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Home > Our Work > Events > ELBI: 2016 Workshop

Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative: 2016 Workshop

Spring Workshop | MARCH 14-16, 2016

Fellows’ Biographies

Wendy Anne Beauvais | Anne Cheever | Francisco Cruz | Genya V. Dana | Cory Davenport | Natalie DeGraaf | Christine Farquharson | Mary Foote | Stephanie Griese | Trevor Hall | Mark Hansberger | Siddha Hover | Daniel Jackson | Dylan Jones | Samantha Kasloff | Mary Lancaster | Gregory Measer | Amber Murch | Hayley Severance | Reid Orth | Megan Palmer | Lianne Parr | Kristin Post | Claire Standley | Jen January Therrien | Angela Vasa | Krista Versteeg | Jennifer Weisman


Wendy Anne Beauvais

Wendy Beauvais is a veterinarian with interests in zoonotic pathogens, public health, and mathematical modeling. She completed her veterinary degree in 2007 at the Royal Veterinary College in London, and, following a short period in clinical veterinary practice, she completed a masters degree in veterinary epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Royal Veterinary College (2010). She is currently a PhD student and resident of the European College of Veterinary Public Health at the Royal Veterinary College in London. Her PhD project is on the control of brucellosis in domestic livestock, people, and wildlife in Kazakhstan. During her PhD studies she has also been involved in investigating the recent mass mortalities in saiga antelope in Kazakhstan. Previously she worked on several research projects, including a risk analysis of reintroduction of a globally eradicated virus that has potential as an agricultural bioweapon (rinderpest), funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


Anne Cheever

Anne Cheever is a Lead Scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, supporting the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the areas of biosecurity, emerging infectious diseases forecasting, synthetic biology, and medical countermeasures. Prior to joining Booz Allen, Dr. Cheever was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Executive Branch Fellow at the US Department of State in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). In INR, she provided scientific advice, coordination, and written and oral intelligence briefings to senior policymakers on a broad range of topics, including biosecurity, health, environmental issues, wildlife trafficking, and emerging technologies. Dr. Cheever was a postdoctoral fellow at Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, where she studied translation regulators of selenoprotein expression during conditions of selenium deficiency. At the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, she received a BS in ecology, ethology, and evolution and a PhD in cell and molecular biology for work on neurodegenerative disease and the role of microRNAs as translational regulators of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP).


Francisco Cruz

Francisco Cruz is a Biologist in the Field Operations Branch of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Consequence Management Advisory Division (CBRN CMAD). As CBRN CMAD's Biologist, Mr. Cruz provides operational guidance to federal, state, and local responders in the areas of decontamination and emergency response related to biological incidents. Additionally, he collaborates with EPA researchers on novel decontamination approaches, focusing methods that can be best implemented in the field using commercially available products. Prior to his position with CBRN CMAD, Mr. Cruz was a Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) for EPA's Philadelphia regional office, leading federal responses to releases of hazardous substances and oil spills. During his time as a FOSC, Mr. Cruz responded to several large environmental disasters, including Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene. In addition to emergency response, he provided training, exercise development, and preparedness planning to state and local responders. Mr. Cruz was responsible for coordinating full-scale exercises and training for 33 counties throughout Virginia and West Virginia. He is a trained Public Information Officer and served as Assistant Public Information Officer for EPA during the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill.

Mr. Cruz holds a BA in biological sciences from the University of Delaware, a graduate certificate in critical analysis and strategic responses to terrorism from George Mason University, and an MS in biodefense from George Mason University.


Genya V. Dana

Genya V. Dana is a Senior Science Policy Officer in the Office of the Science and Technology, Adviser to the Secretary of State, at the US Department of State. She advises on emerging biotechnologies and international policy issues; is a negotiator on science, technology, and innovation in multilateral organizations like the United Nations; and works to advance science, technology, and innovation for sustainable development with a focus on Africa. She also manages 4 science policy fellowship programs aimed at bringing more technical expertise into the Department. She was a AAAS Fellow in the Department’s Office of Conservation and Water from 2011 to 2013, covering food security, wetlands, biodiversity, drylands management, and biotechnology in international negotiations. Her scientific training is in ecological risk assessment of emerging technologies and stakeholder engagement in risk governance, and she conducted her doctoral research in South Africa.

