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Matthew Watson
Senior Analyst, Senior Research Associate

Public health and hospital preparedness biosurveillance disaster response

Matthew Watson
Matthew Watson

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Professional Profile

Mr. Watson is Senior Analyst at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and Senior Research Associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His primary research interests include public health and healthcare preparedness and policy; nonproliferation, biosecurity, and national security policy; and vaccinology. Mr. Watson serves as program director for the Center’s Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Watson supported the federal government’s response by serving as a Senior Advisor in the Department of Health and Human Service’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. In that capacity, he developed and maintained situational awareness with respect to national health system capacity, conducted stakeholder engagement, and coordinated and contributed to the development of technical guidance.

Mr. Watson has led and contributed to numerous projects aimed at building capacity to respond to infectious disease emergencies and major disasters both in the United States and internationally. Most recently, he led a review of mass vaccination technologies and contributed to a review of technologies that could be used to prevent, detect, and respond to global catastrophic biological risks.

Mr. Watson has also contributed significantly to a number of projects focused on biological threat characterization and risk assessment. He was a core member of the project team that studied the US Biological Threat Characterization Program and provided recommendations to the government, which were then published in Science. He has also provided expert input to strategic development of chemical and biological security priorities for the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr. Watson is an author of the article series “Federal Funding for Health Security,” which is published annually and provides a unique analysis of federal health security programs and their associated funding levels.

Before joining the Center, Mr. Watson completed graduate coursework in public health and earned a BS in emergency medicine from the University of Pittsburgh.


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