September 2014 Biodefense Policy Seminar

Title: Biosurveillance and the Atypical Epidemic: The 2014 West African Ebola Epidemic
Speaker: Dr. Michael Smith, Director of the Critical Reagents Program (CRP) within the Medical Countermeasure Systems Joint Project Management Office, Department of Defense
Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Time: 7:30 – 9:00pm; food will be served at 7:00pm
Location: George Mason University, Fairfax Campus, Research Hall 163

September BPSDr. Michael Smith is the Director of the Critical Reagents Program (CRP) within the Medical Countermeasure Systems Joint Project Management Office (MCS JPMO) headquartered at Fort Detrick, Maryland. In this role, he manages the characterization, production, and distribution of reagents and consumables employed on deployed platforms and those under development by other programs.

Previously, he served in the United States Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment. He has also held several positions at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), including senior science and technology manager and most recently, acting division chief, Diagnostic and Disease Surveillance Division of the Joint Science and Technology Office. In December 2011, Dr. Smith became the director of the CRP within the Chemical Biological Medical Systems (CBMS) JPMO where he continued to serve through the transition of CBMS into the MCS JPMO. Mr. Smith assumed his current role as Director of the CRP in June 2013.

Dr. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University. He continued his education and attained both a master’s degree and a doctor of philosophy degree in Molecular Microbiology from Yale University.

This Week in DC: Events

Monday, March 31

Celebrating Women in Cyber Security
Date: March 31, 9:30 – 11:30am
Location: The George Washington University, Marvin Center, 3rd Floor Ampitheater, 800 21st Street NW, Washington DC 20052

On March 31, 2014 join the George Washington University Cybersecurity Initiative and an outstanding panel of women leaders in the cybersecurity field. These panelists will reflect on their experiences, discuss the future of cybersecurity, and address the need for women to join the field in greater numbers.

This discussion will be followed by a networking opportunity for all participants. This event is also sponsored by GWU Global Women’s Institute.

Register here.

International Drug Policy Debate
Date: March 31, 10:00 – 11:30am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Ambassador William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, will lead off with remarks on U.S. and international drug policies, drawing from his participation in the recent meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), held on March 13-14 in Vienna, Austria. As the premier drug control policy making body within the UN system, the CND addressed countering illicit drugs and the power of criminal cartels, strengthening public health approaches, and recent legal changes and the challenges of judicial coordination. The CND is also one of several bodies contributing to debates in the lead-up to the 2016 UN Special Session on Drugs. Following Ambassador Brownfield’s address, there will be a roundtable conversation, moderated by J. Stephen Morrison, Senior Vice President and Director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, that will feature  Ambassador Brownfield, Kevin Sabet, former Senior Advisor to Director Kerlikowske at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and currently Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, Michel Kazaktchine andRuth Dreifuss, two members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy launched in 2011 by 22 international leaders with a special focus on harm reduction and related public health approaches. Michel Kazatchkine is also the former Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and currently the UNSG’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Ruth Dreifuss is the former Minister of Health and President of the Swiss Confederation.

RSVP here.

Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Requirements for a Final Deal
Date: March 31, 10:00 – 11:30am
Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/ Zilkha Rooms, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

The Joint Plan of Action adopted by Iran and the P5+1 partners in Geneva on November 24 was an important first step in the effort to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons. Iran and the P5+1 nations appear to be fulfilling their commitments under the six-month interim agreement – but reaching a final deal will be challenging, as the sides remain far apart on key issues.

In his Brookings Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Series paper, “Preventing a Nuclear-Armed Iran: Requirements for a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement,” Robert Einhorn explores the difficult issues facing negotiators as they prepare for their next round of talks, scheduled for the week of April 7. In addition to analyzing Iran’s intentions toward nuclear weapons and discussing the principal issues in the negotiations, he outlines the key requirements for an acceptable comprehensive agreement that would prevent Iran from having a rapid nuclear breakout capability and deter a future Iranian decision to build nuclear weapons.

On March 31, the Brookings Institution will host a panel to discuss the Iran nuclear negotiations, especially to consider the elements of a final deal and the policies supplementing it that would be required to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and serve the security interests of the United States and its security partners in the Middle East. Brookings Senior Fellow Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, will serve as moderator. Panelists include Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Einhorn, former special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Dennis Ross, counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and Frank N. von Hippel, professor of public and international affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.

