Ms. Watson is a Senior Associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and Visiting Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her policy research focuses on public health risk assessment, crisis and risk-based decision making, public health and healthcare preparedness and response, biodefense, and emerging infectious disease preparedness and response. She also conducts research on the funding and management of biodefense and health security in the US federal government.
From 2012 to 2013, Ms. Watson served as Program Manager for the Integrated (CBRN) Terrorism Risk Assessment (ITRA) program of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science and Technology Directorate. The ITRA program is mandated by presidential directive and is linked to decision making in a number of parts of the US government, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Defense (DoD), the intelligence community, and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others.
During her year as ITRA Program Manager, Ms. Watson also coordinated and supported a joint DHS/HHS study to inform the contents of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). In addition, she led an assessment of the chemical, biological, radiological, and explosives risk to the DHS mail stream and screening facility.
Since joining the Center in 2004, Ms. Watson has led a variety of projects and authored a number of peer-reviewed articles and reports, including an article published in Science on biological threat characterization and articles on risk assessment; federal decontamination plans for a wide-area biological attack; federal, state, and local medical response to Hurricane Katrina; and the National Hospital Preparedness Program. Ms. Watson also focuses on supporting national and global health security and was a member of the Center’s Joint External Evaluation (JEE) team, which conducted an assessment of Taiwan’s capacities and capabilities under the International Health Regulations (IHR). Ms. Watson has for the last 4 years directed the Center’s Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity program (ELBI), a fellowship program now sponsored by the Open Philanthropy Foundation and formerly supported by the DoD www.emergingbioleaders.org. Ms. Watson serves as an Associate Editor of the journal Health Security.
Ms. Watson is a DrPH candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) in the Department of Health Policy and Management, focusing on public health management and risk assessment. Ms. Watson received her MPH degree from JHSPH in May 2009, and she earned her BA in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology in 2004 from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Wiley Online Library March 17, 2017
PLOS Currents Outbreaks May 25, 2016
Health Secur 2015;13(3):186-206
Health Secur 2015;13(1):3-8