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Ivan Pupulidy, PhD


Ivan Pupulidy applies his experience and research to operations in complex systems and high-risk environments, such as wildland firefighting, aviation, military and medicine. As a U.S. Forest Service Director, Ivan developed and implemented the Learning Review, which is a process designed to improve how large and small organizations respond to accidents and incidents. The Learning Review is centered on understanding and mapping systemic conditions that influence human actions.


Ivan’s ability to integrate academic and real world application comes from his varied life experiences, which have included work as a mine geologist, exploration geophysicist, and a U.S. Coast Guard pilot for rescue and law enforcement missions. Ivan served in the U.S. Air Guard and Air Force Reserves, where he flew the C-130 Hercules, including missions as a Modular Airborne Firefighting System (MAFFS) tanker pilot on wildland fires. He also served on active military operations for combat and humanitarian support in Iraq, Afghanistan and Central Africa.


Ivan earned a Master of Science degree in Human Factors and Systems Safety at Lund University, Sweden, under Professor Sidney Dekker. He earned his PhD in Organizational Culture and Change from Tilburg University, Netherlands. He now brings his academic credentials and real-world experiences to the University of Alabama as an Adjunct Professor.


Ivan is an international consultant and organizational coach who focuses on topics related to human factors, Organizational Culture, real-time risk perspectives, HOP, learning from events, organizational dialogue, development of high-leverage learning products, and the connection between resilience & high reliability organizing.


A bit about my HOP journey...

My position with the US Forest Service was both Fire Pilot and Accident Investigator. I was unhappy with the method of accident investigation used by the Forest Service, so I began a personal safety journey that emerged into a transformation of the organization. I was studying system safety under Sidney Dekker at Lund University, when he suggested that I meet Todd Conklin.


I started my HOP journey with Todd Conklin at Los Alamos National Lab in 2005. Todd was kind enough to share his perspective and to invite us (the US Forest Service) to shamelessly “steal” (Todd’s word) from the work they'd done.  We did! 


Over the next few years I merged Conklin’s teaching and my research under Dekker to integrate HOP thinking into our safety programs.  With the help of one other person, we educated 30,000 US Forest Service personnel on the integrated HOP concepts.  This initiated a major shift in thinking at many levels of the organization. It moved leadership to inquiry and the field to ask for more just treatment in accident investigation. 


How to Get in Touch

+1 505-365-0777

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