The potential to engineer new life-extending treatments, vaccines, and therapeutics is vital to combating disease; however, contrary to this tremendous promise is the risk that an emerging or manufactured agent could spread quickly and kill millions before a countermeasure could be developed and dispensed. Any such catastrophic biological event could rapidly shift global security dynamics by destabilizing economies, changing political landscapes, and disproportionately impacting populations. While the world continues to receive wake-up calls in the form of pandemic outbreaks two things are apparent: Society is changing in ways that are likely to make a rapidly spreading biological agent increasingly deadly and destabilizing, and the world is largely unprepared for this type of biological event.
Beth Cameron discussed why U.S. leadership continues to be vital in advancing the Global Health Security Agenda’s mission to build a world safe from biological threats. She also explored issues from a global lens as she discussed the intricacies of incentivizing and adopting standards for reducing biological risk in an age of emerging and converging technologies.
This event was part of the Global Health Security Seminar Series, co-sponsored by Georgetown’s Center for Global Health Science and Security and the Global Health Initiative. Over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year, speakers in the series will address critical issues in global health in an effort to promote greater dialogue regarding pandemic preparedness across the university and the wider Washington D.C. community.
Dr. Beth Cameron is the Nuclear Threat Initiative's senior director for global biological policy and programs. She previously served as the senior director for global health security and biodefense on the White House National Security Council staff and the White House Ebola Task Force.