Register here.

Global Health Law: A Book Event
Date: March 31, 5:00 – 8:00pm
Location: Georgetown University Law School, Gweirz 12th, 600 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington DC 20001

A panel discussion celebrating the publication of Global Health Law, by Lawrence O. Gostin, University Professor and Founding Linda D. and Timothy J. O’Neill Professor of Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Gostin also directs the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Discussion topics will range from AIDS, pandemic influenza and MERS to obesity and biosecurity.

Biodefense Policy Seminar
Date: March 31, 5:00pm
Location: George Mason University, Mason Hall D003, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax VA 22030

Our March Biodefense Policy Seminar features Dana Perkins, Senior Science Advisor, DHHS — member of the 1540 Committee Group of Experts. Dr. Perkins earned a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She also earned a PhD in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2002 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she specialized in Microbiology/Neurovirology. In 2012-2013, Dana Perkins served in a US Government-seconded position as a member of the Group of Experts supporting a subsidiary body of the United Nations Security Council, the 1540 Committee. The 1540 Committee was established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to monitor the implementation of this resolution worldwide. In her prior position with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), she led the Biological Weapons Nonproliferation and Counterterrorism Branch in the Office of Policy and Planning, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). At HHS/ASPR, some of her responsibilities and duties included providing subject matter expertise, inter-agency coordination, and senior level policy advice on the scientific (biodefense and biosecurity) and public health aspects of national and international emergency preparedness and response; directing and coordinating national and international progress on issues related to biodefense and biosecurity; developing and reviewing policies on biosecurity, biological weapons nonproliferation, and health security; and performing expert analysis and preparing implementation plans to support the US Government biodefense and biosecurity policy.

Tuesday, April 1

Big Data, Life Sciences, and National Security
Date: April 1, 8:15am – 6:00pm
Location: Renaissance Washington DC Downtown, 999 9th Street NW, Washington DC 20001

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy (CSTSP) and the Biological Countermeasures Unit of the WMD Directorate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) present a public event on the implications of big data and analytics to national and international biological security.

Big data and analytics are increasingly becoming vital components in the pursuit of advanced applications for scientific knowledge development, health care analyses, and global health security. Big data and analytics in the biological sciences might also present risks and unique challenges to national and international security. In preparation for our event, CSTSP have conducted a series of interview investigating the subject with Daniela Witten, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Washington, Subha Madhavan, Director of the Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics at the Georgetown University Medical Center, and Angel Hsu, Director of the Environmental Performance Index, a joint project between the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University.

This event will bring together scientists across a range of disciplines, security professionals, and science and security policy experts to explore ways to leverage the beneficial applications and identify potential risks of big data and analytics to biological security.

The event will be broadcast live via an interactive webcast which can be accessed here. RSVP here.

Senator Mark Warner: Budgets and the Future of America’s Defense Industry
Date: April 1, 8:30am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th floor, Washington DC

For the past several years, the Department of Defense has struggled with continuing resolutions and budget uncertainty. With the passage of the 2013 Bipartisan Budget Act and an omnibus fiscal year 2014 spending bill, the Pentagon now has certainty on its budget levels but must adjust to accommodate flat-lining defense spending for the foreseeable future. Some investment and equipment modernization accounts are certain to face cuts this year and in the future, necessitating that the defense industrial base adapt to a “new normal” of reduced spending.

Our featured speaker, Senator Mark Warner, sat on the Budget Conference Committee panel that drafted the Bipartisan Budget Act and is the senior senator of Virginia, a state with a significant concentration of defense industry facilities. His remarks will address what budget reductions may mean for the future of the defense industrial base.

Can’t attend? Watch the event online here. Register here.

Battle on the Final Frontier: A Discussion of National Security and Space
Date: April 1, 12:30 – 1:30pm
Location: 1100 New York Ave NW, 7th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

The last time that the mass media looked at national security and space, we were in a very different time.  The United States was embroiled in the Cold War and the danger of nuclear annihilation was at the forefront of most people’s minds.  Although we have advanced from that point, technological developments in space beg the question: how is our current space technology tied to our national security needs? How is our reliance on Russian technology made us vulnerable? How can we enhance our national security and support American research and investment?

