Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter: April 2018

Dear colleague,

Welcome to the April 2018 newsletter from the Global Health Policy Center (GHPC) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)! We invite you to catch up on our latest content.


  • A Ripe Moment for Reducing Vaccine-Preventable Disease: In her latest commentary, my colleague Nellie Bristol, Global Health Policy Center Senior Fellow, discusses the threat that decreased U.S. foreign assistance will have on the vast strides made in strengthening immunizations systems globally. Over the next several years, three global health activities could result in sustained increases in global vaccination rates and amplify U.S. investments in vaccine promotion mechanisms: immunization surveillance goals outlined in the Global Health Security Agenda; worldwide delivery of the inactivated polio vaccine; and polio transition, which involves the repurposing of polio infrastructure for other health activities. However, an uncertain budget future for these three activities threatens the expansion of this global public good. Nellie provides policy recommendations for the U.S. government that would ensure that the United States remains a leader in global health and pushes forward proven disease prevention interventions that will protect Americans at home and abroad.
  • The Spanish Flu a Century Later: 2018 Is Not That Different from 1918: In 1918, the Spanish flu swiftly made its way around the world—taking full advantage of the disorder of World War I and the profound changes wrought by modernization—and ultimately left 50 million dead in its wake. This March marked the 100-year anniversary of the pandemic. In this commentary, which I co-authored with Jonathan E. Hillman, Director of the CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project and Fellow in the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy, we argue that the U.S. and the rest of world are still gravely underprepared for the next major outbreak of pandemic influenza. While surveillance and response capabilities have dramatically improved since 1918, a hundred years of modernization and accelerating globalization have also driven up health security risks, and much more work remains to build elementary defenses, especially among poorer and weaker cash-strapped states.


  • “Face it Together” Makes Business Case for Workplace Role in Solving Opioid Crisis: Face it Together is a South Dakota-based nonprofit that takes a business approach to solving our nation’s addiction crisis. They place a unique focus on leveraging the role that employers can play in changing the culture and stigma surrounding addiction and removing many of the barriers that prevent people from receiving treatment. In this episode, I host Steve Schwartz and David Whitestock of Face it Together to discuss their innovative approaches to the issue of addiction and the barriers that keep them and others from doing more. Our guests also react to recent developments at the national level and discuss where the business community and Congress can play different roles in further addressing workplace addiction issues.
  • Post-Ebola Reforms at the WHO: The World Health Organization (WHO) faced significant criticism following the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, calling into question the organization’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to large-scale health emergencies. Dr. Peter Salama serves as the Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response at WHO, where he directs the Health Emergencies Progamme—which was established in 2016 as a major piece of the reform efforts made since the Ebola outbreak. Dr. Salama joins us to discuss how these reforms have been going so far and where the WHO and international community still have work to do in the areas of preparedness and response to major health emergencies. Dr. Salama also speaks with us about the new efforts the WHO has implemented to better track the rising trend of attacks on health and humanitarian workers.
The podcast series is available here and on iTunes. Please subscribe using the podcast app.

The New Barbarianism:

  • The New Barbarianism makes PBS debut, screenings continue: The New Barbarianism is a CSIS GHPC original documentary that explores the surge of violence we have witnessed in recent years against the health sector across multiple wars, both new and old, and the accompanying shredding of international humanitarian norms.

    The New Barbarianism made its PBS debut on March 24, airing on WSBE-TB (Rhode Island PBS).

    Over the past month, the documentary was screened at Stanford University’s Center for Innovation in Global Health, UC Berkeley School of Law’s Human Rights Center, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

    On April 13, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am ET, the Embassy of Sweden and the Embassy of the Netherlands will co-host a public screening of The New Barbarianism in Washington, D.C. at House of Sweden. The event will feature remarks by Karin Olofsdotter, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States; Hendrik Schuwer, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States; Dr. John Hamre, President and CEO of CSIS; Alexandra Boivin, Head of the ICRC Regional Delegation for U.S. and Canada; Sarah Margon, Washington director, Human Rights Watch; Gen. John R. Allen, President of Brookings Institution; Justin Kenny, co-director of the film; and myself. If you’re interested and able to attend, you can register here to attend the event.

    Many additional screenings are scheduled for the coming months. If you’re interested in hosting a viewing, please contact Aishwarya Raje (

Upcoming Events:

  • April 18 - Global HIV/AIDS Financing Amidst Uncertainty: GHPC and the Kaiser Family Foundation will co-host a discussion on the current state of financing for the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm ET at CSIS. The event will also serve as the launch of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)’s Financing Global Health 2017 annual report and an updated IHME interactive data visualization resource. Sara M. Allinder, GHPC Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, will provide opening remarks and I will moderate a panel discussion, following the presentation of IHME’s findings, which will feature Christopher J.L. Murray, Director of IHME; Jennifer Kates, Vice President and Director of Global Health and HIV Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation; and Mark Dybul, Professor and Faculty Co-Director, Center for Global Health and Quality, Georgetown University Medical School. Registration and live webcast available here.
  • April 24 - An Advance Film Screening and Discussion: U.S. Leadership in Global Health and Health Security: GHPC is holding a pre-screening of “Global Health: Preventing Pandemic,” of the Great Decisions in Foreign Policy series, followed by a panel discussion on April 24 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm ET. This event is co-sponsored by Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Panelists will include Amb. Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy; Helene Gayle, President and CEO of the Chicago Trust Company; Amanda Glassman, COO and Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development; and Chris Collins, President of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The panel discussion, which I will moderate, will highlight the importance of U.S. leadership in global health investments, and how these investments positively impact Americans’ own health security and economic opportunity. Registration and live webcast available here.
  • June 21: GHPC will host a public event from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET on June 21 to highlight lessons learned from the Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) initiative. The event will feature keynote presentations on the outcomes of SMGL programming and the implications for similar partnerships moving forward. Expert panels will include representatives from the SMGL Leadership Council and high-level officials from key partner country governments—including Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia. Stayed tuned for more information on speakers and registration.
Stay up to date on all of our events by visiting the Global Health Policy Center program page.

As always, I welcome your questions and comments.

J. Stephen Morrison
Senior Vice President and Director, Global Health Policy Center
Center for Strategic and International Studies