Inspiration, resilience and 9/11

Lolita Jackson Visit

MSc Global Governance students welcomed Lolita Jackson, Chief of Staff to the Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Recovery, Resiliency and Infrastructure at the New York Mayor’s Office, as part of the Masterclass series. 

Lolita Jackson spoke at length about New York City’s approach to resiliency, but also shared some jaw-dropping insights as one of the fortunate 9/11 survivors. 

On the day of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, she was a Vice President at Morgan Stanley and was in a meeting in the South Tower. She witnessed the fireballs emanating from the North Tower and described to students the impact and the fear of the South Tower being hit.

Lolita Jackson shared a powerful story about the journey that led her to a career in resiliency. She has a degree in engineering, but epitomizes someone who has worked her way up from the very bottom. She started at Morgan Stanley as a secretary and progressed to become Vice President during her 12 years with the firm. After 9/11, she decided to leave the world of finance and work in the area of resiliency. 

Her Masterclass addressed the themes of recovery, rebuilding and resiliency. Lolita talked about PlaNYC and the efforts to create a stronger and more resilient New York. She emphasised the challenges of planning and co-ordination in emergency situations, and provided an in-depth analysis of lessons that were learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Speaking about Lolita’s visit, MSc Global Governance student Natalie Herbert said: “'I thoroughly enjoyed the session with Lolita Jackson – she is such an incredibly brave, strong and inspirational lady. I was completely in awe of her life story and what she has achieved.”

Dr Bela Arora, Course Leader, added: “We were delighted to welcome Lolita Jackson to be part of the Masterclass series, which features international figures from across the sectors to share their experiences with students on the MSc Global Governance.”