Join ASP as Lieutenant General Norman Seip, 12th Air Force Commander and Adjunct Fellow, August Cole discuss the relationship between these two important policy areas of the 21st century.  The conversation will be on the record.

RSVP here by March 31.

The Collapse of Russian State Institutions: How the Kremlin’s Energy Dependence Undermines Foreign Policy Decision
Date: April 1, 12:30pm
Location: Center on Global Interests, 1050 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20035

In the last 15 years, Russia has become increasingly reliant on oil and gas wealth to sustain its economy. As a result, the major players in Russia’s resource industries have acquired a disproportionate influence over Russian politics. This has undermined the authority of Russia’s foreign policy institutions by allowing a small group of decision-makers, who rarely consult with Russia’s professional foreign policy bureaucracy, to set the domestic and foreign policy agenda.

How should Western officials respond to Russia’s insular policy-making, and how might Western sanctions—including energy sanctions—influence key decision-makers in Russia? Using the Second Chechen War and the 2008 Georgian War as case studies, Emma Ashford will examine the extent to which Russian foreign policy institutions function in an informational vacuum and provide recommendations for how U.S. policymakers can mitigate this problem, particularly with regard to the Ukraine crisis.

Register here.

Wednesday, April 2

U.S. – Taiwan Security Relations
Date: April 2, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Location: J.W. Marriott Hotel, Salon G, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20004

The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which provides the legal basis for U.S. relations with Taiwan, was enacted 35 years ago. Since then, the U.S.-Taiwan relationship has weathered changes in the security environment, but remains strong today. However, as the United States rebalances to the Asia-Pacific, the time is ripe to examine how the regional environment has evolved since 1979 – particularly with the economic and military rise of China – and how those changes affect the U.S.-Taiwan relationship.

Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of National Defense, Andrew Hsia, will make a keynote speech, followed by a panel discussion with American experts. The Honorable Patrick M. Cronin, Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the CNAS Asia-Pacific Security Program, will moderate the panel with remarks by Alan Romberg, Distinguished Fellow and Director of the East Asia Program at the Stimson Center and Abraham Denmark, Vice President for Political and Security Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Space is limited. RSVP here.

Drug Supply Chain Security: US References to China
Date: April 2, 1:30pm
Location: Georgetown University Law Center, McDonough Hall 437, 600 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington DC 20001

Gaotong “Otto” Zhang works in the regulatory department at the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) as a deputy consultant. In this capacity, Zhang drafts and revises proposed laws and regulations, as well as CFDA rules and provisions related to drug and medical devices. Zhang holds a Bachelors degree in Law from Lanzhou University and a Masters in Law from China University of Political Science and Law. Currently, he is a Humphrey Fellow at American University Washington College of Law, and is conducting a comparative research on drug supply chain management at O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center. He hopes to learn from U.S. Food and Drug Law as a reference for China’s ongoing regulatory reform in the food and drug law area.

Thursday, April 3

SAIS Asia Conference: Development and Security in Asia
Date: April 3, 8:45am – 4:15pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Rome Auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

Various speakers will participate in the conference. Stephen Bosworth, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, will deliver morning remarks, and John Negroponte, former U.S. deputy secretary of state and former director of national intelligence, will deliver afternoon remarks. For a complete agenda and RSVP information, visit: http://asiaconference.org/.

Security Policy Forum: Ending the War in Afghanistan
Date: April 3, 6:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, Lindner Family Commons, Room 602,  1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

Stephen Biddle, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, GW in a talk moderated by Michael E. Brown, Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs, GW

Stephen Biddle is a professor of political science and international affairs at the George Washington University. Professor Biddle has presented testimony before congressional committees on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, force planning, net assessment, and European arms control. He served on General David Petraeus’ Joint Strategic Assessment Team in Baghdad in 2007, on General Stanley McChrystal’s Initial Strategic Assessment Team in Kabul in 2009, and as a senior advisor to General Petraeus’ Central Command Assessment Team in Washington in 2008-09.

RSVP here.

Friday, April 4

Escaping the Crisis Trap: New Options for Haiti
Date: April 4, 12:00 – 2:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

In collaboration with the Institute for State Effectiveness (ISE) and the Legatum Institute, the Wilson Center invites you to join a discussion on Haiti’s potential for growth, development and stable governance on April 4th, 12-2pm.