Prior to her AAAS fellowship, she split her time between an Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education (ORISE) postdoctoral fellowship at the US Environmental Protection Agency, where she assisted with stakeholder engagement in nanotechnology research strategy development, and an appointment as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, where she tested methodologies for evaluating the environmental risks of synthetic biology applications. She was also a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies of Science in 2011. She completed a PhD in ecological risk assessment and an MSc in science, technology and environmental policy at the University of Minnesota’s Conservation Biology Program and Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, respectively.


Cory Davenport

Cory Davenport is a Senior Researcher and Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence at the University of Maryland, as well as an Instructor at the Catholic University of America. He was formerly a Fellow with the Center for Biodefense, Law, and Public Policy and is currently Associate Editor for the Journal of Biosecurity, Biosafety, and Biodefense Law. Dr. Davenport has a BS in psychology from Michigan State University and a PhD in experimental psychology from Texas Tech University. His research primarily involves an application of the behavioral sciences to problems in national/global security, including biosecurity and global health security. Examples of this research include the creation of a profile of disgruntled CBRN scientists, an investigation into how best to prevent the radicalization of bioscientists, and an analysis of the behavioral antecedents of CBRN insider threats.


Natalie DeGraaf

Natalie DeGraaf serves as a Public Health Analyst and Advisor for International Projects in the CDC Division of Select Agents and Toxins in the office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. Her primary responsibilities are to serve as subject matter expert and co-manager of DSAT’s International Projects, which assist foreign governments in the policy development and implementation of their national bio-risk systems. These unique national bio-risk systems oversee and evaluate the biosafety and biosecurity of laboratories working with agents of concern. Ms. DeGraaf also coordinates international high and maximum containment laboratory assessments for the NIH/NIAID and serves as international biosafety and biosecurity inspector. She is quickly developing a growing knowledge base of international and national regulations, guidelines, and norms on biosafety and biosecurity across the globe. She comes to the CDC after spending time in the nonprofit sector developing and strengthening biosafety and biosecurity programs internationally. Through her experiences as a White House and United Nations Fellow, Ms. DeGraaf has robust experience working with high-level stakeholders in many countries on priority issues of national security, global health, and science policy. Ms. DeGraaf received her MPH in global public health from NYU and a masters in science and technology policyp and a BS in biochemistry with medicinal chemistry from Arizona State University.


Christine Farquharson

Christine Farquharson is a Program Examiner at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where her responsibilities include oversight and coordination of policy and budgetary issues related to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the Centers for Disease Control’s Strategic National Stockpile, and the National Institutes of Health. Prior to OMB, Christine spent a decade working in a variety of commercially focused roles in the biopharmaceutical industry, including new product development, reimbursement, health policy, and government affairs. Christine earned an MS in biotechnology at Northwestern University and a BA in biology at the University of Virginia. She is especially interested in biosecurity issues at the nexus of infectious disease, climate change, and public health.


Mary Foote

Mary Foote is the Senior Medical Coordinator for Communicable Disease Preparedness at the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH), Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response. She oversees Ebola-related health system preparedness activities and is developing an “all-communicable disease-hazard” preparedness program for the NYC healthcare system. She earned her MD and MPH from the University of Arizona and completed a residency in social internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, before going on to Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, for fellowship training in infectious diseases. After her clinical fellowship, Dr. Foote spent a year in Mysore, as a Fogarty Global Health Fellow, investigating TB infection risk among adults with diabetes. In addition to her work with the NYC Office of Emergency Preparedness, she maintains clinical positions at the Atlanta Veterans Association Hospital Emergency Department and with the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control at the NYCDOHMH.


