professional Affiliations

  • Life Member, Council on Foreign Relations      
  • Member, U.S. Naval Institute

Selected Publications

  • S. Flynn, Boston Under Snow: Resilience Lessons for the Nation, A Center for Resilience Studies Assessment, Northeastern University, 2016
  • S. Flynn, The South Carolina Deluge: Lessons from a Watershed Disaster, A Center for Resilience Studies Assessment, Northeastern University, 2016
  • S. Flynn, The Role of Community Resilience in Advancing Security, State, Society, and National Security: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century, Jayakumar, S. (Ed.) Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2016
  • S. Flynn, Bolstering Critical Infrastructure Resilience After Superstorm Sandy: Lessons for New York and the Nation, Northeastern University, 2015
  • S. Flynn, International Resilience Symposium: Understanding Standards for Communities and Built Infrastructure Resilience, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2015
  • I. Linkov, D. Eisenberg, M. Bates, D. Chang, M. Convertino, J. Allen, S. Flynn, T. Seager, Measurable Resilience for Actionable Policy, Environmental Science and Technology, 47(18), 2013, 10108-10110

Related News

February 17, 2018

A textbook on Critical Infrastructures Resilience authored by CEE Professor Auroop Ganguly, CEE PhD student Udit Bhatia, and Political Science Professor and Director of the Global Resilience Institute Stephen E. Flynn, will be available from the publisher starting March 6, 2018.

November 6, 2017

A new book, Critical Infrastructures Resilience has been published by authors: Auroop Ratan Ganguly (CEE Professor), Stephen E. Flynn (CEE Affiliated Faculty), Udit Bhatia – 3/14/2018 Book...

September 11, 2017

COS Professor Albert-Laszlo Barabasi (PI) and Co-PIs Kathryn Coronges, Executive Director of the Network Science Institute; Stephen Flynn, Director of the Global Resilience Institute; ECE Professor Edmund Yeh and CEE Professor Auroop Ganguly, Director of the Sustainability and Data Sciences Laboratory (SDS Lab), were awarded a $2.5M NSF CRISP grant for "Interdependent Network-based Quantification of Infrastructure Resilience (INQUIRE)".

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