Looking back at lessons from past efforts to support Haiti’s development and recovery, and forward to Haiti’s great assets and real potential, a new study argues that there’s an opportunity for Haitians and their partners to set a different agenda for the future. What lessons must we learn for future aid responses? What would it take for citizens to build a consensus on an agenda for creating an accountable Haitian state and an inclusive economy? Please join us for a discussion of ‘Escaping the Crisis Trap: New Options for Haiti’, authored by Clare Lockhart, co-founder and director of The Institute for State Effectiveness (ISE) and Johanna Mendelson Forman, non-resident Senior Associate for the Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation (C3) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

RSVP here.

This Week in DC: Events

Monday, March 17

U.S. Global Health Diplomacy and the Role of Ambassadors
Date: March 17, 9:30 – 11:00am
Location: The Kaiser Family Foundation, 1330 G Street NW, Washington DC 20005

In recent years, the U.S. government has increasingly made global health issues a key element of its diplomatic efforts – most notably in the creation of a new Office of Global Health Diplomacy at the State Department in 2013, which includes a goal of supporting U.S. Ambassadors and embassies to enhance the focus on global health as part of their diplomatic engagement. How does diplomacy intersect with global health, and how is the new focus on global health diplomacy reshaping the work of U.S. Ambassadors with partner countries? How does this new office relate to and coordinate with other parts of the U.S. government’s global health architecture and foreign policy?

To provide insight into these questions, the Kaiser Family Foundation is hosting a panel discussion of U.S. Ambassadors, featuring Ambassador to Malawi Jeanine Jackson, Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White, and Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu Walter North at 9:30 a.m. ET on Monday, March 17. The event will also feature remarks from Ambassador Leslie Rowe, acting special representative in the Secretary’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy and former U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique and to Papua New Guinea, on the role of the new office. Jen Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation’s vice president and director of global health and HIV policy, will provide opening remarks and moderate the panel discussion.

RSVP required.

Ground Truth Briefing: Crimea at a Crossroads?
Date: March 17, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Miscommunication, misinterpretation, and misinformation have abounded in the last weeks as Ukraine’s crisis has careened from violence in the capital and mass protests throughout the country, perilously close to the brink of war in Crimea. What are Russia’s intentions? What can Ukraine do to maintain its territorial integrity and prevent further bloodshed? Now more than ever, a clear picture of what is going on in Crimea, Ukraine and the region is vitally important. Join us by phone to discuss the situation with key experts.

RSVP here.

CANCELLED
Beyond the Arab Spring: U.S. Engagement in a Changing Middle East Date: March 17, 11:30am – 1:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20004, 5th Floor

The panelists will consider how a range of domestic and regional changes in the Middle East have generated new challenges for U.S. diplomacy. This event is co-sponsored with the United States Institute of Peace and is the 6th and final in a series of presentations on “Reshaping the Strategic Culture of the Middle East.”

RSVP here.

Bioethics TED-style talks
Date: March 17, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC 20057, Gaston Hall

March 17th focuses on bioethics in the clinic, at the bedside, and beyond, exploring enduring issues in medical ethics like informed consent, physician obligation, and disability ethics, all the way to cutting-edge technologies like genetic and cognitive enhancement that challenge our conception of what it means to be ill, or to be well, or even to be human.

Each talk will be followed by audience Q&A. Ask a compelling question, and that thought might reach a global audience.

CANCELLED
Biodefense Policy Seminar
Date: March 17, 7:20pm
Location: George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax VA 22030, Mason Hall D003

Our March Biodefense Policy Seminar features Dana Perkins, Senior Science Advisor, DHHS — member of the 1540 Committee Group of Experts. Dr. Perkins earned a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She also earned a PhD in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2002 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she specialized in Microbiology/Neurovirology. In 2012-2013, Dana Perkins served in a US Government-seconded position as a member of the Group of Experts supporting a subsidiary body of the United Nations Security Council, the 1540 Committee. The 1540 Committee was established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to monitor the implementation of this resolution worldwide. In her prior position with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), she led the Biological Weapons Nonproliferation and Counterterrorism Branch in the Office of Policy and Planning, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). At HHS/ASPR, some of her responsibilities and duties included providing subject matter expertise, inter-agency coordination, and senior level policy advice on the scientific (biodefense and biosecurity) and public health aspects of national and international emergency preparedness and response; directing and coordinating national and international progress on issues related to biodefense and biosecurity; developing and reviewing policies on biosecurity, biological weapons nonproliferation, and health security; and performing expert analysis and preparing implementation plans to support the US Government biodefense and biosecurity policy.