Stephanie Griese

Stephanie Griese is a medical epidemiologist in the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Her focus areas include pediatric preparedness, vulnerable populations, and medical countermeasures. Dr. Griese recently served as the Lead for the Ebola Children’s Health Team, where she directed a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, epidemiologists, health scientists, public health advisors, and health communicators to ensure the unique needs of children were recognized and addressed in all aspects of CDC’s Ebola outbreak response. Dr. Griese earned her undergraduate degrees (BS, BA) from the College of William and Mary, her medical degree from the Penn State College of Medicine, and a masters of public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed her pediatrics residency training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and practiced in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department prior to a career in public health. She served as a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer for 2 years with the North Carolina Division of Public Health before joining CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response as a medical epidemiologist in 2013.


Trevor Hall

Trevor Hall is the Leader of Emergency Preparedness for Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Canada’s largest single-site hospital and trauma centre, and provides system risk reduction oversight for 17 hospitals in the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network. Further, Mr. Hall is Operations Director for the CBRNE Collaborative and the Leader of Ontario’s Emergency Medical Assistance Team, Canada’s first mobile field hospital that has the capacity to deploy a 56-bed critical care unit.

Mr. Hall is a registered nurse, has worked as a firefighter, and is trained as an emergency communicator (911 operator) and an advanced HAZMAT Life Support Provider and Instructor. Academically, he holds a masters of science in disaster medicine, a business degree, and a nursing degree, and is a Fellow of Quality Improvement.

Currently, Mr. Hall is working on an initiative in the Middle East to prepare healthcare responders to manage CBRN incidents; partnering with multiple public health agencies to coordinate primary healthcare support to welcome new Canadian residents from Syria at the point of entry; co-investigating the feasibility and safety of providing critical care for patients with Ebola through design of a simulated Ebola treatment unit; and is the Co-Chair for the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine Congress that is being held in Toronto in 2017.

In recent past, Mr. Hall facilitated technical training for the management of biological patients for Ontario’s Paramedic Services and Hospitals. He also assisted the government of Canada in developing a national CBRN training program. Mr. Hall is an advocate and resource for quality improvement science, including lean methodologies and human factors engineering. He aims to build safety into healthcare systems and decrease variability within emergency response.


Mark Hansberger

Mark Hansberger has been a Senior Intelligence Specialist and Biological Subject Matter Expert in the Threat Intelligence Division at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency since 2010. He was formerly an Intelligence Analyst at the Counterproliferations Support Office in the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2010. He has spent 10 years in the Department of Defense, identifying current and future trends in biosecurity and biotechnology, analyzing potential biological threats to domestic and international assets, and coordinating efforts in the public health community to help support global disease events. Dr. Hansberger received his PhD from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University in October 2006, where he studied virus/host cell interactions and the resulting cell signaling pathways and programmed cell death that are initiated following viral infection. Prior to his graduate degree, Dr. Hansberger received his BS in microbiology from Mississippi State University in May 2000.


Siddha Hover

Siddha Hover works for BAI, Inc., as an embedded contractor with the Department of Homeland Security, where she serves as DHS’s sole treaty analyst. In this role, she is responsible for reviewing all relevant DHS-sponsored research and activities for compliance with applicable arms control agreements. Siddha is currently pursuing her PhD in biodefense. She holds an MSc in biodefense from George Mason University and an MSc in international relations from the London School of Economics.


Daniel Jackson

Daniel Jackson is a Program Advisor for the US Department of State’s Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP). BEP reduces the threat of bioterrorism by preventing terrorist access to potentially dangerous biological materials, dual-use infrastructure, and expertise, while supporting efforts to combat infectious disease and enhance public and animal health worldwide. At BEP, Mr. Jackson leads a portfolio that includes biosecurity assistance to the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. He also helped lead the Department of State’s biosecurity response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He developed and oversaw efforts to secure vulnerable Ebola samples in West Africa, and during the outbreak he led teams to each of the primarily affected countries. Previously, Mr. Jackson served at Embassy Kabul as the biosecurity coordinator and in Washington, DC, working with the Iraq Scientist Engagement Program (ISEP). Mr. Jackson has bachelor’s degrees in international affairs and Arabic language and is currently a graduate student in the War Studies Department at King’s College London.


