FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Aaron, SRA Communications, (717) 554-8614, steve@SRACommunications.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 2, 2019) – The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense today welcomed former White House Homeland Security Advisor, Lisa Monaco, as a Panel Member. Monaco served as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism between 2013 and 2017. She replaces outgoing Panel Member, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, recently elected to serve as a U.S. Representative for the 27th District in Florida.
“I am delighted to welcome Lisa Monaco to the Panel. She brings a tremendous wealth of knowledge to our bipartisan team,” said former Senator Joe Lieberman, Panel Co-Chair. “As Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, Lisa was responsible for advising President Obama on all aspects of counterterrorism policy and strategy, and issues ranging from terrorist attacks at home and abroad to cybersecurity, pandemics, and natural disasters. We have an ambitious agenda for 2019, so Lisa arrives at an ideal time.”
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala was one of the founding members when the Panel was formed in 2014. She leaves the Panel having played a key role in advancing recommendations for better biodefense preparedness, response, and recovery – particularly at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels.
“Representative Shalala hosted an important Panel meeting in Miami that led to our report detailing recommendations for how state, local, tribal, and territorial governments can better defend against large-scale biological events,” said former Secretary of Homeland Security and Governor Tom Ridge, Co-Chair of the Panel. “We will miss Donna’s steadfast leadership and many vital contributions, and wish her well as she continues her remarkable career in public service, representing her constituents in Congress.”
“When I was first asked to join the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, I was uncertain as to what kind of an impact we could have as former government officials,” said Rep. Shalala. “But it has become apparent, especially with the release of the National Biodefense Strategy, that our recommendations are being taken seriously and acted upon. I am proud of the work I have done with the Panel, and leave knowing that the addition of Lisa Monaco will ensure that the Panel remains a relevant, necessary, bipartisan voice that will help make America safer.”
Prior to her service in the White House, Lisa Monaco spent 15 years at the Department of Justice, where she served both as a career federal prosecutor and in senior management positions at the Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). She was Counsel to, and then Chief of Staff at, the FBI. In 2011, President Obama nominated and the United States Senate confirmed Monaco to serve as Assistant Attorney General for National Security, the first woman to serve in that position.
“It is a privilege for me to join a group of exemplary public servants and to continue working to better protect and defend the United States from a wide range of biological threats,” said Monaco. “This is an area of great concern to me and so I am especially pleased to assume a leadership role on this bipartisan Panel that is not merely examining the issue, but putting forth specific, credible recommendations that are already making a difference. I also thank Donna Shalala for her tremendous public service both in government and as a Member of the Panel.”
A graduate of Harvard University, Monaco recently published an article for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School, called The Next Pandemic Will be Arriving Shortly.
About the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense
The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense was established in 2014 to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the state of U.S. biodefense efforts, and to issue recommendations to foster change. The Panel’s 2015 report, National Blueprint for Biodefense: Leadership and Major Reform Needed to Optimize Efforts, identified capability gaps and recommended changes to U.S. policy and law to strengthen national biodefense while optimizing resource investments. In September 2018, the White House released the National Biodefense Strategy, a top recommendation from the Blueprint. The Panel continues to assess biodefense challenges and to urge reform. Former Senator Joe Lieberman and former Governor Tom Ridge co-chair the Panel, and are joined by former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, former Representative Jim Greenwood, former Homeland Security Advisor Ken Wainstein, and former Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor Lisa Monaco. Hudson Institute is the Panel’s fiscal sponsor.