Tuesday, March 18

 Should the United States Give Up on Arab Democracy?
Date: March 18, 12:00pm
Location: Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC 20057, Copley Hall, Formal Lounge

The unhappy results of what was once known optimistically as the “Arab Spring” have led many analysts to suggest that the United States should stop supporting democracy in the Arab world. It doesn’t work, the argument goes, and things end up worse rather than better. In this view, President Obama was right to dump the Bush “Freedom Agenda” because the end of the regimes in Libya, Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia has resulted only in violence and instability. Moreover, our policies have offended many of our friends in the region.

But are these arguments correct? Can the United States be indifferent to the effort to build democracy in the Arab world? Are there ways for the United States to help those struggling for democracy, more effectively and at lower cost? The topic of the lecture is the current condition and future prospects of democracy in the Arab world, and the challenge this presents to American foreign policy.

Wednesday, March 19

Did the Military Intervention in Libya Succeed?
Date: March 19, 11:00am
Location: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20001,  Hayek Auditorium

On March 19, 2011, the United States and nineteen allied states launched an air assault against the Libyan military. President Obama and other leaders argued that military action would protect Libyan civilians, aid the progress of democracy there and across the region, and buttress the credibility of the U.N. Security Council, which had passed a resolution demanding a cease fire. By October, local rebel militias had killed Libya’s long-time ruler, Muammar el-Qaddafi, and overthrown his government. Three years later, it is time to ask whether the intervention worked. Did it protect Libyans or, by prolonging the civil war and creating political chaos, heighten their suffering? Is Libya becoming a stable democracy, a failed state, or something else? Did the intervention help other revolutions in the region, heighten repression of them, or was it simply irrelevant? Should the United States help overthrow other Middle Eastern dictators?

Registration required.

The Future of the Alliance: Revitalizing NATO for a Changing World
Date: March 19, 2:30 – 3:30pm
Location: Brookings Institution

On March 19, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) will host NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen for a Statesman’s Forum address on the importance of the transatlantic alliance and how the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is evolving to address new common security challenges. As the crisis in Ukraine shows that security in the Euro-Atlantic area cannot be taken for granted, the secretary-general will discuss NATO’s essential role in an unpredictable world. He will outline the agenda for the September NATO summit in Wales as a critical opportunity to ensure that the alliance has the military capabilities necessary to deal with the threats it now faces, to consider how NATO members can better share the collective burden of defense and to engage constructively with partners around the world.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen took office as North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 12th secretary-general in August 2009. Previously, he served in numerous positions in the Danish government and opposition throughout his political career, including as prime minister of Denmark from November 2001 to April 2009.

Brookings Senior Fellow and CUSE Director Fiona Hill will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion. After the program, Secretary-General Rasmussen will take questions from the audience.

This event will be live webcastRegister here.

Russian Missile Modernization: Developments and Implications for U.S. Security
Date: March 19, 3:00 – 4:30pm
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Capitol Hill

As the Ukrainian crisis intensified, Russia launched an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) as part of a regularly scheduled test.  While Russia’s planned test was known in advance by the U.S., the test was a symbolic demonstration of Russian military prowess during a time of acute international tension.

Russian efforts to improve its ballistic missile arsenal long predate the Ukrainian crisis.  In 2012, Madelyn Creedon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, in her statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warned that:

“Like the United States, Russia will have to limit the number of strategic warheads it deploys to comply with the 1,550 limit of the Treaty. This limit will constrain Russia as it modernizes its strategic nuclear delivery systems with the deployments of several substantially MIRVed new strategic missiles, including the MIRVed Yars ICBM, new Borey-class missile submarines carrying 16 MIRVed Bulava SLBMs, and, in the event it is deployed during the life of the Treaty, a planned new ‘heavy’ ICBM to replace the SS-18 that will almost certainly carry several MIRVs.”

On March 19, 2014, the George C. Marshall Institute will host a discussion to review Russian missile modernization efforts, the implications for U.S. security, and responses to this growing threat.

As the principal nuclear threat to the United States, Russia’s activities to improve the quality of its arsenal have significant implications for our own nuclear modernization and missile defense plans, while also raising concerns about treaty violations.

