The Center for Resilience Studies is committed to informing and advancing societal resilience around the globe. Communities, companies, and countries can thrive only if the systems and networks that underpin our daily lives, whether physical, technological or social, are able to better withstand, recover from and adapt to the inevitable shocks and disruptive events of the 21st century. Established in 2013, the Center’s core activity is to learn from disasters and, through partnering with other leading academic research institutions, nonprofits and the public and private sectors, use what is learned to help devise and apply practical, interdisciplinary solutions to resilience-building challenges.


Steve Flynn

Dr. Stephen Flynn is Professor of Political Science and the Founding Director of the Center for Resilience Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.  He is also Academic Director of Northeastern’s Master in Security and Resilience Studies Program and  Co-Director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security.  Before arriving at Northeastern in the fall of 2011, he 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 America the Vulnerable (HarperCollins 2004). He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Wharton School’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently serving as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Independent Task Force on North America, co-chaired by David Petraeus and Robert Zoellick.  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.

Steve Flynn
Center for Resilience Studies Northeastern University


Sean Burke

Sean Burke became the Executive Director of Northeastern University’s Center for Resilience Studies in January, 2014.  Previously, he served as Associate Director of the Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security at Northeastern. Prior to coming to the university, Burke was the vice president and senior fellow at the Center for National Policy in Washington, D.C.  Burke has spent nearly two decades working on domestic security policy and critical-infrastructure protection issues in both the public and private sectors. He was an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, and has worked as an attorney at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and as a policy analyst at the Department of Homeland Security. He is regularly called upon to provide analysis for the media on security policy, emergency preparedness and critical infrastructure protection and has co-authored the chapter on building national resilience for the McGraw-Hill Homeland Security Handbook, Second Edition (2012). Burke is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the Seton Hall University School of Law.

Sean P. Burke, Esq.
Executive Director
Center for Resilience Studies Northeastern University


Connor Goddard

Connor Goddard became a Research Program Manager at Northeastern University’s Center for Resilience Studies in June 2014. Prior to joining the Center, he graduated from Northeastern Magna Cum Laude in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Affairs. Previously, Goddard worked as a policy assistant at the Project on Middle East Democracy, a research assistant at the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan, and as the first research assistant for the Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security. His briefing on U.S. policy options in Syria won first place at the 2013 George Mason University “15 Minutes with POTUS” policy briefing competition and he was awarded Northeastern’s Undergraduate Research Award in the fall of 2013 to study the development of political parties and civil society in Jordan.

Connor Goddard
Research Program Manager
Center for Resilience Studies Northeastern University

Research Assistants

Jeremia Whall
International Affairs & Political Science ’16

Jeremia joined the Center for Resilience Studies in June 2015. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Political Science at Northeastern University with a minor in History. He has focused on international relations, international security, and conflict resolution during his time at school. In addition to Northeastern University, Jeremia has studied at the American College of Thessaloniki in Greece as well as at the Oxford Mantova University in Italy. Previous work experience includes the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action Strategies in Belgrade, Serbia and EF Foundation for Foreign Study in Cambridge, MA.

Katarina Boehm
Environmental Science & Political Science ’18

Katarina joined the Center for Resilience Studies in July 2015. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Political Science at Northeastern University, and is planning to concentrate in Environmental Geology and Public Policy and Administration. Outside of her work at the Center, Katarina is a Resident Assistant at Northeastern University.