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We convene expert working groups, congressional seminars, scientific meetings, conferences, and tabletop exercises to stimulate new thinking and provoke action.

Upcoming events

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Past events


We heard from local community leaders and their CommuniHealth research partners about:

  • How this human-centered, community health infrastructure continues to exercise unmatched skills during the pandemic response,
  • What further advances in health and wellbeing can be had if these local champions receive sustained support going forward, and
  • Why walking away from a still fragile community health sector and declaring “mission accomplished” could cause health disparities to resurge and hard-won trust to fade.

Also, panelists addressed the types of resources needed to achieve community health sustainability during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

This session featured an intimate fireside chat and audience Q&A with Dr. Raj Panjabi who serves in the White House National Security Council as the Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense.

A Virtual Cross-Sector Symposium

During this online symposium, we engaged a broad community of practitioners in discussions about operationalizing a holistic process of post-pandemic recovery: What systems can local jurisdictions set up and strengthen that sustain the long view on getting through and past the pandemic, reverse the social determinants of uneven impacts, and develop resilience to future public health emergencies?

This session dove into the unique health needs of rural communities in the United States and how the Federal Government can aid these communities to be better prepared for a future pandemic.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted a meeting, “National Strategy for Improving Indoor Air Quality,” in Washington, DC, on September 8, 2022. The meeting featured a keynote speaker and four expert panels focused on the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ), challenges to providing healthy indoor air across the United States, international perspectives and strategies for healthy air improvements, and catalyzing needed science and technology innovation in the IAQ field. Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator, opened the meeting by reiterating the importance of IAQ to the Biden-Harris Administration.

This session highlighted the key components of what is necessary to incentivize, facilitate, and sustain effective PPPs for innovation to bolster pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response; what Congress can do to support and leverage such partnerships, the role of the appropriations process; and how the US can be better positioned in the global economy through increased investments in PPPs in the areas of health security and advanced life science.

This webinar focused on COVID-19 testing strategies and best practices for large sporting events. The panelists, Dr. Brian McCloskey and Ms. Lucia Mullen, served on WHO’s COVID-19 Mass Gatherings Expert Group. They advised Olympic organizers on COVID-19 countermeasures for the Tokyo 2020 Summer and the Beijing 2022 Winter games. They discussed developing and implementing masking, testing, and vaccination strategies for the world’s oldest – and largest – international sporting celebration.

This session explored the outlook for this budget request and the options for future of pandemic preparedness and health security funding. Speakers expanded on the need for bi-partisan collaboration to secure preparedness funding and possible budget mechanisms that would lead us to become a more resilient nation.

Panelists discussed how Johns Hopkins University developed and implemented its COVID-19 testing strategies for faculty, staff, and students.

With new COVID-19 variants, waning immunity, and low booster vaccination numbers, holding large personal events, like weddings, bar mitzvahs, and anniversary parties, can be complicated. Dr. Manoj Jain discussed the four-pronged approach (communication, vaccination, masking, and testing) that helped his family safely plan and host a wedding during the pandemic.

This session explored how policy makers can work to sustain technological gains made in diagnostic testing during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they can expand applications of this technology to other health security threats.

This session focused on the current status of mask and respirator stockpiling, the scientific advances that could lead to more effective and accessible masks, and policies that the U.S. government could support to build this capacity in anticipation of future public health threats.

Hosted by the CommuniVax Coalition and the Vaccine Equity Cooperative, this webinar will demonstrate how building socially valued and sustainably resourced community health systems will help advance national health equity.

This session explored the current state, successes, and remaining challenges of global vaccine development, manufacturing, distribution, and delivery. It highlighted actionable steps the U.S. Government can take to bring an end to the acute crisis of this pandemic and meet the scale of future infectious disease threats.