The event will feature presentations from:

  • Dr. Mark Schneider, Senior Analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy; and
  • The Honorable Paula DeSutter, formerly Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation

Bioethics TED-style talks
Date: March 19, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC 20057, Gaston Hall

March 19th focuses on bioethics at the beginning and end of life, diving deep into the issues that confront us all: the ethics of creating and destroying early human life, the issues around retaining dignity at the end of life, the morality of physician-assisted suicide, and more.

Each talk will be followed by audience Q&A. Ask a compelling question, and that thought might reach a global audience.

Thursday, March 20

Cybersecurity: The Much Admired Problem
Date: March 20, 9:00am
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, City View Room, 7th Floor, Washington DC

Cyberspace, the ubiquitous fusion of information and communication technologies, has transformed the way that Americans work and play and has also markedly changed the U.S. national security landscape. Threats in and to cyberspace are causing anxiety at all levels in this country, encouraged by news of identity theft, intellectual property piracy, the Mandiant report on China’s cyber activities against US institutions, and repeated warnings of an impending “cyber Pearl Harbor.” A key issue is the fact that the cybersecurity problem is not well understood; it is much admired but not resolved. This talk will review the historical technical and policy drivers that created this hydra-headed beast, and their implications for cybersecurity. It will also provide a high-level overview of current cyber threats and attack objectives. The metaphor of public health will be used to posit approaches for significant containment of cybersecurity risk through scientific understanding, public “cyber hygiene,” and their integration with national and international legal and policy frameworks.

RSVP here.

Global Health Insecurity? New Pneumonia Viruses in China and the Middle East
Date: March 20, 1:30 – 2:30pm
Location: Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Ave NW, McDonough Hall 205,  Washington DC 20001

Dr. Daniel Lucey is an infectious disease and public health physician who teaches on global emerging infectious disease outbreaks and public health countermeasures in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). His Infectious Disease training and MPH were at Harvard 1985-1988, after medical residency at UCSF, and medical school and college at Dartmouth. After working at the NIH and Washington Hospital Center until 2002, he co-founded a graduate program on emerging infectious diseases and biohazardous threat agents at GUMC. He has traveled widely in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to exchange information regarding infectious diseases such as SARS, influenza, Nipah, HIV, anthrax, and MERS. He is an author on over 100 papers and book chapters.

The Future of Syria: A Conversation with Robert Ford
Date: March 20, 4:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The crisis in Syria shows no signs of abating. Prospects for an internal political agreement or an external intervention to defuse let alone end the civil war seem improbable at best. Meanwhile the humanitarian, political, and strategic costs for Syria and the region mount daily. Please join us for a conversation with Ambassador Robert Ford on the current situation in Syria and prospects for the future.

RSVP here.

Friday, March 21

Is the Indian Nuclear Tiger Changing Its Stripes? Data, Interpretation, and Fact
Date: March 21, 9:30am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower Washington DC

India’s nuclear posture and some of its operational practices are beginning to mimic those of the nuclear P-5. Prominent arms controllers contend that India’s national security managers are poised to repeat the worst mistakes of the superpowers nuclear competition from the Cold War years, with negative consequences for deterrence, crisis, and arms race stability in South Asia and the Asia-Pacific. Gaurav Kampani of the Norwegian Institute of Defense Studies and Toby Dalton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will discuss the existing data to determine if the case for nuclear alarmism is justified.

Register here.

Pan American Health Organization Commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day 2014
Date: March 21, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: Pan American Health Organization, 525 23rd Street NW Washington DC 20037

The commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day seeks to raise and/or reactivate awareness on the persistence of the burden of TB in the world, as well as of the efforts made for its prevention and control. Throughout the years, this commemoration has offered the opportunity to mobilize the political, economic and social commitment for prevention and control of TB in PAHO countries.

For the 2014 campaign, PAHO embraces the same concept proposed at a global level by the World Health Organisation and the Stop TB Partnership to adequately search for, diagnose and treat TB patients, using the slogan:

Tuberculosis is still undiagnosed in many places, especially in large cities
Diagnosis and Treatment for All

We hope you can join us for this exciting event which will include; opening remarks from PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Etienne, video presentations on good practices in TB case detection in vulnerable populations in the Americas, patient testimony, two panel discussions with various international speakers and the opportunity for questions and answers.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception in the lobby.

