Our Team

Ambika Bumb, PhD

Deputy Executive Director

An entrepreneur with background in nanomedicine, Dr. Ambika Bumb’s professional path has bridged academia, industry, and government. She served as President Biden’s Deputy Executive Director of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), the sole body of advisors from outside the federal government charged with making recommendations to the President and Vice President on policy affecting science and technology, as well as on matters involving scientific and technological information that is needed to inform public policy relating to the economy, public health, worker empowerment, education, energy, the environment, security, racial equity, and other topics.  She previously was the Health, Science, and Technology Advisor for Department of State’s Crisis Management and Strategy within the Office of the Secretary where while working on the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Bumb and her team were awarded the Distinguished Honor Award for exceptionally outstanding service or achievements of marked national or international significance. The Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan Resolution 567 commending the efforts of her team in bringing home more than 100,000 citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest repatriation effort in U.S. history. During the rise of the pandemic, she was an advisor for HelpwithCOVID, a grassroots clearing house that matched 17,300+ community volunteers with 850+ projects focused on providing COIVD relief.

Dr. Bumb has served in the roles of Board Member for the International Biomedical Research Alliance, Strategic Advisor to the Energy Sciences Area of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and CEO of the biotech Bikanta. She graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering and a Minor in Economics, while being recognized with the Helen E. Grenga Outstanding Woman Engineer and E. Jo Baker President’s Scholar Awards. She then obtained her doctorate in medical engineering from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Oxford Program while also on the prestigious Marshall Scholarship and followed that up with two post-doctoral fellowships at the National Cancer Institute and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The NIH recognized her post-doctoral work with the Orloff Technical Advance Award as a “platform” technology with implications that will broadly advance medicine on multiple fronts. Her work has led to 16 patents and the spinout of the biotech Bikanta that used nanodiamonds to allow academics and doctors to study and address disease like cancer at the cellular level. She has received much recognition for excellence in engineering and named as one of 40 under 40 influential Bay Area business leaders. An American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow, Dr. Bumb has also been involved in science outreach/education and national policy initiatives, such as the National Nanotech Initiative, Nano Task Force, guest writing for Techcrunch, and Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Our Team
Former Commissioners
Senator Joe Lieberman

All of us at the Commission are in shock and are heartbroken at news that Senator Lieberman has died suddenly and unexpectedly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Hadassah, their children, and extended family.

We all were the beneficiaries of Joe’s many years of selfless public service, his kindness, and civility. Joe was the definition of a Mensch – a person of great integrity and honor. He always put others first and always worked to better our nation, to which he tirelessly devoted so much of his energy. He had an indefatigable spirit that always pushed our work forward.

For nearly ten years, Joe was my co-chair here at the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. He cared deeply about the mission, for sure. Even more, he cared about each of our fellow Commissioners and the staff, all of whom I know are personally grieving at this tremendous loss. May his memory be a blessing.

Tom Ridge
March 27, 2024

Former Ex Officio Member