The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced the selection of Dr. Rick Bright as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Bright has been with BARDA since 2010. Most recently, he served as Director of the BARDA’s Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases Division and he previously led the BARDA Influenza Division’s International Program.
Bright began his career in vaccine and therapeutics development at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he focused on avian and human influenza viruses, antiviral drugs and the development novel assays for high throughput surveillance for resistance to antiviral drugs.
Bright has also worked in the biotechnology industry where he served as the Director of Immunology at Altea Therapeutics and Vice President of Research and Development and Global Influenza Programs at Novavax, Inc. Rounding out his experience in the public and private sectors, in 2008, Dr. Bright joined PATH as the Scientific Director of the Influenza Vaccine Project in the Vaccine Development Global Program and the Director of the Influenza Vaccine Capacity Building Project in Vietnam.
“BARDA succeeds through strong relationships with federal, private sector and non-governmental entities, and in vetting the candidates for the BARDA Director position we engaged subject matter experts and leaders from across ASPR and the PHEMCE,” noted Assistant Secretary Nicole Lurie. “In a strong field, Rick Bright stood out, with a clear vision for leading BARDA and collaborating with PHEMCE partners in a rapidly changing mission space.
Bright will continue and expand upon the work of his predecessor, Acting BARDA Director Dr. Richard Hatchett. In the past year under Hatchett, BARDA has responded to the emergence of Zika by jump-starting the development of vaccines, diagnostics and blood screening products, while continuing with CBRN and pandemic influenza program activities, and launching a new program in the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X).
Bright received his PhD in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis from Emory University (Atlanta, GA) and his BS in Biology (Medical Technology) and Physical Sciences from Auburn University (Montgomery, AL).
Dr. Bright assumes his new position as the Director of BARDA on November 13, 2016.