Lessons learned from the Boston Marathon bombing, 10 years out
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Rich Serino had spent all day on April 15, 2013, at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, monitoring it as deputy administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He’d just left to speak at a class at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government when he got the news that there’d been a bombing at the finish line, with two homemade explosives ripping through the crowds of bystanders. He raced back to the scene along with Juliette Kayyem, a senior lecturer on national security and CNN commentator whose class he was attending.

This past week, Serino, now a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI), and Kayyem participated in a panel discussion at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that focused on lessons learned in the wake of the tragedy. Other panelists included S. Atyia Martin, who was director of the Boston Public Health Commission’s Office of Public Health Preparedness at the time; Eric McNulty, associate director of NPLI; and Leonard Marcus, founding co-director of NPLI. “It is incumbent upon us to reflect on the lessons that can be learned from such shocking events so that the learning serves to save lives, support responders, and potentially even prevent such events in the future,” said Marcus, who moderated the panel.