If you are unable to join us there will be a live stream of the event accessible at:www.livestream.com/opsenvivo. Register here.

Make it Count: Evaluating Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) Programming
Date: March 21, 3:00  – 4:30pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington DC 20004

Evaluation is a critical part of any development programming. Rigorous evaluations identify the successes, failures, and gaps in a given project, accumulating lessons learned that hopefully lead to more effective programming. Breaking new ground through their small-scale, community-based, and multi-sectoral approach, population, health, and environment (PHE) programs require a rethinking of traditional evaluation methods. Join us in a discussion about the history of PHE program evaluations and the path forward with John Pielemeier, an independent consultant focused on design, evaluation, and management of international development programs and projects, Vik Mohan, medical director of Blue Ventures, and Roger-Mark De Souza, director of population, environmental security, and resilience at the Wilson Center.

Register here.

UPDATED: Biodefense Policy Seminar: March 31, 2014, 7:20pm

Seminar Title:  ”Biological weapons non-proliferation, biosecurity and counter-terrorism: an international perspective”
Speaker: Dr. Dana Perkins
Date: Monday, March 31st, 2014
Time: 7:20PM
Location: Mason Hall, Room D003

danaOur March Biodefense Policy Seminar features Dana Perkins, Senior Science Advisor, DHHS — member of the 1540 Committee Group of Experts. Dr. Perkins earned a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She also earned a PhD in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2002 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she specialized in Microbiology/Neurovirology. In 2012-2013, Dana Perkins served in a US Government-seconded position as a member of the Group of Experts supporting a subsidiary body of the United Nations Security Council, the 1540 Committee. The 1540 Committee was established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to monitor the implementation of this resolution worldwide. In her prior position with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), she led the Biological Weapons Nonproliferation and Counterterrorism Branch in the Office of Policy and Planning, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). At HHS/ASPR, some of her responsibilities and duties included providing subject matter expertise, inter-agency coordination, and senior level policy advice on the scientific (biodefense and biosecurity) and public health aspects of national and international emergency preparedness and response; directing and coordinating national and international progress on issues related to biodefense and biosecurity; developing and reviewing policies on biosecurity, biological weapons nonproliferation, and health security; and performing expert analysis and preparing implementation plans to support the US Government biodefense and biosecurity policy.

Charles Duelfer at GMU

From the February 2014 Biodefense Policy Seminar, Charles Duelfer spoke to attendees about his role as Special Advisor for the Director of Central Intelligence for Iraq WMD and as a member of the ISG who investigated Iraq’s WMD program. An insightful conversation on chemical weapons around the world is also included.

TONIGHT: February Biodefense Policy Seminar feat. Charles Duelfer

Our February Biodefense Policy Seminar is tonight! The Biodefense Policy Seminars are monthly talks focused on biodefense and biosecurity broadly conceived. Free and open to the public they feature leading figures within the academic, security, industry, and policy fields. Launched in the Spring of this last year, the Seminars have been a tremendous success.

cduelferFebruary Biodefense  Policy Seminar
Speaker: Charles Duelfer
Date: Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Time: 7:20 PM
Location: Research Hall, Room 163, GMU Fairfax Campus

We  are delighted to announce our February speaker, renowned WMD expert Mr. Charles Duelfer. Charles Duelfer was the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence for Iraq WMD. He led the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) investigation in Iraq, which conducted the investigation of Iraq’s WMD programs. The ISG was a unique intelligence organization of over 1600 military and civilian staff that investigated Iraq WMD programs. It used all possible collection and analytic capabilities in a hostile environment. The Duelfer Report (2004) is the definitive work on the relationship of the Saddam Regime to WMD.

Previously, Mr. Duelfer was the Deputy Executive Chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) from 1993 until its termination in 2000. For the last several months of its existence he was the acting chairman.

Duelfer also served in the Political-Military Bureau of the State Department for several years in a variety of capacities including directing regional security programs in Africa (including Somalia, Sudan and Chad), Latin America, and the Middle East. He also participated in the policy development for nuclear weapons and arms control subjects.

From 2006-2008, Duelfer was chairman and CEO of Transformational Space Corporation, a small entrepreneurial company developing a launch system for transportation to low earth orbit. Presently he is Chairman of Omnis, Inc, a consulting firm in McLean, Virginia.

