The Pandora Report is produced by the students and faculty of the George Mason University Biodefense Program along with a host of friends and collaborators.
Gregory D. Koblentz
Gregory Koblentz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs and Director of the Biodefense Graduate Program at George Mason University. Dr. Koblentz is also an Associate Faculty at the Center for Global Studies at George Mason University. Dr. Koblentz is a Research Affiliate with the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Scientist Working Group on Chemical and Biological Weapons at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, DC. He received his PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and his Bachelor of Arts from Brown University. His research and teaching focus on international security and weapons of mass destruction.
Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley
Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley is an Assistant Professor in the Biodefense Program. Prior to joining George Mason, she served 10 years as a Senior Research Associate at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), and Editor-in-Chief of the International Export Control Observer, a monthly newsletter devoted to the analysis of WMD export control issues in the world. Dr. Ben Ouagrham was also an adjunct professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, where she taught a course on WMD in the former Soviet Union (FSU). She received her Ph.D. in Economics of Development at the Advanced School of Social Sciences in Paris, France.
Saskia Popescu is a doctoral student at GMU Biodefense and editor of the Pandora Report. Saskia is an infectious disease epidemiologist and infection preventionist whose work focuses on hospital biopreparedness after she managed response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak and a 2015 measles outbreak. She is a 2017 ELBI fellow from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and recipient of the DHS FiX award. Saskia holds a MPH in infectious disease epidemiology, a MA in international security studies, and is certified in infection prevention.
A. Trevor Thrall
Trevor Thrall is an Associate Professor at George Mason University in the Department of Public & International Affairs. He teaches courses in international security, political communication, and U.S. military intervention. His recently edited book, American Foreign Policy and the Politics of Fear: Threat Inflation since 9/11 (Routledge 2009), examined why and how the Bush administration was able to build public support for the war in Iraq in 2003. The companion volume to that work, Why Did the United States Invade Iraq? (Routledge 2011), collects competing explanations about why the administration decided to go to war in the first place. Dr. Thrall received his PhD from M.I.T.
Schar School Biodefense programs include a range of diverse and experienced students and we are fortunate to display their written works throughout the Pandora Report. Below are some of our frequent student contributors.
Stevie Kiesel – Stevie Kiesel is a part-time student in the Biodefense PhD program; she previously received her M.S. in Biodefense from George Mason University. She provides full-time support to multiple components of the Department of Homeland Security and has previously worked for the Department of Defense. Her areas of interest are terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction, the extreme right wing, and the application of computational models to these subjects. Read some of Stevie’s commentaries here, here, and here.
Justin Hurt – Justin Hurt is a student in George Mason University’s Biodefense PhD program, and is currently preparing for his comprehensive exams and dissertation proposal work. In addition to his part-time studies, he is an active duty officer in the United States Army, specializing in chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) matters and is currently detailed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Defense Liaison in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD), where he advises the Assistant Director and WMDD staff on interagency operations and capabilities and assists in policy development. His recent experience includes positions as a section leader for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s CBRN/WMD Military Advsory Team program, the Army’s WMD programs manager and capabilities development coordinator with the Manuever Support Center of Excellence at Fort Leonard Wood, and as a CBRN Technical Escort Response Detachment Commander, as well as command of both chemical and infantry organizations. You can read some of Justin’s work here.
Michael Krug – Michael Krug is a first-year graduate student in the Biodefense Master’s program at the Schar School of Policy and Government. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and worked for several years in the pharmaceutical industry, accruing experience in the fields of molecular biology, drug development, and biotechnologies. His research interests incorporate national security and emerging dual-use technologies, specifically synthetic biology and genome-editing. Michael is currently a Program Analyst for a consulting firm in Quantico, VA. You can read some of Michael’s work here and hear.
Janet Marroquin – Janet Marroquin is currently completing her last year of coursework in the Biodefense PhD program, specializing in technology and weapons of mass destruction. Her projects have covered a range of topics, including the assessment defense capabilities against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) threats; analysis of emerging technologies; and evaluation of strategy and policy of biodefense and agroterrorism. Janet holds a Master of Science in Biodefense from George Mason University and Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the George Washington University. She is also a researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses, where she supports data-driven analyses relating to CBRN defense. You can read some of Janet’s work here.
Stephen Taylor – Stephen Taylor is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He holds a B.S. in Biology from James Madison University. Before entering the M.S. Biodefense program at GMU, he spent two years in Mozambique as a Peace Corps Volunteer mentoring high school students in community health campaigns against HIV/AIDS, malaria, alcoholism, and sexual abuse. His biodefense research interests include identifying and mitigating infectious disease risks in displaced populations, the role of the intelligence community in biosurveillance, and strategies for increasing self-sufficient medical countermeasure production and distribution in underdeveloped countries. You can read some of Stephen’s work here.