Our Team

Secretary Donna Shalala


Donna E. Shalala is Trustee Professor of Political Science and Health Policy at the University of Miami. She served in the House of Representatives from 2018 to 2020 representing Florida’s 27th Congressional District. She received her B.A. in history from Western College for Women and her Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She served as President of Hunter College of City University of New York from 1980 to 1987, as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 1993, and as President of the University of Miami, from 2001 to 2015. In 1993, President Clinton nominated her as Secretary for Health and Human Services, where she served for eight years. In 2008, President Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian award. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Iran from 1962-1964. In 2010, she received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights and in 2019, she was elected to the Government Hall of Fame.

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