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From the President’s Desk

Dear reader! In the June Newsletter we continue updating you on SRLA’s engagement over the past period as well as on the upcoming interesting events.  One of my personal engagements this month was my participation at the Annual Meeting of the Community for European Research and Innovation for Security (CERIS) as the Disaster Resilient Society (DRS) Expert team member:  It always is very inspiring to meet a wide range of professionals who dedicate their life to building a resilient European Society and to explore how policy-makers, researchers, and practitioners search for solutions to address a great variety of risks in today’s world.


At SRLA we continue co-developing and sharing knowledge on public risks, to support public administration systems to maintain and strengthen their critical functionalities vis-à-vis emerging uncertainties. I invite you to check our upcoming Executive Master Class in Public Risk Leadership organized in partnership with the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and to be held on 4th October this year in beautiful city of Copenhagen. This is a unique programme, specially designed by recognized experts from the CBS and tailored to the needs of the executive level national and local authorities who deal with challenging public exposures.  

Magda Stepanyan
SRLA President


SRLA in the news

SRLA at ICMA: The Power of AI in Local Government


At the ICMA - International City/County Management Association Summit in Hasselt, Flanders, Thomas Prorok, Member of the SRLA Board, had the honor of speaking about the profound impact of Artificial Intelligence on the organization and staff of local government. Here are the key highlights:


👥 **Impact on Staff**: It’s vital to focus on how AI affects our staff. We must encourage responsible and vigilant use of AI, empowering employees while ensuring ethical standards are upheld.


🔍 **Evolution of Digital Services**: We’ve seen a rapid transformation from online services to e-government, and now to full-scale digitalization with AI. However, it’s crucial to note that many foundational steps remain unfulfilled.


🌟 **Inspiring Practices**: There is an urgent need for more insights and comprehensive overviews of best practices to truly harness AI’s potential.


⚠️ **Risk Preparedness**: As we embrace AI, it’s essential to prepare for associated risks, ensuring that local governments are equipped to handle these challenges effectively. We invite to join the new initiative of „Strategic Risk Leadership Association“ which brings together experts and knowledge from Europe and US to foster Risk Management in Public Sector (SRLA).


We are looking forward to continuing this dialogue and collaborating with experts to advance human-centered AI and technological innovations with a specific focus on the risks in local governance.‍



On Friday, the 24th of May, Prof. Simon Grima, on behalf of SRLA, met with the executive committee of the National Association for Local Council and Regional Executive Secretaries - MALTA (ANSEK). A registered non-governmental organisation set up to safeguard the interests of the Executive Secretaries of the Local Authorities of Malta. This organisation aims to ensure a high level of professionalism by its members, assists in strengthening Local Councils' operations in general, assists the Department for Local Government in matters related to Council operations and promotes and assists in all aspects of local governance in particular on ways how to improve the level of service to the public.

During this meeting, Prof Grima explained the setup of SRLA, its objectives, and its role. We discussed how SRLA can benefit local councils and the importance of education in risk management. We discussed the importance of continuous professional development (CPD) and training on soft skills, continuity management, tendering for projects and European funding, procurement, dealing with complaints, the risk register, complaints register etc. and how these fit in Risk Management.

Above all, we discussed that there should be a policy that enforces ANSEK members to have a minimum CPD hours per year approved by ANSEK, and how SRLA can help in doing this. We also spoke about the SRLA's memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of Malta and how this MOU can benefit both ANSEK and SRLA.


Dr Grima concluded by thanking Mr. Paul Gatt – President, for the cordial invitation to meet the ANSEK Executive Committee of Local and regional councils.

SRLA Bookshelf

The SRLA Bookshelf is a monthly feature of the Newsletter and highlights new and notable publications of books, reports, and other research on strategic risk leadership, including—but not limited to—the work of SRLA Members.  This month we feature a recent article written by Torben Juul Andersen and Peter C. Young entitled Enhancing Public Sector Enterprise Risk Management Through Interactive Information Processing.

Much has been written about technological tools to advance ERM practices.  This is understandable.  In the US, for example, federal agencies are increasingly expected to adopt ERM. However, public sector adoption of ERM has typically focused on the economic efficiency of tax-financed activities based on control-based practices. This reflects an emphasis on quantifiable concerns that invariably directs attention to risk, that (by definition) relates to identifiable and measurable events, thereby downplaying uncertain and unknown aspects of public exposures. In this article it is noted that this is a potentially serious shortcoming as government entities often act as society's risk managers of last resort. When extreme events happen what were previously considered private matters can quickly turn into public obligations. Hence, there is a need for proactive assessments of the evolving public risk landscape to discern unpredictable-even unknowable-developments.

The article may be accessed at: 

Just a note on last month’s newsletter, where the SRLA Resource Center was announced as ‘coming soon.’  Indeed, it will be coming soon, and readers should expect to see it emerging on our website over the next few months!

Meet a SRLA Board Member Peter C. Young 



Peter C. Young, Ph.D.

The University of St. Thomas

Opus College of Business

1000 LaSalle Avenue—TMH 343N

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403

Office: +1.651.962.4248

Mobile Phone: +1.605.645.7505

Fax: +1.651.962.4710



Peter C. Young, PhD  holds the 3M Endowed Chair in International Business, and in that position is responsible for global business education initiatives at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business.  From 1994-2011 he held the E. W. Blanch, Senior Chair in Risk Management in the Opus College of Business.  In that capacity, he was (and remains) responsible for the MBA courses and certification programs in risk management, as well as playing a leadership role in the actuarial science program—now designated as a Center for Actuarial Excellence. 

Professor Young has been a visiting professor to City University in London and Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, and has held a distinguished honorary professorship at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.  He was selected as a Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for the University of Nebraska-Omaha and for Augustana University, was honored with the ALARM-UK Lifetime Service award,  and was selected as an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management in London.  Most recently, he was awarded the Otto Mønsted Visiting Professorship at Copenhagen Business School in recognition of research excellence in risk management, and in 2023 he was awarded the IBM Center for the Business of Government grant to lead a study of Enterprise Risk Management adoptions in federal agencies.

Dr. Young holds a Ph.D. in Risk Management from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  He is considered a leading authority and educator in the risk management & insurance field.  He has written extensively on the subject of risk management in academic journals, but has also authored several books including;  an influential risk management textbook, Risk Management and Insurance (McGraw-Hill, co-authored with Michael Smith),   Managing Risks in Public Organisations (with Martin Fone), and Risk Management and Leadership.  He has co-authored with Torben Andersen, Strategic Risk Leadership: Engaging a World of Risk, Uncertainty, and the Unknown,  which was published by Routledge and was released in February 2020.  And a second book with Torben Andersen, Strategic Risk Leadership: Context and Cases, was released in September 2021.  That book provides a more detailed investigation of risk leadership through the lens of complex adaptive systems theory.  A book on risk management in European governmental bodies,  Public Sector Leadership in Assessing and Addressing Risk, was published in April 2022.  

Experts’ Corner from SRLA Member

Risk at the Coal Face. Part II

Attempted Foresight: Opportunities to learn from organizational failures


By John Schembri, MSc. SRM (L’cstr.); PgC, OHS (P’mth); SIRM; CBCI.

An ex-Serviceman of eighteen years’ experience in operations and command, John has held a Master of Science degree in security risk management from the world-renowned Scarman Centre, University of Leicester, UK, since 2001. He has extensive experience in critical infrastructure, specialising in resilience, digitalisation of risk management and operations in challenging environments.

Key words: foresight; risk management; major incidents; competence.