Abstract: The threat of biological catastrophes-- stemming from natural, accidental or intentional causes-- looms ever larger as populations urbanize, global temperatures rise, and the access to biological weapons spreads. In fact, climate change and the increasing ease with which biological weapons may be obtained represent two significant threats to public health. As these threats materialize, they test nations’ resources, capabilities, and strength. Through an examination of the policy and scientific challenges posed by weaponized biological agents as well as by the growing public health risks stemming from climate change impacts, key gaps in bio-preparedness emerge. Bio-preparedness efforts, nationally and globally, do not currently keep pace with emerging biological risks. Will the scientific and policy communities find common ground to move the global health agenda forward through prevention, detection, and response?
Speaker Bio: Alice Hill is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. She previously served at the White House as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Senior Director for Resilience Policy on the National Security Council. Hill led the creation of national policy regarding catastrophic risk, including the impacts of climate change and biological threats.
Hill previously served as Senior Counselor to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She headed the DHS Biological Leadership group and led development of Department strategies and policies regarding catastrophic biological and chemical incidents, ranging from pandemics to weapons of mass destruction. Hill also founded and was the first Chair of the Blue Campaign, an internationally recognized anti-human trafficking campaign.
Earlier in her career, Hill has served as a supervising judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court and as chief of the white-collar crime unit in the Los Angeles US Attorney’s Office.
She is a frequent speaker and has been quoted in the NY Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She has appeared on CBS, NPR, and MSNBC and her commentary has been published in Newsweek, LawFare, The Hill, and other media. She has received numerous awards and commendations, including the Department of Justice’s highest award for legal accomplishment, Harvard’s Meta-Leader of the Year Award, and the San Fernando Valley Bar’s Judge of the Year.