Eric McNulty

Associate Director at Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative
On the record

Associate Director, Harvard's National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI). Co-author of You're It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When it Matters Most and Renegotiating Healthcare: Resolving Conflict to Build Collaboration as well as several e-books. Almost 200 bylined articles in publications such as Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, strategy+business, and others as well as numerous academic articles.

McNulty conducted crisis leadership field research in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in New York and New Jersey in the aftermath of super storm Sandy, in Boston after the Marathon bombings, with the TSA during its public area security crisis, and during numerous public health crises. He is the lead author of the NPLI's case studies on those incidents and has trained crisis leadership teams around the world.

Recent Quotes
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  • From The American Prospect, “When parades are involved you can always pull the permit if organizers won’t cooperate,” says Eric McNulty, associate director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a joint program of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “If you are a private entity holding a conference or convention in a convention center, it’s much tougher for government to intervene; they can recommend and they can call people into the office and have an intense discussion with them, but it’s limited.”

    31 January 2021
  • From the Miami Herald, “Make sure you have food, meds, water in the house in case you do need to be quarantined,” McNulty said. “A couple of good books, and make sure the Netflix is paid up, because you may have some time on your hands.”

    31 January 2021
  • From the FT (and picked up in the NY Times Dealbook) “Amazon has a chance to be the hero” of the coronavirus pandemic, Eric McNulty, a crisis leadership expert at Harvard, told the FT. Researchers point to its vast web of warehouses and delivery services — “the most sophisticated logistics ecosystem ever created,” in the FT’s words — as invaluable assets.

    31 January 2021
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  • Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (
    Associate Director
    started Oct 2008