Our Work

Commission on the National Response Enterprise

COVID-19 has exposed critical weaknesses in America’s planning and processes for responding to threats and emergencies. The components of an integrated national response capability are largely in place, but major roadblocks prevent the execution of quick, coordinated, and effective action during a prolonged crisis that simultaneously impacts every corner of the country. Unless these weaknesses are addressed, future pandemics, natural disasters, coordinated cyberattacks, or acts of terror will have enormous potential to imperil our citizens, cripple our infrastructure, threaten our economy, and put our national security at risk.

To address these issues, BENS convened its Commission on the National Response Enterprise in Summer of 2020 to develop its Call to Action report of substantive recommendations for a path forward. The Commission is comprised of some of the United States’ most accomplished leaders on this issue—from four-star generals, admirals, and former cabinet-level officials, to past and present CEOs of some of the country’s most respected corporations—to research and analyze the many facets of an effective emergency response and identify opportunities for improvement. The Commission is co-chaired by Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security; Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson; and Mark Gerencser, former managing director of Booz Allen Hamilton and BENS Chairman of the Board.

Certain foundational principles informed the Commission’s work. Foremost, truly effective emergency response will only be possible when it is powered through a seamless partnership between government, business, civil society, and the American people.

Click on the tiles below for more information.


2021 CNRE Call to Action Roll Out Event - February 3, 2021



Federal News Network

April 1: Radio Interview with General Joseph Votel

Plans Are Great Only if You Can Carry Them Out



March 15: Op-Ed by Mark Gerencser and General Joseph Votel

The Covid Relief Bill is a Good Start, But What About the Next National Emergency?

War Room podcast, Army War College

March 3: US Army War College "War Room" podcast

National Emergency Response: The BENS Report


Feb. 17 Executive Spotlight Interview

Mark Gerencser, Gen. Joseph Votel of BENS Discuss National Security Crisis Resulting from COVID-19


Feb. 10 Op-Ed by Ginni Rometty

Three Steps We Must Take Now to Prepare for the Next National Crisis

Federal News Network

Feb. 4 Radio Interview with General Joseph Votel and Mark Gerencser

How Can the U.S. Prepare Better When Things Go Wrong?

The National Interest logo

Jan. 24 Op-Ed by Ramon Marks

Israel Has it Right: A Whole-Of-Nation Approach is Required to Fight the Coronavirus

Foreign Policy News logo

Jan. 17 Op-Ed by Raphael Benaroya

COVID-19 Vaccinations: Israel Succeeds While America Struggles


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