April 10 Apr 10
Thursday Thu

US National Strategy for Preventing and Responding to a Biodefense Threat

Bridging the Ideological Gap: Health as a Security Issues in the 21st Century

 In 2003, General John Gordon, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and former Deputy Director of the CIA asked his staff to do an end-to-end evaluation of U.S. biodefense posture.  As a result, Homeland Security Staff, directed by Dr. Kenneth Bernard, Special Assistant to the President, did a government-wide review of national preparedness and response to a bioterrorist attack.   The resulting assessment led in 2004 to the combined Homeland Security Presidential Directive #10 and National Security Presidential Directive #17:  "Biodefense for the 21st Century."  Dr. Bernard will discuss the process and outcome of this policy that remains the U.S. national strategy for preventing and responding to a bioterrorist event. Accomplishments, outcomes and remaining gaps will be detailed. Dr. Bernard will review the Homeland Security End-to-End Biodefense Review and Assessment and provide a framework for the organization of BioSecurity efforts in the US.  Dr. Bernard will also discuss the arguments for and against destroying the last remaining research samples of smallpox, the discussion which took place in WHO in 2011.  Additionally, Dr. Bernard will introduce the concept of Health as a Security issue and will provide historical background and policy implications.


Li Ka Shing Learning & Knowledge Center (LKSC)
291 Campus Dr.
Palo Alto, CA 94305

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Li Ka Shing Learning & Knowledge Center (LKSC)

291 Campus Dr.
Palo Alto, CA 94305
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Rear Admiral Kenneth Bernard MD, USPHS (Ret), former Special Assistant on BioSecurity to the Presidents Clinton and Bush Jr., Former chair of the Whitehouse Biodefense Policy Coordinating committee

Rear Admiral Kenneth Bernard MD, USPHS (Ret) was appointed by President Bush to be Special Assistant to the President for Biodefense on the Homeland Security Council (HSC) in November 2002. Dr. Bernard chaired the Whitehouse Biodefense Policy Coordinating committee and drafted Decision Directives for President Bush on both "Biodefense for the 21st Century" and Agricultural Bioterrorism, and he was the White House point person on Project Bioshield - a $5.6 billion congressional bill that is speeding development and procurement of new countermeasures against biological, chemical and radiological terrorist threats.

In January 2001, Dr. Bernard was assigned by the U.S. Surgeon General to the office of Senator Bill Frist to work on international health issues of priority concern to both the Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).   After September 11, however, he was called back to HHS to create the position of Special Adviser for National Security, Intelligence and Defense for the Department of Health and Human Services. From August 1998 to January 2001, he served on President Clinton's National Security Council (NSC) staff as Special Adviser to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Prior to joining the NSC, Dr. Bernard served as the International Health Attaché and senior representative of the U.S. Secretary of Health at the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland (1994-1998). From 1984-1989, he held positions as the Associate Director for Medical and Scientific Affairs in the Office of International Health, HHS, and as International Health Policy Adviser to the Director of the U.S. Peace Corps. Dr. Bernard is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.