Carnegie Mellon University

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February 12, 2019

Molina Prioritizes Being Prepared

By Kelly Saavedra

If the unexpected happens, Francisco Molina wants to be sure you are ready for it.

As director of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Services, Molina sees to it that Carnegie Mellon has a coordinated response to any type of emergency that could affect the university’s people, facilities, processes or technology. That includes ensuring the necessary procedures are in place for the university to continue delivering its academic programs and services afterward, and the technology to support those procedures.

Collaborating in tandem with departments all over campus, Molina’s team, under the Enterprise Risk Management group, tests systems, develops and refines plans, and conducts trainings that address a number of potential disruptions, from severe weather to criminal activity to cyberattacks.

“It’s really about people,” Molina said, “making sure that our people are going to be protected, and that we are going to be able to fulfill our promise as a university in delivering our academic programs, conducting research and continuing operations.”

A Project Management Professional and Certified Business Resiliency Manager, Molina earned his doctorate in information sciences at Nova Southeastern University and his master's degree in administration from Central Michigan University. He came to Carnegie Mellon a year ago, after working for more than 20 years in the private and financial sectors.

“I also had been teaching business continuity in graduate student programs, so this was an opportunity to combine my experiences into the professional growth I was looking for,” he said.

Outside of work, Molina is a major in the Civil Air Patrol. As the auxiliary of the United States Air Force, the Civil Air Patrol is an organization of private citizens who assist the U.S. Air Force in local and national emergencies, such as the search and rescue of a missing person or aircraft. When they are not on a mission, they participate in search and rescue exercises (SAREX) in which they simulate a disaster and activate a response to it.

“It keeps me fresh, and it’s also very rewarding,” he said.

Molina also is an instructor for the Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Program. With its curriculum focused on leadership, aerospace, fitness and character, the program has inspired many youth to pursue careers in aerospace, engineering and science.

“I love working with people,” Molina said. “And the fact that I have been involved in personal experiences with disasters, I see it really as an opportunity to go beyond what I do as a job and make sure that I am making a difference.”