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CNN Commentator & Bloomberg Administration Head of Disaster Response
Jarrod Neal Bernstein is a seasoned executive with over a decade of experience counseling a wide range of institutions with complex organizational structures. He served in the both Bloomberg and Obama Administrations in senior Community Outreach and Counter-terrorism positions. In his current role he serves as the head of disaster response and recovery for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the US Virgin Islands. In that role he supervises a multimillion dollar effort to both provide direct relief to the people of the territory as well as provide senior level counsel to the Government of the the USVI as it copes with the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Read More >
Immediately prior to this role Bernstein served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at CarePoint Health, and integrated Hospital, Physician and Insurance provider. In that position he served as a member of the company’s leadership team. He also served as a board member of CarePoint’s affiliated charitable foundation.
In Washington, he served as the Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement where he was responsible for outreach to the American Jewish Community. His work included liaising with senior public and private sector officials focusing on major domestic and international public policy issues including healthcare, budget, and foreign policy. He was charged with clearly identifying and articulating Administration objectives and seeking to build consensus among the diverse segments of the American Jewish Community. He was responsible for developing targeted communication plans for outreach to these segments of the community as well as the governments of Israel and other Middle East nations.
From April 2009 to September 2011, Bernstein was a senior aide to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, serving first as the Director of Local Affairs and then as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary. He was responsible for coordinating DHS’s outreach to mayors and governors around key policy initiatives as well as during periods of crisis. During his tenure at DHS, Bernstein worked extensively on numerous responses to significant events as well as working to involve Mayors and Governors in the risk analysis process that drove grant allocations. With a staff of nearly 50, Bernstein was heavily involved in the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, earthquake in Haiti, the H1N1 outbreak, as well as the dissemination of intelligence information gathered by intelligence community to state and local governments during periods of increased threat. He also worked extensively on the build out of the department's cyber response policy.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Bernstein was dispatched by the White House to New York City to help coordinate the federal government's response. He served as a liaison between the White House, FEMA, the Mayor of the City of New York and other elected officials.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Bernstein served in the administration of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He served as Deputy Commissioner for Community Affairs in the Office of the Mayor. There he was responsible for community crisis management and outreach around mayoral programs.
Also in the Bloomberg Administration, he served as the chief spokesman for the New York City Office of Emergency Management. In this role he was a senior aide to the Commissioner of Emergency Management, responsible for managing the citywide public information campaigns around dozens of large scale emergencies including the 2003 blackout, multiple periods of heightened terrorist threat, multiple aircraft and boat crashes, dozens of building collapses, as well the 2006 anthrax scare. He was charged with managing the City’s Joint Information Center (JIC) that was the central clearinghouse for all emergency related public information during times of crisis. He authored New York's City’s Emergency Public Information Plan which is still in use today as well having been responsible for the launch of the widely-acclaimed “Ready New York” preparedness campaign. Bernstein was heavily involved in the post-Katrina rewrite of New York City's Hurricane plan that was used during Hurricane Sandy.
A New York native, Bernstein received his undergraduate education at the Johns Hopkins University, a Juris Doctorate from Fordham University School of Law, and a Certificate from the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He currently lives in New York City with his wife, Hildy Kuryk, and children, Jake and Lily. Bernstein is a member of the Saltaire Volunteer Fire Company where he serves as a firefighter and emergency medical technician and has the rank of Assistant Chief. He is a Board Member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, where he serves on the Executive Committee as well as chairing the Committee on Safety and Security. He also serves a as a Board member of Love City Strong, a non-profit founded after Hurricanes Irma and Maria to help St John recover as well as serving as the Vice-Chair of the US Virgin Islands Public Safety and Support Foundations. Additionally, Bernstein has served as a member of the Johns Hopkins University Second Decade Society and a board member of Johns Hopkins University Hillel. At Hopkins Hillel he was involved in its first ever capital campaign that raised funds to build the Smokler Center for Jewish Life. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as a board member of Urban Light, an organization fighting male sex-trafficking in Thailand. He is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Bar of the State of New York. He resides in Brooklyn with his wife Hildy and their children. Read Less ^
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