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Richard Collins

Richard Collins


Eradicate Hate:
2021, 2022, 2023

Richard W. Collins Jr. is a Senior Specialist in the field of Emergency Management with primary expertise in policy development and review providing oversight of emergency preparedness and response guidance governing state, local, tribal and territorial jurisdictions in communities with commercial nuclear power facilities. Collins is a subject matter expert in advancing public understanding of the significance of creating, deploying and maintaining a robust capability to effectively execute response and recovery operations in the aftermath of man-made and natural disasters. Collins has helped to lead a collaborative team of emergency management professionals in the revision and modernization of radiological guidance, policy, and regulations that govern oversight of the level of preparedness required to ensure that communities operating nuclear power facilities are able to demonstrate effective emergency response capabilities.

Over the span of more than 36 years of combined public service in the military and federal government, he has made advocacy of improving the conditions that advance public health and safety of the nation his passion. Collins has had the opportunity to develop a diverse skillset leading the facilitation of disaster recovery efforts supporting response to major events such as Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York 2012, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility accident in Japan in 2011. Among the highlights of his experience includes briefing the Japanese government delegation on best practices in community engagement in responding to the uncontrolled release of radioactive contaminants into the environment.

During his 20-year career as an Air Traffic Controller in the United States Navy he had the privilege of working with highly trained teams directing the movements of high-value aviation assets on shore and at sea as a U.S. Navy air traffic controller. Richard’s service included deployments aboard 6 aircraft carriers and a 2-year tour of duty overseas in Rota, Spain. His military awards and decorations include: Viet Nam Service Medal; Navy Expeditionary Medal; Navy Commendation Medal; Navy Battle “E” Ribbon; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Meritorious Unit Commendation; National Defense Service Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4); Overseas Service Ribbon (6); His service spanned foreign conflicts and humanitarian missions that ranged from Southeast Asia in Viet Nam; to the Balkan Peninsula of Bosnia-Herzegovina; to Eastern Africa in Mogadishu, Somalia.

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The Summit was more than empty words – it made clear that a solution-driven approach is the only way to fight hate. That’s why the working group activities, which are results driven are going to be critical in defeating violent extremism. The Summit brought together the best minds in government, private sector, academia, and civil society. Being surrounded by these experts sparked new ideas – some of which I’ve already implemented or have written about.

Jason Blazakis
Jason Blazakis Professor of Practice and Director of Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism, Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS)