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Inside the War Room: Case Studies in Crisis
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Inside the War Room: Case Studies in Crisis

Author: BCW and Kroll

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Inside the War Room: Case Studies in Crisis brings listeners behind the scenes of some of the most significant events of our time. In each episode, our hosts will speak with people who were inside the situation rooms to hear their first-hand perspectives, lessons they learned, and insights they offer to leaders who will face the inevitable crisis. Inside the War Room is co-produced by BCW and Kroll, world leaders in crisis management, business intelligence and investigations. Remember to subscribe, and leave us a rating or review! Visit us at
6 Episodes
Todd Lieberman, co-owner of Mandeville Films and producer of movies including 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Proposal,” “The Fighter,” “The Muppets,” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” explores the realities of the film industry and its overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  At the start of 2020, Lieberman looked forward to starting five separate projects – three movies and two television series. By spring, all were entirely shut down, a combined 30 years of work stripped away due to the devastating impact of the global pandemic. In this episode, Lieberman advises those whose careers were upended due to COVID-19, and shares how he and his teams were able to creatively overcome the obstacles presented throughout 2020 and 2021. 
David Shulkin, Former Secretary of the United States Veterans Affairs (U.S. VA), discusses his response to the VA “wait time” crisis after his appointment by President Obama – where many U.S. veterans could not access urgently needed healthcare through the nation’s veterans’ hospitals.  Shulkin also takes listeners through an array of crises managed while working for the government, including the Pulse nightclub shooting and the Charlottesville riots, and how he stood by his principles – even at the risk of dismissal from public service.  
Karen Hughes, former White House Counselor to the President for President George W. Bush, discusses leading the nation’s communications response during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the events of 9/11 and the days immediately following.   In vivid detail, Hughes recounts the moment when she first received word that a passenger plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, how she and others made their way through a desolate downtown Washington, D.C. to the White House, and the crucial decision to brief a stunned nation on the state of the federal government. 
Welcome to Inside the War Room: Case Studies in Crisis. In this introductory episode, meet your hosts: Sherine Ebadi, Michael Estevez and Jordan Strauss, leaders in crisis management, business intelligence and investigations. Listen as each host recounts major crises they have personally managed. Go behind the scenes with Jordan Strauss, who discusses his experiences leading the U.S. Department of Justice response to the 2011 Fukushima tragedy; with Michael Estevez, who touches on the many crises he has worked on during his 20-plus years in the industry, as well as the personal impact of 9/11 on his career; and with Sherine Ebadi, who revisits her years as an FBI special agent and her humanitarian relief work in Turkey.  In the episodes to follow, Sherine, Michael and Jordan will take you inside the war room with special guests who led or had senior roles on crisis management teams. Join us as we explore key decisions that were made during these events, how those decisions unfolded, what was learned and what advice our guests and hosts have for leaders who face the inevitable crisis.
Joseph Wolk, Chief Financial Officer of Johnson & Johnson, discusses key aspects of the company’s strategic shift toward developing a COVID-19 vaccine. From the moment Johnson & Johnson executives learned of the virus, to the ultimate decision to enter into the race to eradicate the global pandemic, Wolk goes behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a key decision-maker in one of the largest international medical companies. He also offers insight into how corporate values should drive decision-making during a crisis—even during a global pandemic. 
Inside the War Room Podcast - Intro Music and Voiceover
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