Chief Joseph Pfeifer
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Chief Pfeifer is New York City Fire Department’s Chief of Counterterrorism and Emergency Preparedness. He is also a Citywide Command Chief, responsible for commanding major incidents. Pfeifer was the first Chief at the World Trade Center attack and survived the collapse of the towers. Since the World Trade Center attacks, he assessed the Department’s 9/11/01 response, identified new budget and policy priorities, helped overhaul management practices, created partnerships to supplement the Department’s existing competencies with new expertise, shaped new technologies for emergency response and developed the FDNY’s first Strategic Plan and Terrorism Preparedness Strategy. With the support of the Department, Chief Pfeifer founded and directs FDNY’s Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness.
A 29-year veteran of the FDNY, Chief Pfeifer has spoken both nationally and internationally, including the United Nations General Assembly Conference on Fighting Terrorism for Humanity. He is a Fellow at the Ash Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School and the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. In addition, he has lectured at Harvard University, Columbia University, the United States Military Academy, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China’s National School of Administration and to classes from both the Army and Navy War Colleges. Chief Pfeifer holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, a Masters in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Masters in Theology from Immaculate Conception. He writes frequently and is published in various books and journals.