Global Risk & Safety

Global Risk & Safety


International Risk Management supports the health, safety and security of all Ohio State travelers conducting study, research or university business abroad. International Risk Management seeks to enable international travel, projects and operations by mitigating risks to individuals and the university.  International Risk Management provides risk ratings and assessments, coordinates incident response and emergency action plans and manages crisis response in support of over 6,000 students, faculty and staff traveling abroad annually.

International Risk Management employs two full-time staff dedicated to overseeing international health and safety concerns. The team is based in Risk Management (Business and Finance) and operates as a shared resource with the Office of International Affairs (Office of Academic Affairs).

Resources Offered to Ohio State

Core functions provided by International Risk Management include:

Professional Resources and Affiliations

International Risk Management relies on several resources to receive updates and provide analysis on international health and safety. Resources routinely consulted include:


Overseas Security Advisory Council -

The Overseas Security Advisory Council is a public/private partnership with the U.S. Department of State facilitating university access to U.S. diplomatic security, regional security analysts and peer corporate and NGO security professionals. The Overseas Security Advisory Council provides Ohio State with daily security updates, analytical reports, direct communication to diplomatic security and benchmarking data concerning the overseas security environment and measures to mitigate risk abroad.

Pulse International Safety and Security Professionals in Higher Education, Inc.

Pulse is a collaborative network of full-time health, safety and risk management professionals working for U.S. universities, international universities and education abroad program providers. Pulse provides analytical insight and primary benchmarking for safety and security protocols.

Midwest Regional Analyst Roundtable

Midwest Regional Analyst Roundtable is a peer network of global security and risk intelligence professionals. Representation provides access to benchmarking on international travel protocol and regional security from Fortune 500 companies and global NGOs.

The Forum on Education Abroad -

The Forum is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the Standards Development Organization for the field of education abroad. The Forum publishes Standards of Good Practice and guidelines which are consulted as part of university sponsored student-centered international experiences.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators -

NAFSA provides policy and advocacy resources for current regulatory compliance, pending federal regulatory legislation and advocates for federal support of international education. 

URMIA: University Risk Management and Insurance Association -

URMIA provides protocol and benchmarking guidance on insurance resources to effectively avoid or assume risk. International Risk Management utilizes these resources to develop protocols for managing international risk concerns on an enterprise wide scale.

Staff Bios  

Dru Simmons, International Risk Manager

Dru established the international risk manager role at Ohio State in 2013. He came to Ohio State with 17-years’ experience in international education administration at Arcadia University, the State University of New York (SUNY) and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. During his initial career he was an active leader in NAFSA, including receiving trainer corps certification and serving as the curriculum dean and lead trainer for the core education abroad professional workshop. In 2010, he was the recipient of The George Hertrich Advocacy Award by NAFSA.

During his time at Ohio State, Dru was elected an inaugural member of the Executive Committee for Pulse: International Safety and Security Professionals in Higher Education. He currently serves as a member of the International Committee for URMIA. Dru is a routine presenter of workshops and sessions for OSAC’s Academia Working Group, the Forum on Education Abroad, NAFSA and URMIA. His current areas of research and collaborative presentations focus on alcohol use by U.S. university students abroad; student mortality during education abroad; and state and federal regulatory initiatives for education abroad. In addition to his work with Ohio State, he has assisted in comprehensive international program assessments for Santa Clara University and the University of Minnesota.   

Dru earned his BA in Political Science from Messiah College and a MA in World History from the State University of New York. He studied and conducted research abroad in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Mexico.

Additional training:

Michael Volk, International Risk Management Coordinator