The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:  Lessons Learned on Critical Infrastructure Protection

Threats to critical infrastructure can have devastating consequences for governments and public utilities with millions of residents across the country. The impact of such an incident can endanger communities, affect electricity and medical technology for those relying on life-support devices, disrupt travel and supply chains, and impact access to clean drinking. Now more than ever, state and industry leaders must take necessary precautions to harden and protect critical infrastructure against any threats.

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices will host a session on how state and industry leaders can prepare, respond, mitigate, and recover from threats to critical infrastructure. The presentation will explore how private and public sector resources can be leveraged to foster intra-/inter- governmental relationships with local and national programs. Participants will hear from state officials and how they have responded to specific critical infrastructure challenges and learn best practices in identifying and protecting inter-dependencies with other lifeline sectors, including water, telecommunications, natural gas, and transportation during an emergency.



Carl Amritt

Senior Policy Analyst, Homeland Security and Public Safety

National Governors Association


Carl Amritt serves as a senior policy analyst for NGA Solutions’ Homeland Security & Public Safety team, where he focuses on issues including national security, violence prevention, energy assurance, public health preparedness, emergency response, and disaster resilience. The Homeland Security Program supports governors and their staff in developing data-driven, evidence-based solutions to their jurisdictions crisis challenges.

Prior to joining NGA, Amritt worked at American University in a variety of roles in the Office of University Safety & Security Services. He brings a wealth of experience in law enforcement, risk management, operations and management, and international travel safety. As the assistant director of global safety, Amritt oversaw emergency response planning for all study abroad programs and three international campuses. Amritt brings tactical experience from responding to crises and conducting special event planning, and strategic thought leadership from his service on the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).

Amritt holds a master’s degree in public administration and bachelor’s in political science from American University, where he graduated with honors. He holds the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, among other certifications from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute and International Organization of Standards.

Jake Varn, Policy Analyst, Energy, Infrastructure, & Environment


Jake Varn

Policy Analyst, Energy, Infrastructure, and Environment

National Governors Association


Jake Varn is a policy analyst with the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices. At NGA, Jake assists governors’ staff and state policymakers on issues related to infrastructure and transportation. His areas of focus include funding and innovative infrastructure financing models, electric vehicles and mobility issues, climate mitigation and resilience, and the deployment of innovative technologies.

Prior to joining NGA, Jake was a policy analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center. There, he focused on public-private partnerships, asset management, climate, and disaster resiliency, the intersection of health and housing, and higher education issues. Previously he worked at the Coalition for Sensible Public Records Access and the Chesapeake Legal Counsel. Jake is a graduate from the University of Iowa.