Dylan Jones

Dylan Jones is an International Project Manager at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the US government agency dedicated exclusively to combating the full spectrum of threats from weapons of mass destruction. He currently operates in the Cooperative Threat Reduction Directorate’s Cooperative Biological Engagement Program, where he is responsible for executing projects in support of eliminating and preventing the threat posed by the intentional or unintentional release of dangerous pathogens. In previous roles, Mr. Jones led a US-Russian bilateral nuclear Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) elimination project at DTRA and served as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the US Department of State. Mr. Jones began his career in federal service as a recipient of the Presidential Management Fellowship, the US government’s flagship leadership development program. Before joining government service, Mr. Jones held various positions in think tanks, defense universities, and embassies. He received his masters in international affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, where he specialized in international security studies and the Middle East. Prior to his graduate degree, Mr. Jones received his BA in international studies from the University of Oregon.


Samantha Kasloff

Samantha Kasloff is a recent PhD graduate from the University of Padua, where she conducted research on avian influenza virology, her area of study for the past 10 years. Dr. Kasloff’s primary research interests center on emerging viral zoonoses, and she has held research exchange appointments during her graduate studies in Germany at the University of Marburg Institute for Virology as well as the Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control in Japan. During the final years of her PhD in Italy, she assumed the additional role of initiating and implementing a biosafety training program for her coworkers and has been actively participating in national and international biosafety associations since 2014. Dr. Kasloff earned her MSc in medical microbiology and infectious disease from the University of Manitoba, carrying out her research in the Special Pathogens Branch at the National Center for Foreign Animal Disease, and a BSc in biology from the University of Winnipeg. She is particularly interested in issues of biosafety and biosecurity in the context of maximum containment laboratories.


Mary Lancaster

Mary Lancaster is AFRICOM Science Lead for the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR). Dr. Lancaster manages CBEP’s cooperative biological research and biosurveillance efforts with CBEP partner countries in Central and West Africa, including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. Cooperative biological research projects are focused on supporting and bolstering BS&S and biosurveillance capabilities that reduce the threat of pathogens of security concern, while addressing infectious disease priorities of both CBEP and its partner countries. Dr. Lancaster influences the strategy for the AFRICOM Science portfolio, coordinates the submission of research project proposals with potential collaborators, and manages ensuing projects.

From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Lancaster was a research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where she applied her expertise in epidemiology and data analysis to a broad range of projects, including vector surveillance lead in the Republic of Georgia, cyber-physical risk and vulnerability assessments, development of cybersecurity resilience metrics, evaluation of stand-off rad/nuc detection implementation for DHS’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, and development of a proof-of-concept decision support tool for biological event response that integrated epidemiologic modeling with decision theory to guide decision making under uncertainty. Since 2014, Dr. Lancaster has chaired the Institutional Review Board at PNNL. In December 2014, Dr. Lancaster was detailed to DHHS/BARDA as a liaison between BARDA’s Analytic Decision Support Division and the modeling and simulation expertise found in DOE National Laboratories.

From 2006 to 2010, Dr. Lancaster was the regional epidemiologist in the West Tennessee Region of the Tennessee Department of Health. She developed and implemented a regional syndromic surveillance program, performed routine disease surveillance, investigated disease outbreaks, and collaborated in the development of preparedness and response plans for natural and man-made disasters. In addition, she drafted a quarterly communicable disease newsletter for healthcare providers in the region and served as deputy public information officer during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak.

In graduate school, Dr. Lancaster investigated the introduction and establishment of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) in a LaCrosse virus encephalitis endemic area and aided in the development of risk maps for Lyme disease in the upper Midwest.

Previously, Dr. Lancaster held an emergency medical technician (EMT) license for 16 years, working for both a private ambulance company and a student-run volunteer EMS organization at the University of Illinois.