He is the author numerous articles on security and intelligence and the book, Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq (Public Affairs Books 2009).

March Biodefense Policy Seminar feat. Dr. Dana Perkins!

Title:  “Biological weapons non-proliferation, biosecurity and counter-terrorism: an international perspective”
Speaker: Dr. Dana Perkins
Date: Monday, March 17th, 2014
Time: 7:20PM
Location: Mason Hall, Room D003, GMU Fairfax Campus, VA

DanaOur March Biodefense Policy Seminar features Dana Perkins, Senior Science Advisor, DHHS — member of the 1540 Committee Group of Experts. Dr. Perkins earned a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She also earned a PhD in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2002 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she specialized in Microbiology/Neurovirology. In 2012-2013, Dana Perkins served in a US Government-seconded position as a member of the Group of Experts supporting a subsidiary body of the United Nations Security Council, the 1540 Committee. The 1540 Committee was established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to monitor the implementation of this resolution worldwide. In her prior position with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), she led the Biological Weapons Nonproliferation and Counterterrorism Branch in the Office of Policy and Planning, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). At HHS/ASPR, some of her responsibilities and duties included providing subject matter expertise, inter-agency coordination, and senior level policy advice on the scientific (biodefense and biosecurity) and public health aspects of national and international emergency preparedness and response; directing and coordinating national and international progress on issues related to biodefense and biosecurity; developing and reviewing policies on biosecurity, biological weapons nonproliferation, and health security; and performing expert analysis and preparing implementation plans to support the US Government biodefense and biosecurity policy.

Reminder: November Biodefense Policy Seminar Tonight!

Just a reminder that our Biodefense Policy Seminar is tonight! Dr. Vogel will discuss bioweapons threats and nonproliferation. There will be free pizza and soda – join us!

November Seminar Title: Project BACHUS: Forecasting Bioweapons Threats with Experiment and Demonstration
Speaker
: Kathleen Vogel
Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013, 7:20PM
Location: Meese Conference Room, Mason Hall,  GMU Fairfax Campus

20110912_Fall Scholars 2011Dr. Vogel will describe a 1990s bioweapons threat assessment that involved setting up a mock bioweapons production facility as an “experiment”. The talk will discuss the difference between a scientific experiment and scientific demonstration and why it is important to interrogate what things are labeled as “experiments” and the implications that has for bioweapons assessments. Kathleen Vogel is an associate professor at Cornell, with a joint appointment in the Department of Science and Technology Studies and the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. Vogel holds a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from Princeton University. Prior to joining the Cornell faculty, Vogel was appointed as a William C. Foster Fellow in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Proliferation Threat Reduction in the Bureau of Nonproliferation. Vogel has also spent time as a visiting scholar at the Cooperative Monitoring Center, Sandia National Laboratories and the Center for Nonprolif­eration Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies. Her research focuses on studying the social and technical dimensions of bioweapons threats and the production of knowledge in intelligence assessments on WMD issues.

Walker, October Seminar Speaker, on Destroying Chemical Weapons

As destruction efforts in Syria seem to be continuing apace, the question many of us have asked ourselves is how does one destroy a chemical weapon? Dr. Paul Walker concisely addresses this in his recent Bulletin of Atomic Scientists piece, “How to destroy chemical weapons?”. To hear more, be sure to join us next Wednesday evening for our October Biodefense Policy Seminar featuring Dr. Walker, who will discuss efforts to destroy Syrian CW at length. For more information, please visit our events page.

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists – “The recent news that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is willing to accede to the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has raised the question: How might one actually go about eliminating Syria’s chemical munitions?

The CWC entered into force in 1997. Seven CWC member countries have declared existing chemical weapons stockpiles—Albania, India, Iraq, Libya, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. Three of these—Albania, India, and South Korea—completed stockpile destruction in the last few years. Three more—Libya, Russia, and the US—expect to complete their destruction programs over the next decade. And Iraq, which joined the convention in 2009, is planning the destruction of its chemical weapons equipment and agents left from the 1991 Gulf War.

There are essentially three broad categories of destruction approaches, all used successfully in the above programs. These approaches can be mixed and matched, depending on the type, size, quantity, and condition of the agents, munitions, and containers…”

Read more here.

(image: Jen Spie/Flickr)