Kay Goss, elected in 2013, reflects on Grand Challenges, her involvement in public adminstration today, and more from her wide-ranging career in public service.
Reflecting on your career, what has been your greatest accomplishment? Where are you now, and how do you like to spend your time?
I live in Summer's Grove at Alexandria, VA, and have been a Virginia resident for the last 25 years. My daughter Susan Goss, (Director of Operations at Anderson Orthopedic Clinic of Arlington, Alexandria, and Lorton), and my 10 month old grandson, Kirby Gene Goss, live with me. Kirby goes to Day Care everyday, then on Sundays my daughter takes him to a nearby swim class and I go along as their aide-de-camp. The rest of the weekend is spent showing the world and friends to Kirby and vice versa.
Professionally, I teach a course in Human Condition in Disasters for the Criminal Justice Program's Master's degree in Crisis and Emergency Management at University of Nevada at Las Vegas, including a day to introduce the course and the final day of class in person, the rest of the six month semester is online, in various capacities. This is my 13th year of teaching this course. Also, this is my third year of teaching a Master's course in Planning and Preparedness for Metropolitan College of New York, at least three semesters a year and sometimes for individual cities or counties. I also serve on their Advisory Council for both the graduate and undergraduate programs, since 2012. Also, I always support FEMA, especially its Higher Education Program, which I founded in 1994, perhaps my proudest achievement, and its Executive Leadership Development efforts at the Emergency Management Institute. You will always find me there on the FEMA campus the first week of June every year, when academicians, students, and practitioners from around the world come together to share new research, effective practices, and grand challenges.
In the nonprofit world, I actively support and participate in NAPA Panels and Programs, ASPA, NEMA, IAEM, EMAP, and my home state organizations, with lifetime membership in the Arkansas Education Association, the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association, the Arkansas Women's History Institute, and serve as Vice President and Director of Emergency Management Education for the Every Child Is Ours Foundation's projects in the Delta, Mexico, New Hampshire, South Dakota Pine Ridge Tribal Community, and South Africa.
One of my most important service areas is as Chair of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Advisory Board at the University of Arkansas, my alma mater for my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Public Administration. We are rapidly building a close relationship or support with the Fulbright International Scholars Program. Another of my areas of focus is authoring five books and planning three or four more, as well as having hundreds of articles published.
Looking at the present and into the future, what do you think a public administration “Grand Challenge” is or might be? (Learn more about the Academy’s Grand Challenges initiative on our website!)
The grand challenge that I spend most of my time on is building the emergency management profession by teaching, coaching, mentoring, writing, speaking, and supporting very publicly the mission of FEMA, the EM leaders, staff and students at the tribal, city, county, state, regional, national and international levels.