The Preparedness Leadership Council was truly honored to host a roundtable in October 2018 at the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center, in Washington, DC. During that event, Dr. Robert Kadlec, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), presented his overview on the President’s National Biodefense Strategy. I am pleased to present the meeting readout as a report that will be distributed to preparedness and resilience professionals.
This report would not be possible without the support of many participants, most significantly the ASPR office, including Dr. Kadlec, Theresa Lawrence, Ph.D., CAPT, USPHS, Director, Division of Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Countering Biological Threats, Office of Policy and Planning, and Jack Herrmann, M.S.Ed., N.C.C., L.M.H.C., the Deputy Director of the Office of Policy and Planning. Also, my thanks to Marco Bourne, Joseph Nemmich, Dana Saft, and David Sulek at Booz Allen Hamilton for their sponsorship, support, and guidance assembling this roundtable and report. Additional appreciation goes to the 20 roundtable participants and more than 600 respondents to a nationwide survey from which key data points were extracted.
This is not the PLC nor DomPrep’s first report in the biodefense space. In addition to many articles on biodefense, I published the following reports: Advancing Technology in Biological Surveillance and Detection in September 2012; BIODEFENSE. The Threat, the Cost & the Priority in June 2013; and Optimal Biothreat Preparedness: Impeded by Deficits in Funding, Training & Risk Communication in March 2015.
What is different today can be summed up in one word: leadership. This new biodefense strategy is a multi-departmental effort that brings seasoned practitioners together to develop and execute a multilayered plan. As Executive Director of the Preparedness Leadership Council and Publisher of DomesticPreparedness.com, I believe and hope that this is not another half- hearted attempt to address a critical problem, but one that truly comes to grip with this existential threat to our nation’s security.
Martin D. Masiuk
Preparedness Leadership Council International