Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter: June 2018

Dear colleague,
Welcome to the June 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.


Symposium on Pandemic Preparedness: Policy and Practice in the 21st Century: On May 17, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, with the support of DAI, Fondation Mérieux, and the USAID Preparedness and Response Project, hosted a symposium on the current state of pandemic preparedness policy and practice. I offered opening remarks prior to a keynote address by Luciana Borio, Director of Medical and Biodefense Preparedness Policy with the National Security Council. Following a one-on-one discussion between myself and Dr. Borio, Beth Cameron, Vice President of Global Biological Policy and Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, moderated a panel which highlighted the importance of building country capacity and strengthening regional cooperation to prevent and respond to outbreaks. Panelists included David Heymann, Head and Senior Fellow, Centre on Global Health Security, Chatham House; Andrew Kitua, Africa Regional Director, USAID Preparedness and Response Project; and Amadou Sall, Chief Executive Officer, Institute Pasteur-Dakar. Closing remarks were provided by Sabrina Sholts, Curator of Physical Anthropology for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, who discussed the opening of the exhibit “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” on May 18.


  • Opportunities for Health Diplomacy in North Korea: Amidst a time of security talks between the U.S. and North Korea, we take an inside look at the health challenges that North Korea faces and the opportunities for progress that can be made through key diplomatic steps. For this discussion, I host Kee B. Park, Paul Farmer Global Surgery Scholar at Harvard Medical School and Director of North Korea Programs for the Korean American Medical Association. Dr. Park discusses his latest visit to North Korea, the potential impacts of economic sanctions on humanitarian engagement, and the operating environment that influenced the Global Fund's decision to close its tuberculosis and malaria programs. We conclude by hearing about some exciting new initiatives Dr. Park is pursuing to strengthen U.S.-North Korea collaboration in the health sector and his optimism looking forward. Dr. Park is also one of many co-authors on our recent commentary “The Gathering Health Storm Inside North Korea.
  • Frontline Perspectives on Pandemic Preparedness: The world of global health security has been amassed in headlines over the past few weeks—from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the elimination of the Global Health Security Directorate within the White House National Security Council staff. For this episode of Take as Directed, we feature three leading health security experts with substantial frontline experience who discuss the current state of preparedness around the world, gaps and priorities looking ahead, and how to maintain pandemic preparedness as a high-level political priority at times of peace. Beth Cameron, Vice President of Global Biological Policy and Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, serves as our guest host for this discussion, alongside featured guests Amadou Sall, CEO of Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, and Andrew Kitua, Africa Regional Director of the USAID Preparedness and Response project.
  • Innovative Data Initiatives to Improve Immunization Equity: Providing services equitably requires global health practitioners to have detailed data on the populations they are trying to reach. This episode of Take as Directed, hosted by Senior Fellow Nellie Bristol, highlights new initiatives to collect and analyze sub-national data to give a clearer picture of children being missed. Nellie is joined by guests Laurie Werner, Global Director for the Better Immunization Data (BID) Initiative at PATH, and Jon Mosser, a Fellow in pediatric infectious diseases at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington and Clinical Fellow with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. They discuss new initiatives to map vaccine coverage, technical challenges to collecting data in resource poor settings, and the importance of spending development dollars on data collection and analysis.

The podcast series is available here and on iTunes. Please subscribe using the podcast app.


71st World Health Assembly (Geneva): Senior Fellow Nellie Bristol attended the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, the week of May 21. There, health ministers from around the world agreed to the 13th Program of Work, the strategic roadmap developed by WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The five-year plan orients the organization more toward country activities rather than those at WHO headquarters and sets ambitious expansion goals for universal health coverage, health emergency response, and promotion of health and wellbeing. Delegates also reaffirmed their commitment to global polio eradication and adopted a resolution to help ensure poliovirus containment post eradication. In addition, they asked for further updates on a WHO strategic action plan in support of integrating polio and immunization functions into country health systems. In an event in coordination with the WHA, Beth Cameron, Vice President for Global Biological Policy and Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Jennifer Nuzzo of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security outlined progress on a Global Health Security Index that would assess every country’s emergency response capabilities based on a range of publicly available data. The index is now being tested and the developers expect it to be published in May of next year.

Upcoming Events:

  • June 21: “Saving Mothers, Giving Life:” Lessons Learned from the 5-Year Partnership: The CSIS Global Health Policy Center will host a public event from 2:00pm to 5:00pm ET on June 21 to highlight lessons learned from the 5-year Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) initiative. The event will focus on the outcomes of SMGL programming and implications for similar partnerships moving forward. Expert panels will include representatives from the SMGL Leadership Council, high-level officials from key partner country governments—including Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia—and senior U.S. government officials. Visit this page to register to attend this event or access the live webcast.
    • Opening Remarks: Sara Allinder, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, CSIS Global Health Policy Center 
    • Presentation of Outcomes: Mitchell Wolfe, Acting Director, Washington Office, CDC
    • Panel 1: Partner Country Experiences: Jane Aceng, Minister of Health, Uganda; Kennedy Malama, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Zambia; Inyang Asibong, Commissioner for Health, Cross River State, Nigeria. Moderated by Janet Fleischman, Senior Associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center
    • Panel 2: Reflections from SMGL Leadership Council Partners: Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers; Doug Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Project C.U.R.E.; Herbert Peterson, Kenan Distinguished Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Past President, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Moderated by Sara Allinder
    • Panel 3: U.S. Government Reflections on SMGL and Global Health Partnerships: Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State; Alma Crumm Golden, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Health, U.S. Agency for International Development; Ambassador Mark Storella, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and Former U.S. Ambassador to Zambia (2010-2013), U.S. Department of State. Moderated by Janet Fleischman​

  • July 10: Realizing a Polio-Free World—Sustaining U.S. Support for Global Polio Eradication: On July 10, from 9:00am to 12:30pm ET, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center is hosting an international conference that will highlight the role the U.S. is playing in the global polio eradication effort and how that will evolve as eradication is achieved. Stay 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