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Home > Our Work > Events > 2015 Multilateral Dialogue on Biosecurity

Multilateral Strategic Dialogue on Biosecurity
Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, United States

The UPMC Center for Health Security hosted the first meeting of a multilateral biosecurity dialogue between partners representing the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. This effort was supported by the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD and sponsored by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The meeting took place at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, and included discussions on pandemic preparedness, the threat of bioterrorism, regional coordination for addressing cross-border threats, and intersectoral collaboration during biosecurity emergencies. The meeting also featured a day-long tabletop exercise examining state and regional responses to a series of transnational bioterrorist attacks.”


June 24, 2015

Welcome, Goals of Meeting, and Dialogue Participant Introductions
Dr. Tom Inglesby
Director, UPMC Center for Health Security

Ms. Anita Cicero
Deputy Director, UPMC Center for Health Security

Session 1: Perspectives on Biosecurity
Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the US have different histories, cultures, and priorities that inform their respective views on biosecurity and biological weapons. During this opening session, we will begin to discuss how leaders in government and other experts approach the risk of biological threats in each country. What major national institutions are responsible for both bioterrorism and disease epidemic preparedness and response strategies? How do history and the current political climate in each country affect national attitudes toward biosecurity? What “black swan” events are most concerning to you?

Opening Remarks:  Tikki Elka Pangestu, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, Ken Bernard, Lokman Hakim Bin Sulaiman


Session 2: Detecting Biological Threats What types of biosurveillance systems (eg, human disease surveillance, environmental detection) are in place to detect natural or deliberate biological threats? Do you feel that they are sufficient? Which agencies are in charge of such systems? Do you have challenges in communicating between the public health and defense communities? How would you distinguish between an outbreak and the use of a biological weapon? Do your human and animal surveillance systems/communities interact?

Opening Remarks: Chong Chee Kheong, Michelle Yap, Ratna Sitompul, Noreen Hynes


Session 3: Future Approaches to Combating Biological Threats
Participants will exchange ideas about potential future priorities and approaches to prevention, response, and recovery from biological threats (natural, accidental, deliberate). What are the most difficult technical, political, or organizational challenges faced by your Ministry of Health? Home Affairs? Defense? To what extent do current international/regional engagement initiatives improve preparedness and response for biological threats? What works? What doesn’t? Give examples of gaps and challenges.

Opening Remarks: Manikavasagam Jegathesan, Vernon Lee, Julie Fischer, Daniel Tjen

Presentation: DoD Strategies for Countering Biological Threats
CDR Franca R. Jones, MS, PhD
Director, Medical Programs
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs


Session 4: Leadership Strategies During Major Biological Events
If a serious outbreak of a rapidly spreading infectious disease emerges in your nation or in a neighboring nation, or if there is an act of bioterrorism close to home, how should your leaders react? Is it clear who would be in charge? How well are agencies poised to cooperate? How would sensitive information from the intelligence community be conveyed to the public health community in the event of an act of bioterrorism? Would leadership change depending on whether the event is naturally occurring or man-made? Would one leader or well-known figure be tasked with all public communication?

Opening Remarks: Seth Carus, Endy M. Bayuni, Zalini Yunus, Kwa Chong Guan

Meeting with Dr. Beth Cameron and Laura Holgate to discuss the Global Health Security Agenda, Eisenhower Executive Office Building


June 25, 2015

Tour of the Secretary's Operations Center (SOC), which is the focal point for critical public health and medical information in the US government. The tour will be followed by a presentation on US regional cooperation.
Dr. Maria Julia Marinissen, Director of International Health Security Office of Policy and Planning, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

Presentation: US DoD Experiences During Ebola
Major General John P. Horner, Deputy Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Bioterrorism Tabletop Exercise

Debriefing and Impressions of Exercise

Wrap-up and Discussion of Topics for Next Dialogue Session in Malaysia

Meeting Participants

Senior Editor
The Jakarta Post

USPHS (ret.)
National Security and Biodefense

W. Seth CARUS, PhD
Distinguished Research Fellow
Center for the Study of Weapons
of Mass Destruction
National Defense University

CHONG Chee Kheong, PhD, MPH
Director of Disease Control Division
Ministry of Health Malaysia

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Director
UPMC Center for Health Security

Associate Research Professor of Health Policy
Milken Institute School of Public Health
The George Washington University

Senior Associate
UPMC Center for Health Security

MG John P. Horner
Deputy Director
Defense Threat Reduction Agency

William P. HOSTYN, MS
Director, Advisory Committees and Programs Office
Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Public Health (International Health)
Director, Geographic Medicine Center of the Division of Infectious Diseases
Johns Hopkins University

Tom Inglesby, MD
Chief Executive Officer and Director
UPMC Center for Health Security

Manikavasagam JEGATHESAN, MD
Universiti Sains Malaysia
And Intra-Global Connections sdn bhd

CDR Franca R. JONES, MS, PhD
Director, Medical Programs
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs

Stefanie Li Yee KAM, MSc, MA
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

KWA Chong Guan, MA
Senior Fellow
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Nanyang Technological University

Head, Singapore Armed Forces
Biodefence Center
Adjunct Associate Professor

Tikki Elka PANGESTU, PhD
Visiting Professor
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore

Sanjana RAVI, MPH
UPMC Center for Health Security

Faculty of Medicine
Universitas Indonesia

Pratiwi Pujilestari SUDARMONO, MD, PhD
Vice Dean and Professo
Faculty of Medicine
Universitas Indonesia

Lokman Hakim bin SULAIMAN, MPH, MD, PhD
Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Kesihatan (Kesihatan Awam)
Deputy Director General of Health (Public Health)
Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia
Ministry of Health Malaysia

Daniel TJEN, MD, SpS
Surgeon General
Indonesian National Armed Forces

Kyaw San WAI, MSc
Senior Analyst
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Nanyang Technological University

Michelle YAP
Senior Assistant Director, Science & Technology Assessment Taskforce
Office of the Chief Science & Technology Officer
Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore

Zalini YUNUS, PhD
Head of Biosurveillance & Bio-Defence
Protection & Biophysical Technology Division
Science & Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE)
Ministry of Defence



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