Dr. George Markowsky, President

Dr. George Markowsky has been active in TIEMS and TIEMS-USA since 2016. He was the primary organizer of the TIEMS 2017 Annual Conference held at the University of Maine. He has worked on a variety of Emergency Management related projects as a TIEMS member including the HERACLES and IMPETUS projects. He was worked with CERT Teams and with a variety of international colleagues and collaborators. He has talked about topics such as modeling pandemics and nuclear accidents. He has visited the Chernobyl site and has presented talks dealing with the accident. He holds an M. A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University, and a B. A. in mathematics from Columbia University.

Dr. Markowsky is currently a Professor of Computer Science at the Missouri University of Science & Technology. In addition, he has been a faculty member at the University of Maine, the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of New Hampshire. He also spent 10 years at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He has served as a chair of computer science and mathematics departments, and was the Founding Director of the American-Ukrainian School of Computer Sciences and Technologies at West Ukrainian National University.

Dr. Joe Leitmann, Vice President

Dr. Joe Leitmann has 35 years of experience with disaster risk management, resilience, and sustainable development at the World Bank. He has worked in 40+ countries on clean energy, urban environmental management, tropical forestry, post-disaster reconstruction, climate change, and resilience. Most recently, he led teams on resilient recovery and urban resilience with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. He holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley and a Master’s from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Dr. Joe Leitmann is now the Executive Director of the University of California Disaster Resilience Network and leads a United Nations-supported team of experts preparing a COVID-19 recovery framework for Africa. Among his many accomplishments are:

  • Creating and managing the Multi Donor Fund for Aceh and Nias which raised $700 million to finance a portfolio of 21 recovery projects to help Indonesia rebuild after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
  • Creating and managing the Haiti Reconstruction Fund which raised over $400 million to finance a portfolio of 25 recovery projects to help Haiti rebuild after the 2010 earthquake.
  • Leading the resilient recovery and urban resilience teams for the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery where he developed guidance for preparing disaster recovery frameworks, a review of the status of civil protection around the world, and a policy paper on financing urban resilience.

Dr. Thomas Robertson, Secretary/Treasurer

Dr. Thomas Vincent Robertson is Director, North American Operations for TIEMS (The International Emergency Management Society), and Founder and Principal at Thinking Teams, an international consultancy to help clients harmonize human and machine intelligence as they automate using artificial intelligence (AI). He has published and presented numerous papers on AI and emergency management, risk communication during emergencies, disaster risk reduction, virtual simulation in emergency management, pandemic response, climate change resilience, and applications of advanced technologies in the US, France, Italy, China, Japan, Belgium, Greece, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, North Cyprus, and Korea. He has been a Visiting faculty member at Écoles des Mines d’Ales Master’s program in Disaster Management and Environmental Impact Studies, where he developed and taught “Human Factors in Disaster Management”. As an Expert for the European Commission Executive Agency for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, he has evaluated over 80 disruptive innovative project proposals and served as reviewer of progress and results for projects developing reconfigurable satellite ground stations, laser machining tools, artificial intelligence hardware, and financial technologies for insuring small businesses.

Dr. Robertson has a Ph.D. in Electrical engineering from Purdue University, with experience as a researcher, Chief Scientist, Director of Engineering, and VP/General Manager at several research and development and aerospace organizations, including Bell Laboratories, Lockheed Martin, Atlantic Aerospace, and BAE Systems.

Dr. Joseph Pollack, Director

Joseph Pollack co-founded a small research company that specialized in instrumented large-scale, live training simulations for mass-casualty incidents in Elverum, Norway. This company was eventually acquired by EON Reality. Joseph Pollack’s been a member of the International Network of Crisis Mappers since its inception and was an active member of the Standby Task Force. He is currently a member of the Ushahidi Research Community, a contributor to OSM’s Humanitarian Operations Team (HOT), and a board member of the Digital Humanitarian Network, an UN-OCHA initiative. From 2014, he went on to consult for WHO’s Strategic Health Operations Center in Geneva where he contributed in substance to WHO’s Public Health EOC standards. Today, Joseph is focused on molecular biology in regenerative medicine and life sciences.

Joseph Pollack received his undergraduate degree in War and Security Studies at the University of Hull where he wrote his dissertation on societal security and inter-agency collaborative training for mass-casualty incidents. Joseph Pollack received an LLM from the University of Hamburg and an MSc from the Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research in Mumbai. He received a Research Master’s in Applied Economics from the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris. Joseph received his Ph.D. in Networked Humanitarian Logistics from the European Research Centre for Information Systems.

Colonel (Retired) Larry Porter, Ph.D., CEM, TQC

Dr. Porter retired in 2003 from the Army National Guard (ARNG) with just under 34 years of service, ending with 18 years of Federal Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) service. His last duty assignment was as the first National Guard (NG) Liaison Officer to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), where his interest in emergency management as a follow-on career was stimulated.

He earned a Ph.D. in Engineering Management in May 2010 (concentration in Emergency Management) from The George Washington University’s Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management (ICDRM). His research focused on Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA), specifically on differences in National Guard and Department of Defense support to local emergency managers after Hurricane Katrina. His advisor was John R. Harrald, Ph.D.

Dr. Porter was awarded Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®) by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) in 2006, recertified in 2011 & 2016, and he has been active in several IAEM committees and caucuses.

He is a charter member of the TIEMS Qualification Certification (TQC™) another emergency management certification. TIEMS is The International Emergency Management Society (

Dr. Porter was developing and teaching master’s degree courses online (Adjunct Associate Professor) for over a dozen years. He last instructed for the University of Maryland University College and has also worked for Arkansas Tech University, Colorado Technical University, The George Washington University, and Norwich University’s online School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. He is currently associated with Arkansas Tech University.

Dr. Porter is the immediate past president, and treasurer, of the Council for the Accreditation of Emergency Management & Homeland Security Education (CAEMHSE), an organization in existence for about 15 years that has established peer-reviewed emergency management education standards, and assesses and accredits college and university emergency management education programs. Website: