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School of Business

Robert Skertich, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Public Administration

Director, Nontraditional Undergraduate Programs 

Robert Skertick, assistant professor of public administration, with a Haitian boy during medical mission following the Jan. 12 earthquake. | Photo courtesy of Robert Skertich
Contact information


  • Bachelor of Science, Vocational Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Master of Public Policy Management, University of Pittsburgh
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Public Administration and Policy, University of Pittsburgh

Courses Taught

  • Urban Politics
  • Non-Profit Organization
  • 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


Associate 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. He currently serves as a deputy commander with the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT-PA1) 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. He is a life member and currently the captain of the Hampton Township Fire Department in Allison Park, Pa. Skertich is also a Pennsylvania state fire instructor and a certified paramedic.

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

  • Certification, National Professional Qualification Board, Firefighter II and Fire Instructor II
  • Certification, Pennsylvania Department of Health, EMT Paramedic
  • Certified Fire Officer I, International Fire Service Accreditation Congress
  • Member, Occupational Advisory Committee, Emergency Response Technology, Beattie Technical School
  • Member, Fire Service Administration Degree Program Advisory Board, Community College of Allegheny County

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.

Research Interests

  • 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.

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