The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted a virtual side event during the 2021 Meeting of States Parties (MSP) to the Biological & Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) on our BWC Assurance project. The BWC Assurance study aimed to stimulate dialogue on important issues related to BWC verification outside the narrow context of specific terms or concepts, such as “verification” and “confidence,” and identify potential mechanisms to increase certainty that BWC States Parties are adhering to their obligations under the treaty. This research was conducted through 36 interviews with representatives from BWC delegations and subject matter experts around the world, and the research team utilized a combination of quantitative analysis to identify important topics and qualitative analysis of interview content. This side event presented preliminary findings from the study, including detailed analysis of similarities and differences in how the interviewees approach core concepts under the umbrella of BWC Assurance and topics that merit for further dialogue in future BWC meetings, including the 9th Review Conference and the next Intersessional Period. A full project report, including additional analyses, will be published in early 2022.

This session examined how Federal agencies, Congress, and the White House can foster greater agility, speed, innovation and coordination to re-imagine research and development for pandemic readiness.

This session evaluated the role misinformation has played in health emergencies and offered solutions to increase trust in future public health messaging.

We discussed the ongoing importance of COVID-19 testing and the verification of testing results at-home. The moderated discussion focused on at-home COVID-19 testing using rapid antigen tests, and scenarios where verification of results is necessary, including for employee or student testing programs.

This webinar considered the impact of research and outreach in 4 local areas, which together represent a mix of Black and Hispanic/Latino communities in rural to urban areas. Local leaders and public health officials heard about these communities and what they have done – and are doing – to address the challenges they are facing related to COVID-19 vaccination and equity.

This webinar outlined a new strategy for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign informed by rapid research conducted with Black and Hispanic/Latino communities across the United States. Public health and government leaders heard specific guidance on how to adapt COVID-19 vaccination efforts to achieve greater vaccine coverage in underserved populations, and through this, to develop sustainable, locally appropriate mechanisms to advance equity in health.

We discussed the importance of testing, and other mitigation efforts, to get passengers safely flying again. The moderated discussion covered how Lufthansa Group has handled the challenges of the last year and how the experiences will be used for travel going forward.

In this month’s session, speakers evaluated where things stand in terms of global access to vaccines and the urgent need to expedite global vaccine distribution to save lives and reduce the risk that variants pose.

This webinar explored how the federal government can prioritize investments in available and future technologies to ensure nothing like the Covid-19 pandemic, or worse, could ever happen again.

The session discussed how to work with faith-based and community-based organizations to make COVID-19 vaccination more equitable and strengthen the communities in which they are rooted. Panelists showcased unique, effective initiatives and activities that are ongoing in different communities around the country, to celebrate these successes and share learnings so that other communities can achieve their own versions of success.

A panel of experts discussed the importance COVID-19 testing strategies and best practices in the entertainment industry to ensure production can safely resume.

Hospitals and health care systems are the life force behind an effective pandemic response in the United States. Yet during the COVID-19 pandemic, these public and private sector institutions experienced staff, supply, and equipment shortages; struggled with providing access to care in rural areas; and lacked data coordination.

How can the federal government assist in tackling the problems experienced by these institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic to help them prepare for future pandemics and other health emergencies?

Hosted by CommuniVax and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, this session examined the roles health departments can take in achieving health equity. Taking a social determinants of health lens, the conversation addressed equitable and optimal levels of health outcomes for all, starting with COVID-19 vaccination. Speakers discussed real-world examples, best practices, ways forward for health departments pursuing health equity and how to build recovered, resilient communities.

A panel of experts discussed the importance of testing to ensure schools can safely re-open and stay open for in-person learning, and provided insights into BD's COVID-19 testing capabilities, including training and education.

The length and intensity of the domestic COVID-19 response has exposed vulnerabilities in the domestic supply capacity for key products needed in a pandemic including personal protective equipment, lab supplies, needles and syringes, and key therapeutic compounds. While we still face supply challenges in our ongoing COVID-19 response, emerging lessons from both the private and public sector can inform new policies and practices that enhance domestic preparedness. Supporting a robust domestic manufacturing and distribution infrastructure for such products will ensure the US is more prepared for future pandemics.

The first webinar of this series featured a conversation with Ginkgo Bioworks on how they launched their innovative COVID-19 testing service, Concentric by Ginkgo, and their efforts to pilot their program in schools. The panelists discussed the importance of testing to ensure safe school re-openings, as well as the role of biotechnology to counter future outbreaks and pandemics.

Hosted by CommuniVax and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, this webinar discussed the specific recommendations made in the report and shared experiences from local initiatives, so officials can consider adopting them as they implement COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in their own towns, cities, and states.

The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need for enhanced disease surveillance capabilities both domestically and abroad. Epidemiological data has been the backbone for the global response to COVID-19. The country’s COVID-19 experience has highlighted gaps in our domestic system and the need to increase our current capacity. The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern with potential for increased transmission have sparked discussion on the need for genomic surveillance, adding to the conversation on what we can be doing as a country now to improve our COVID-19 response. This webinar addressed the current status of domestic disease surveillance and open a dialogue on how we can become better prepared for future public health threats.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had catastrophic impacts on US children’s education. K-12 schools have had to compensate with ever-changing policies related to in-person schooling. Teachers and staff have struggled with limited guidance and resources for teaching safely. Children and their families have had to cope with disease risk and limited access to typical school functions including in-person learning, health resources, childcare and food security. Guidance and resources have since been made available to school administration for the prevention and mitigation of transmission, but ventilation in schools - an issue even prior to the pandemic - is often neglected in the provision of guidance and resources. This meeting explored next steps and priorities for the current administration to improve indoor air quality in schools during and after the pandemic.

As the largest mass vaccination campaign in recent US history is now underway, the US government and states must play vital roles in boosting confidence in the vaccine, building demand, and meeting the needs of a diverse set of urban, suburban, and rural communities. We discussed how the vaccination campaign is going, what the federal government can do to support a successful immunization effort, and the systems that need to be built for future mass vaccination efforts.



In the recent weeks there has been exciting news from the COVID-19 vaccine trials, bolstering hopes that the vaccines will bring the pandemic under control. This session focused on the implementation of mass vaccination programs. We discussed the challenges and opportunities at the local, state and national levels to maximize the effectiveness and equity of the impending COVID-19 vaccination effort.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented public health and economic crises. Tests for the presence of infection are critical to measure the spread of disease and to control epidemics in communities. This pandemic has revealed several gaps in diagnostic testing. We must leverage these lessons to improve ongoing response efforts and to better prepare for future pandemics.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Bloomberg School of Public Health released a report detailing COVID-19’s impact on the nation’s criminal justice system.

The report, prepared in partnership with the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, provides evidence-based recommendations to reduce the risk of infection for people who work in and are confined by the system.

The United States’ continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted gaps in the nation’s health security capabilities. As the US continues to respond to this herculean challenge, the new Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Pandemic Preparedness & Health Security will provide an educational forum to discuss new topics, technologies, and ideas that could improve domestic health security now and in the future.

The launch event, hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, featured a discussion with the Honorary Senate Co-chairs and the Steering Committee’s Honorary Founding Members, leaders who have spent decades improving US health security.

Senior leaders from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and In-Q-Tel discussed 2 innovative proposals for preparing for the next pandemic

Senior leaders from public health, health care, and academia provided the most up-to-date, accurate information on the 2019-nCoV outbreak and its potential impact on the United States.



The second annual Global Forum on Scientific Advances Important to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, facilitated engagement between leading scientists and States Parties delegations to raise awareness about emerging biological capabilities, expand the community dedicated to bolstering nonproliferation norms, and explore solutions for biological weapons challenges.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. The purpose of the exercise was to illustrate the pandemic preparedness efforts, response decisions, and cooperation required from global businesses, governments, and public health leaders that the world will need to diminish the large-scale economic and societal consequences of a severe pandemic.

On Friday, July 26, 2019, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Tianjin University Center for Biosafety Research and Strategy co-hosted an event that brought together leading experts and emerging leaders from China and the US to discuss the ways, both positive and negative, that synthetic biology may alter the social and economic frameworks of modern humanity.

