Blue Ribbon Study PanelThe purpose of this bipartisan panel is to assess the Nation's biodefense against deliberate and natural potentially catastrophic biological or large-scale chemical incidents. It will identify changes to U.S. policy and law necessary to strengthen national resilience while optimizing resource investments. 

To provide for a comprehensive assessment of the state of U.S. biodefense efforts, former Senator Joe Lieberman and former Governor Tom Ridge are co-chairing the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense. Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, former Senator Tom Daschle, former Representative Jim Greenwood, and the Honorable Kenneth Wainstein are also serving as members.

Four public meetings were convened in Washington, DC on biological and chemical threat awareness, prevention and protection, surveillance and detection, and response and recovery. Current and former Members of Congress, former Administration officials, state and local representatives, thought leaders, and experts provided their perspectives on current biodefense efforts, including strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.

While much good work has been done, these meetings have revealed systemic challenges in the enterprise designed to protect Americans from biological and chemical events, particular in the area of leadership. With this input, as well as with additional interviews and research, the Panel is now working to identify and recommend changes to U.S. policy and law to strengthen national biodefense while optimizing resource investments. The Panel will produce a report that will: (1) assess ongoing efforts; (2) articulate actions to improve the Nation's ability to prevent, deter, prepare for, detect, respond to, attribute, recover from, and mitigate biological and large-scale chemical incidents; and (3) identify near and long-term actions by current and future Congresses and Presidential Administrations. The Report of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense will be issued in Fall of 2015.

Institutional sponsors of the Study include the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies (at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies) and the Hudson Institute.
For further information, please contact Professor Yonah Alexander at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 703-525-0770.



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The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


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