Gregory Measer

Gregory Measer is an ORISE Fellow at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), working primarily with regulatory counsel in the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats on legal and policy issues relating to emergency use authorities and the monitoring and assessment of medical countermeasure use during and after a public health emergency. Prior to joining FDA, Mr. Measer was a legal researcher in the Public Health Law and Policy Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (ASU), where he provided analysis on issues regarding global health, emergency preparedness, and the Affordable Care Act. He also previously served as a legal intern providing research assistance in the Office of the General Counsel at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Mr. Measer received a JD from ASU in 2015 with a certificate in health law and maintains a license to practice law in the state of Arizona. He received a BS in psychology from John Carroll University. Mr. Measer’s primary research interests include topics at the intersection between law and the public’s health, including emergency preparedness, medical countermeasures, data sharing and information privacy, and emergency use authorities.


Amber Murch

Amber Murch is a research scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, which is part of UK Ministry of Defence, based at Porton Down. Her primary role as a high-containment microbiologist is in the development and evaluation of novel broad spectrum medical countermeasures to treat a variety of infections caused by highly pathogenic bacteria. In addition to her research role, Ms. Murch is a biological advisor for the nonproliferation policy area, supporting the UK’s obligations under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Australia Group. Ms. Murch also supports various sovereign capabilities as a biological subject matter expert for the UK chemical and biological counter terrorism Specialist Response Team, and as a toxin analyst for the UK National Network of Laboratories. In 2014 Ms. Murch deployed to Sierra Leone as a high-containment microbiology expert to carry out laboratory diagnostics at an Ebola treatment centre as part of the UK government’s response to the Ebola crisis. Ms. Murch received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Exeter in 2007, is a chartered biologist with the Royal Society of Biology, and is currently reading for a PhD in molecular microbiology at the University of Southampton.


Hayley Severance

Hayley Severance is an epidemiologist who currently serves as a support contractor in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction in DoD Policy. Ms. Severance is the biological threat reduction functional lead and the Global Health Security coordinator and is responsible for advising the Policy Director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program on developing strategic guidance for the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) in the EUCOM, AFRICOM, CENTCOM, and PACOM areas of responsibility. Ms. Severance serves as the AO-level policy lead for the DoD Global Health Security Agenda coordination cell and is responsible for refining messaging on the DoD role in GHSA, securing high-level DoD support for the agenda, preparing senior leadership for international GHSA summits, and representing OSD policy equities in GHSA fora.

Previously, Ms. Severance served as the epidemiology subject matter expert on the CBEP Biosurveillance Team for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Advisory and Assistance Support contract and as an operational research and development analyst at Georgetown University’s Project Argus, a disease prevention initiative focused on detecting catastrophic biological events on an international scale using open source media surveillance. Recently, Ms. Severance was selected to provide an oral presentation entitled “Biodefense and Security in the Global Health Security Agenda” at the February 2016 American Society of Microbiology Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting.


Reid Orth

Lt Col Reid Orth is the Special Assistant for Biodefense in the Office of Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (Policy), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Department of Defense (DoD). His biodefense work involves discussions and coordination of policy positions in the DoD and interagency on a diverse portfolio of issues including the Biological Weapons Convention, the Federal Expert Security Advisory Panel Report implementation, global health engagement, and the Global Health Security Agenda. Lt Col Orth earned his electrical and biomedical engineering degrees (BS, BS) from Johns Hopkins University, his engineering management degree (MS) from West Coast University, his biomedical engineering degrees (MS, PhD) from Cornell University, his medical degree (MD) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and his public health degree (MPH) from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His prior Air Force career has involved serving as Spacecraft Systems Engineer for Delta and Atlas rockets at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA; biomedical engineering graduate student and Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY; Branch Chief in the Biotechnology Directorate at Patrick Air Force Base, FL; medical student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in San Antonio, TX; emergency medicine resident at the New York Presbyterian Hospitals of Columbia and Cornell in New York City, NY; and emergency medicine attending physician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Special Operations Surgical Team member in Birmingham, AL.


