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Speaker Spotlight - Melanie Lucht

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Melanie Lucht | Carnegie Mellon University

DRJ Fall 2019 | Monday, September 30, 2019 | Breakout Track 1, Session 1 | 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

In a recent peer review of seven top-tier higher educational institutions, only two organizations incorporated emergency management and business continuity into their ERM programs.

“Manage a risk or manage a crisis?” said Melanie J. Lucht. “Identifying and capitalizing upon the common threads between emergency management, business continuity, and enterprise risk management will not only streamline processes and improve communications, it will strengthen organizational resiliency.”

Lucht, MBCP, MBCI, CIC, CCM, will present “Emergency Management, Business Continuity, and Enterprise Risk Management – Bringing It All Together in the Name of Resiliency” at DRJ Fall 2019.

According to Lucht, enterprise risk management is an evolving and growing discipline where many organizations continue to learn as they go. Ideologies which work for one will not work for others. Although many organizations dedicate significant time and resources to emergency management, there are greater opportunities to develop these areas under an ERM framework to strategically sense and proactively address areas of risk that have the potential to impact the organization.

During her presentation, Lucht will share with attendees that even though many organizations dedicate significant time and resources to emergency management, there are greater opportunities to develop these areas under an ERM framework to strategically sense and proactively address areas of risk that have the potential to impact the organization. Attendees will learn how Carnegie Mellon University was able to achieve this by focusing on supporting organizational resiliency that aligns to the strategic mission and values of the university.

She is associate vice president and chief risk officer of enterprise risk management for Carnegie Mellon University. She has held this position for one year but worked in risk management for 22 years. She has been in the disaster recovery and business continuity profession for 13 years. In her current role, she oversees environmental health and safety, disaster recovery and business continuity, emergency preparedness, and risk operations.

Lucht will give a lecture and use a PowerPoint for her DRJ Fall 2019 presentation. In addition, she plans to use storytelling, real-life examples, and questions from the audience to guide her presentation. Attendees will learn how different aspects of organizational resiliency can be successfully managed under one reporting structure.

As a former insurance underwriter, Lucht immediately saw the ROI in proactive planning, preparation, and exercises to mitigate the impact of disruptive events.

“My passion as a business continuity professional blossomed as I realized the opportunity to learn everything about how an organization functions, the fulfillment of building relationships with the people who make an organization function, and the work that is done to ensure organizational resiliency can truly make a difference in people’s lives,” said Lucht.

Her tenure with Carnegie Mellon began in 2013 as the senior manager for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Services. In August 2018, she was promoted to associate vice president and chief risk officer. Prior to her years at Carnegie Mellon, she was the vice president for Enterprise Business Resiliency at PNC Financial Services and has an extensive background in the insurance industry.

In 2017, Lucht was recognized internationally by the Business Continuity Institute as Continuity and Resiliency Professional of the Year for the private sector. In 2018, she successfully completed the first offering of the chief risk officer executive education program at Heinz College. Lucht was the only woman in the class of 16 executives. She was a member of the project team which achieved top honors in the program.

She serves on the advisory boards for Terra Dotta and Fusion Risk Management and is a member of the Carnegie Mellon Women’s Association. She received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in administration of justice from Mercyhurst College.

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