Robert Skertich, Ph.D.
Director, Public Administration and Organizational Leadership Programs
- Bachelor of Science, Vocational Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
- Master of Public Policy Management, University of Pittsburgh
- Master of Arts, Curriculum and Instruction, Point Park University
- Doctor of Philosophy, Public Administration and Policy, University of Pittsburgh
- Urban Politics
- Nonprofit Organizations
- Public Administration
- Principles of Management
- Public Budgeting
- Operational Methods for Public Management
- Policy and Decision Analysis
- Theories of Public Organization
- Special Employee Relations in Public Agencies
- Introduction to Administrative Law
- Emergency and Disaster Preparedness
- Introduction to Information Technology
Professor Robert Skertich, Ph.D., has an extensive background in public and nonprofit administration, serving at the municipal, county and national levels, with a primary focus on public safety and emergency management. Previously working for the American Red Cross and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, he currently serves as a deputy commander with the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (PA1-DMAT) based in Pittsburgh and part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Disaster Medical System, which coordinates federal medical response during disasters. He led a group of 25 physicians, nurses and paramedics from the Pittsburgh area to staff a temporary hospital in Petionville, just outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and has responded to a variety of disasters around the Pittsburgh area and across the United States.
He is a firefighter, driver/operator and training instructor for the Elfinwild Fire Company in Shaler Township and previously served as the Chief of the Hampton Township Fire Department in Allison Park, Pa. Skertich has taught extensively at the Allegheny County and Pennsylvania State Fire Academies.
His current research focus is on leadership and decision making in disasters. He was previously affiliated with the Center for Disaster Management at the University of Pittsburgh, researching socio-technical situational awareness and decision support in disaster management. Skertich also studies civil defense and Cold War history in the Pittsburgh area.
Professional Certifications and Memberships
- Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, Adjunct and Local Level Suppression Instructor
- National Professional Qualification Board Firefighter II, Fire Instructor III and Public Fire and Life Safety Educator II Certifications
- Pennsylvania Department of Health Paramedic Certification
- International Fire Service Accreditation Congress Officer IV Certification
- Member, Occupational Advisory Committee, Emergency Response Technology, Beattie Technical School
- Member, Fire Service Administration Degree Program Advisory Board, Community College of Allegheny County
- Member, American Society for Public Administration
- Member, National Fire Academy Alumni Association
- Member, Keystone Chapter Fire Service Instructors
Selected Publications and Presentations
- Presented on "Professional Communications" to West Penn Hospital employees, Nov. 20, 2014.
- Co-author of article "A Bad Time for Disaster: Economic Stress and Disaster Resilience," published in Administration and Society, July 2012.
- Taught 16-hour Advanced Incident Command course at the Integrated Medical, Public Health, Preparedness and Response Training Summit in Nashville, Tenn., May 2012.
- Co-presented on the "History of Pittsburgh's Cold War Air Defense," Northland Public Library and Allegheny County Police and Fire Academy in North Park, Pittsburgh, Pa., March 2012.
- Co-presented "A Bad Time for Disaster: Economic Stress and Disaster Resilience," Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, D.C., Sept. 2010.
- Presented on the "Haitian Earthquake Response," EMS Update Conference, Emergency Medical Services Institute, Seven Springs, Pa., March 2011.
- Decision support in disaster management
Selected Awards and Honors
- Distinguished Member of the Year, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Disaster Medical System, 2010
- Instructor Emeritus, Pennsylvania State Fire Academy
In the News
- "Fire Prevention Tips from a Firefighter," KDKA Radio, Jan. 14, 2022.
- "Strong reaction to governor's order to commandeer PPEs for targeted distribution," Pittsburgh Business Times, April 8, 2020.
- "Shaler emergency workers responded to recent hurricanes," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 27, 2017.
- "Shaler resident helps Key West hurricane victims," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Oct. 18, 2017.
- "Emergency planners in Pennsylvania in 'watch and wait' mode as Hurricane Irma approaches," Valley News Dispatch, Sept. 10, 2017.
- "Disaster preparedness is best done before threat of severe weather," WPXI-TV, Sept. 8, 2017.
- "A Newsmaker You Should Know: Point Park Professor Well-Versed on Area's Cold War History," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 26, 2012.
- "Group Examines Former Cold War Missile Sites," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 29, 2012.
Point Park Features
- "On the Front Lines: Public Administration Alumnus Helping to Keep Pittsburgh Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic," Point Park University website, April 6, 2020.
- "Public Administration Professor Trains Firefighters in Japan," Point Park University website, Sept. 25, 2018.
- "Business Faculty Engage in Allegheny County Fire Academy Training Sessions," Point Park University website, Feb. 8, 2018.
- "Public Administration Program Celebrates its Alumni With Reunion on Campus," Point Park University website, Dec. 18, 2017.
- "Public Administration Faculty, Alumna Provide Hurricane Disaster Relief," Point Park University website, Oct. 11, 2017.
- "Public Administration Professor Teaches Fire Instructor Course in Japan," Point Park University website, Sept. 23, 2016.
- "Alumna, Professor Serve on Disaster Medical Team During State of the Union," Point Park University website, Feb. 1, 2016.
- "Public Administration Professors Leads Disaster Preparedness Training in Alabama," Point Park University website, July 14, 2015.
- "Public Administration Instructors Mix Academics With Real-World Experience," Point Park University website, Dec. 10, 2014.
- "Professor Selected to Give Commencement Address at Pittsburgh Airport," Point Park University website, Dec. 4, 2013.
- "Public Administration Program First in PA to be Recognized by the U.S. Fire Administration," Point Park University website, Jan. 16, 2013.
- "Public Administration Professor Leads Medical Team in Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Efforts," Point Park University website, Nov. 27, 2012.
- "Professor Co-Authors Article on Economic Stress and Disaster Resilience," Point Park University website, Aug. 1, 2012.
- "Public Administration Professor to Teach Course at Training Summit on Emergency Preparedness," Point Park University website," May 23, 2012.
- "Public Administration Professor to Present Research on Pittsburgh's Cold War Air Defense," Point Park University website, March 19, 2012.
- "Point Park Offers Degree Geared for Firefighters," Point Park University website, July 27, 2011.