Megan Palmer

Megan J. Palmer is a Senior Research Scholar and William J. Perry Fellow in International Security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University. At Stanford she leads a research program focused on dual-use issues in biotechnology and other emerging technologies. Dr. Palmer is also an investigator of the multi-university Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc), where for the last 5 years she served as Deputy Director of its policy-related research program and led projects in safety and security, property rights, and community organization and governance. She was previously a research scientist at the California Center for Quantitative Bioscience at UC Berkeley and an affiliate of Lawrence Berkeley National Labs.

Dr. Palmer has created and led many programs aimed at developing and promoting best practices and policies for the responsible development of biotechnology. She founded and serves as Executive Director of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program (LEAP), an international fellowship program in responsible biotechnology leadership. She also leads programs in safety and responsible innovation for the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. Dr. Palmer advises a variety of organizations on their approach to policy issues in biotechnology, including serving on the board of the synthetic biology program of the Joint Genomics Institute (JGI). Dr. Palmer holds a PhD in biological engineering from MIT and was a postdoctoral scholar in the bioengineering department at Stanford University. She received a BScE in engineering chemistry from Queen’s University, Canada.


Lianne Parr

Lianne Parr is a Senior Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, providing onsite client support to the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate Office of University Programs. She has been with this client for 4½ years and was previously with another government contractor, BAI, Inc. Ms. Parr currently supports biodefense-relevant research portfolios through awards made to the Centers of Excellence in Zoonotic and Animal Disease Defense and Food Protection and Defense, academic consortia conducting extramural research to protect homeland security.

Prior to supporting the Office of University Programs, Ms. Parr was at Georgetown University earning an MS in biohazardous threat agents and emerging infectious diseases while working as an analyst on Project Argus, a biosurveillance project researching the use of open source and media information to inform a severity rating of disease events. While working on Project Argus, Ms. Parr covered the emergence of 2009-H1N1 influenza in Mexico and cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She earned her BS in biology and BA in Spanish at Wofford College, where she focused on socioeconomics and public health in Latin American populations. She is especially interested in the impact of research and novel technology on biosecurity.


Kristin Post

Kristin Post currently works at Marine Corps Base Quantico. She is a Researcher with the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL)’s Translational Research Group (TRG). She is the lead researcher for a longitudinal study that will use qualitative and quantitative methods to assess cultural training and education programs with the 7th Marine Regiment. She is also conducting interviews with individuals who were involved in the humanitarian response to the 2014-15 Ebola virus disease outbreak. Those transcripts will be archived in an open-source lessons learned database hosted by the American Anthropological Association.

Prior to this year, Ms. Post conducted another IRB-approved longitudinal study assessing culture and language training for Marine advisors and trainers of foreign militaries. She published a peer-reviewed article on culture stress. In 2014, she was an assistant instructor for the Command and Staff College elective “War, Sex and Gender.” She has also collected oral history interviews about the origin of CAOCL in the context of institutional changes in the military due to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ms. Post developed experience working with the Marines when she deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, as a social science researcher with a Human Terrain Team (HTT7). She conducted outside-the-wire research primarily with 3 battalions in Nawa and Marjeh Districts. Prior to that, she was awarded a globally competitive Rotary World Peace Fellowship and graduated with a master’s degree in international relations and conflict resolution from the University of Queensland, Australia. She has also received a master’s in education and a bachelor of arts in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked in a cultural education museum and for NPR member stations, and she has traveled and studied in more than 48 countries on 5 continents.


Claire Standley

Claire J. Standley is a Senior Research Scientist at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Standley's research focuses on strengthening health systems and international capacity building for public health, with an emphasis on prevention and control of emerging and re-emerging diseases in both humans and animals. Prior to joining GWU, Dr. Standley was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the Biosecurity Engagement Program at the US Department of State, where she managed projects related to biosecurity capacity building, disease surveillance, and cooperative health security research in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and the Lower Mekong. Dr. Standley earned her doctorate in genetics and biomedical parasitology from the University of Nottingham in a joint program with the Natural History Museum in London, focusing on neglected tropical diseases in East Africa, and she also holds degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.


