Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Public Service


Public Administration and Policy

Committee Director

Juita-Elena (Wie) Yusuf

Committee Member

Meagan Jordan

Committee Member

Jessica Whitehead


Collaborative leadership is a critical component in emergency management and resilience. Although cross-sector leadership is considered compulsory in the management of many disasters, the skills and competencies for successful execution of collaborative leadership approaches in emergency management and resilience are still largely unknown, especially as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic response. The perspectives of emergency management and resilience leaders may fill in this research gap.

This qualitative study relies on semi-structured interviews to explore the needed skills and competencies for collaborative leadership in emergency management and resilience during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the South-Atlantic states. The study relies on Transformational Leadership and Integrative Public Leadership theories to answer the research questions. This study employs qualitative methodology to gain in-depth information of emergency management and resilience leaders’ stories. The researcher used a thematic analysis approach to categorize the identified skills and competencies from the literature and the generated themes from the qualitative data from interview participants.

These findings contribute to public administration by broadening the leadership concept through the exploration of collaborative leadership skills and competencies in emergency management and resilience. State-level emergency management and resilience leaders are stewards of our health and safety, tax dollars, and trust, putting them at the center of scholarly conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic and building effective collaborative teams. The study has implications for practitioners and theorists alike.


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