The inaugural meeting of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, a bipartisan panel co-chaired by former Senator Joe Lieberman and former Governor and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, took place last week on Dec. 4.
Panelists included former Senator Tom Daschle, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, former US Homeland Security Advisor Kenneth Wainstein, and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO and former Representative Jim Greenwood.
The study will be directed by Dr. Robert Kadlec, former Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Biological Defense Policy in the White House Homeland Security Council.
The Panel will identify and recommend changes to U.S. policy and law to strengthen national biodefense and preparedness while optimizing resource investments with the goal of issuing a report in the spring of 2015.
“The efforts of this panel could not be more timely, as our nation continues to face growing challenges and threats from abroad, including infectious diseases such as Ebola and terrorist groups who have voiced a desire to obtain chemical and biological weapons,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “It is clearly necessary to assess our current biodefense capabilities and readiness to respond to such threats.”