Jen January Therrien

Jen January Therrien is a Presidential Management Fellow at the Center for Global Health in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She recently graduated from Georgetown University with a master of science in foreign service, focusing on science, technology, and international affairs. She worked at the American Association for the Advancement of Science and supported the Office of Science and Technology Policy while completing her degree. Ms. Therrien obtained her undergraduate degree in science and society from Brown University. She is interested in emerging biotechnologies, such as synthetic biology and genetic sequencing, bioethics, and international security.


Angela Vasa

Angela Vasa, BSN, RN, CCRN, currently serves as the Clinical Program Coordinator for the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit. In this role her responsibilities include designing and facilitating exercises related to ongoing preparedness for all associated staff, developing policies and procedures related to personal protective equipment, staffing ratios, personal hygiene, infection control, specimen handling, and new staff orientation. She is actively involved with ongoing quality control measures and the implementation of evidence-based practice.

Prior to her leadership role in the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit, Ms. Vasa was employed as a staff nurse in the Biocontainment Unit and Lead Nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Nebraska Medicine. She is a clinician who provided care for patients with Ebola who were admitted to the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit. She began her nursing career in 2008 as a staff nurse providing care for solid organ transplant patients and then transitioned to work in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, where she still maintains a position. She enjoys her role as a bedside clinician and has been awarded multiple hospital and community recognized awards for her dedication to providing extraordinary patient care.

Ms. Vasa has a bachelor of science in nursing, which she received from Jacksonville State University. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International honor society, the Nebraska Nurses Association, and both local and national chapters of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, through which she maintains certification in critical care nursing. Ms. Vasa currently volunteers with the Red Cross Disaster Action Team-Heartland Chapter, the Siena Francis House, and the Medical Reserve Corps.

Ms. Vasa is an advocate for promoting education for nurses to provide safe and effective clinical care for patients with highly infectious diseases. Areas of interest include translating lessons learned in the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit for global application, advancing the availability of critical care for patients with highly infectious diseases, and furthering research in low-income areas to help prevent future outbreaks of highly infectious diseases.


Krista Versteeg

Krista Versteeg is a 2016 Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine with the Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC). As a fellow, she is embracing her opportunities to learn more about science policy while aiding CISAC as they promote global security. Ms. Versteeg is also currently completing a PhD in microbiology and immunology under the guidance of Dr. Thomas Geisbert in the Galveston National Lab at the University of Texas Medical Branch. She holds a BS in biochemistry and conducted her honors thesis on the synthesis of chemotherapeutic drugs. During her undergraduate years, she was motivated to pursue a PhD project in infectious diseases after an internship with the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center. After graduating from college, Ms. Versteeg moved to Texas to begin work on her PhD; her dissertation is focused on identifying the immune response to various Ebola viruses. Her work in the high-containment laboratory at the Galveston National Lab will aid in the development of vaccines and therapeutics against highly pathogenic infectious diseases. Ms. Versteeg’s interests include biodefense policy, specifically adherence to the Biological Weapons Convention; monitoring and control of natural biological threats; and advancing worldwide biological research while maintaining a biosecurity culture. She would ultimately like to use her knowledge and passion regarding infectious diseases to help government and industry prepare for future threats or outbreaks and assist with the eradication of disease worldwide.


Jennifer Weisman

Jennifer Weisman is a Senior Science and Technology Advisor at Strategic Analysis, Inc., where she advises the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Biological Technologies Office on programs that aim to outpace the spread of infectious diseases. She provides technical support to DARPA on programs in rapid diagnostics, nucleic acid–based vaccines, and novel immunoprophylaxis strategies. Prior to Strategic Analysis, Dr. Weisman was the Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she supported trans-NIH big data strategic planning and advisory committee activities. She also served in multiple capacities at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), working on human subjects protections related to patient privacy in clinical research in the Office for Civil Rights and the Personalized Medicine Initiative. Dr. Weisman was previously an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow at HHS and NIH, a National Academies Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Koshland Science Museum, and a Giannini Family Foundation Medical Research Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research experience in antimalarial drug discovery spans rational design of novel inhibitors and biological assay development. She holds a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS in chemistry from the College of William & Mary.



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