John Jay College of Criminal Justice today announced the appointment of Thomas E. Cavanagh as Director of the newly established Center for Business Preparedness. Cavanagh comes to John Jay from The Conference Board, where he was Senior Research Associate and principal investigator for a series of major reports on corporate security and preparedness.  

A member of the Conference Board research staff from 1998 to 2008, Cavanagh received his B.A. cum laude and his M.Phil. with distinction from Yale University. His major reports include "Corporate Security Management: Organization and Spending Since 9/11" (2003), "Navigating Risk: The Business Case for Security" (2006) and the forthcoming "Preparedness in the Private Sector."

The Center for Business Preparedness will serve as a research hub and “clearinghouse” for information on best practices, preparedness standards and procedures, and analyses of public safety and corporate security strategies.

The first initiative of the Center will be an in-depth research project that examines preparedness in the private sector. The research will interview corporate security executives to determine the extent to which specific preparedness standards have been implemented. The project will also report metrics on corporate procedures for emergency response, disaster recovery and crisis management. This project will be funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to The Conference Board, Inc.

According to Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay, “Since 9/11, John Jay has aggressively focused on the changing security imperatives of the private sector and developed a number of programs to meet these needs. The Center for Business Preparedness will provide another vital resource. With corporate security expert Tom Cavanagh as its director, the Center will be able to offer a comprehensive program of research and networking opportunities that will keep practitioners abreast of the latest developments and enable them to benchmark their efforts against the prevailing standards.” 

Travis added, “I am especially delighted that the Center’s first research project will entail working with The Conference Board, an internationally respected authority on business practices and economic information. Their participation will further enhance John Jay’s contributions to the corporate security field.”

Thomas Cavanagh said, “I am delighted to be joining the John Jay community and I look forward to the challenge of developing this new program. John Jay has a tradition of effectively integrating top-quality research with practical experience, so it is an excellent home for this diverse range of activities.” 

He continued, “The field of business preparedness is relatively new and is evolving very rapidly. It incorporates a lot of different elements, ranging from routine security management to business continuity and disaster recovery. At John Jay, we will be able to draw on an extensive body of expertise on protection management, emergency response, cybercrime, and terrorism to create a dynamic and exciting program on business preparedness.” 

We’re delighted to see that the work we began here will continue in partnership with John Jay, and we congratulate them on the establishment of the Center,” said David J. Vidal, founder of the security and preparedness research programs of The Conference Board and director of its Center for Corporate Citizenship & Sustainability.

About The Conference Board: For over 90 years, The Conference Board has created and disseminated knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board operates as a global independent membership organization working in the public interest. It publishes information and analysis, makes economics-based forecasts and assesses trends, and facilitates learning by creating dynamic communities of interest that bring together senior executives from around the world. The Conference Board is a not-for-profit organization and holds 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit