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Home > Our Work > Events > 2015 Congressional Ebola Forum

Congressional Forum

“Building Resilient Communities: Ebola and Global Health Crises - Where We Need to Go”

Date: 25 February 2015

Time: 2:00 to 4:00 PM; Optional “After Event” 4:15-5:00 PM

Location: Cannon House Office Building, Cannon Caucus Room (345), Washington, DC

Format: Three panel format with Q&A to be followed by discussion of policy approaches (see below)

Hospitality: Refreshments will be served

After Event 4:15-5:00 PM: For panelists who wish to stay, we will have an informal, moderated discussion where attendees may hear more in depth from those on the panel, as well as additional NGO and private sector partners. This list of those participating on the panel is still being developed. This announcement will be made at the beginning of the Forum.


  • Promote coordination among U.S. government, international institutions and agencies, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector to maximize the ongoing Ebola epidemic response, management and recovery
  • Encourage sound and strategic use of appropriated Ebola Emergency Funds to ensure effective and efficient use of U.S. resources.
  • Identify strategies for building resilient communities and institutions in Ebola-affected countries that are better equipped to respond to disease outbreaks and other crises.
  • Identify outstanding challenges for ending the epidemic.
  • Propose solutions to meet challenges and improve the ongoing epidemic response
  • Discuss strategies for quickly addressing the second- and third-order effects of the epidemic.
  • Examine legislative and policy vehicles for improving this and future crisis responses.

Two panel format with Policy Discussion in last half-hour Format:

  • Each panelist will speak for 5 minutes to present their view of Ebola in West Africa, and what they see as successes, gaps, ongoing challenges and possible solutions.
  • Each panelist will be given one (or two, depending on time) questions by the moderator
  • This will be followed by a moderated question and answer period at the end of each panel
  • There will be a 5 minute break between panels
  • Panels will be followed by a policy discussion (see below).
  • “After Event” will commence at 4:15 p.m.


Introductions and Framing the Forum: 2:00-2:05

  • Housekeeping: cell phones, refreshments, “after event”
  • Q& A protocol, and submission of questions for policy panel (written-cards provided to audience members—collected between panels and submitted after vetting by Forum organizers)

Panel 1 2:05-2:40 PM:

Implementation: Ebola response in West Africa—successes, challenges, gaps and possible approaches as viewed from the ground.

Brady Deaton: Chancellor Emeritus, University of Missouri-Columbia; Executive Director of the Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development; Chair, USAID Bureau for International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD)

Gavin MacGregor-Skinner: Elizabeth R. Griffin Foundation and Associate Professor at The Pennsylvania State University Graduate Homeland Security Program
Jolene Mullins: Liberia Country Director, Project Concern International
Bockari Kortu Stevens: Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United States

Panel 2 2:45-3:30 PM

Coordination: Ebola response in West Africa--successes and challenges as viewed from the international perspective. We will focus on unity of effort in operations while building resilient communities and strengthened systems for health and human security. We will touch on food  and nutrition security, the Global Health Security Agenda and coordination of future responses to Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHECIs)

Moderator: Brady Deaton

Tjada D'Oyen McKenna: Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, and Assistant to the Administrator in the USAID’s Bureau for Food Security.
Tom Inglesby: Chief Executive Officer and Director of the University of Pittsburg Center for Health Security
Bockari Kortu Stevens: Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United States

Policy Discussion with Q&A to 3:35-4:00 PM

Legislative Options/Policy Solutions for enabling the US Government’s coordination, efficiency and effectiveness of response to crisis, with a focus on resiliency approaches and sustainability.

Tiaji Salaam-Blyther: Specialist in Global Health, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service

Shannon Scribner:  Policy Analyst, Oxfam America

After Event 4:15 to 5:00 PM: See above



Our Mission

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