On July 16, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and Ginkgo Bioworks convened a meeting in Washington, DC, to solicit stakeholder input on specific ways that national policy can strengthen the US bioeconomy. The aims of the meeting were to consider the benefits to the US if its bioeconomy were to be expanded; examine the current health of the US bioeconomy; discuss existing US government programs, policies, and initiatives related to the bioeconomy; and identify priorities for strengthening the US bioeconomy.

The Center recently co-hosted the 2019 meeting of the Strategic Multilateral Dialogue on Biosecurity with the Thailand Ministry of Public Health Department of Disease Control in Phuket, Thailand. The three-day convening began on April 28 and brought together current and former senior government officials, policymakers, and other biosecurity experts from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.

With support from the Open Philanthropy Project, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted a one-day meeting on April 9, 2019 in Washington, DC to discuss the 2010 US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) guidelines for providers of double stranded synthetic DNA. Invited speakers and audience members discussed potential steps that the US government and provides could take to increase biosecurity in gene synthesis.

In February 2019, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted the sixth dialogue on biosecurity between senior experts and leaders from the United States and the Republic of India. The purposes of this dialogue are to increase knowledge of prevention and response efforts for natural, deliberate, and accidental biological threats in India and the United States; to look for new synergies and share best practices and innovations; to examine opportunities for partnership and collaboration; to develop and deepen relationships between dialogue participants; and to identify issues that may warrant being brought to the attention of the Indian or US government.



The first annual Global Forum on Scientific Advances Important to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, addressed rapidly emerging advancements in biology and biotechnology and their impact on bioweapons nonproliferation policy.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security offered an expenses-paid biosecurity fellowship opportunity in conjunction with SynBioBeta 2018: The Global Synthetic Biology Summit. The program is sponsored by the Open Philanthropy Project.

In September 2018, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted the fifth dialogue on biosecurity between senior experts and leaders from the United States and the Republic of India. The purposes of this dialogue are to increase knowledge of prevention and response efforts for natural, deliberate, and accidental biological threats in India and the United States; look for new synergies and share best practices and innovations; examine opportunities for partnership and collaboration; develop and deepen relationships between dialogue participants; and identify issues that may warrant being brought to the attention of the Indian or US government.

To gather broad input on the forthcoming US Global Health Security Strategy, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security convened more than 70 public and private sector global health security stakeholders for a meeting on July 30, 2018, in Washington, DC. The purpose of the meeting was for stakeholders to engage in discussion regarding the US Global Health Security Strategy and provide recommendations to the USG for this strategy.

On July 10, 2018, in Washington, DC, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted a meeting on global health security in South Asia. The goal of the meeting was to discuss health security challenges in South Asia and to identify opportunities for implementation of health security initiatives.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted the Clade X pandemic tabletop exercise on May 15, 2018, in Washington, DC. The purpose of the exercise was to illustrate high-level strategic decisions and policies that the United States and the world will need to pursue in order to prevent a pandemic or diminish its consequences should prevention fail.

April 24-25, 2018
Ebola Conference at NIH in Washignton, DC

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security conducted a Track II multilateral biosecurity dialogue between Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the United States—with observers from the Philippines and Thailand—in Nusa Dua, Indonesia on April 18-20, 2018. Dialogue topics included national biosecurity priorities as well as ongoing and emerging biosecurity threats facing Southeast Asia countries, ranging from emerging infectious diseases to advances in biotechnology to bioterrorism.

The report, “A Framework for Healthcare Disaster Resilience: A View to the Future,” was released at a February 22 event at the National Press Club.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security moderate a panel discussion with participants involved in an ongoing SE Asian Biosecurity Dialogue between Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, and the United States. This is a unique "Track 2" (non-Ministerial level) diplomatic dialogue that promotes engagement to improve national and regional response to natural, accidental, and deliberate biological events.




Our Mission

To protect people’s health from epidemics and disasters and ensure that communities are resilient to major challenges.