Meet our Next Speaker

Dr. Elizabeth Cameron

July 29, 2024

Topic: National Security in an Age of Pandemic Threats

Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Cameron is a Professor of the Practice and Senior Advisor to the Pandemic Center at the Brown University School of Public Health. She also serves as a senior advisor for global health security at the U.S. Agency for International Development and is a Practitioner Senior Fellow of the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.

Cameron is a global leader in health security and biodefense.  She has served for over two decades, within and outside of government, to facilitate change. She spent two tours on the White House National Security Council (NSC) staff, twice helping establish and lead the NSC Directorate on Global Health Security and Biodefense. In this role she built and led a robust team focused, every day, on leaning forward to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to biological crises. Cameron oversaw U.S. global COVID-19 response efforts and was instrumental in developing and launching the Global Health Security Agenda and addressed homeland and national security threats surrounding biosecurity and biosafety, biodefense, emerging infectious disease threats, biological select agents and toxins, dual‐use research, and bioterrorism. She served on the Biden-Harris transition team.

Cameron has held senior posts at the Departments of State and Defense, where she created and oversaw biological and chemical security efforts. From 2010‐2013, she served as office director for Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) and senior advisor for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs. In this role, she oversaw the implementation of the geographic expansion of the Nunn‐Lugar CTR program. For her work, she was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. From 2003‐2010, Cameron oversaw the expansion of Department of State Global Threat Reduction programs and supported the expansion and extension of the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, a multilateral framework to improve global CBRN security.

Outside of government, Cameron was the Vice President for Biological Policy and Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and architect of NTI | bio, a program aimed at countering biological catastrophes. There she helped lead the development of the first Global Health Security Index and worked to build international consensus to launch a new global organization geared at improving biosafety and biosecurity.

Cameron got her start in government as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellow in the health policy office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy where she worked on the Patients’ Bill of Rights, medical privacy, and legislation to improve the quality of cancer care.  From 2001‐2003, she also served as a manager of policy research for the American Cancer Society.

Cameron holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the Human Genetics and Molecular Biology Program at Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia. Cameron is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Meetings open to members and members’ guests only.  Unless otherwise noted, all meetings take place at Elk Hall, 210 Rankin Street in Rockland.  Please plan on arriving by 11:30 AM for noon meetings.  The speaker begins promptly at noon and lunch is served from 1 PM.

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Upcoming Speakers

  • July 29, 2024
    Dr. Elizabeth Cameron
    Topic: National Security in an Age of Pandemic Threats
  • August 13, 2024
    Steven Koonin
    Topic: Climate Change
  • September 9, 2024
    John Lee
    Topic: Indo-Pacific Security
  • October 15, 2024
    Jeremy Konyndyk
    Topic: Providing Humanitarian Assistance in a Conflict Zone

View all speakers past and present »

Articles

3 Articles by Ambassador Lawrence Butler

Posted on Friday June 28

“NATO Ready for Battle, but Lacks Stamina, Report Finds,” by Laura Heckman, National Defence, June 11, 2024. Since NATO’s adoption of a “back to the future” strategy at its Madrid Summit two years ago on the heels of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the alliance has made significant strides toward forward defense and deterrence, and […]

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3 Articles by Jack Goldsmith

Posted on Tuesday June 4

“The Middle East and the President’s Sweeping Power Over Self-Defense,” by Jack Goldsmith, Lawfare, October 23, 2023. The Middle East may be on the verge of large-scale war, and the U.S. military is literally on the firing line. Late last week, the USS Carney intercepted and destroyed three missiles and several drones fired from Yemen even though […]

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Robert Einhorn on Nuclear Proliferation

Posted on Monday May 13

“A way forward on a US-Saudi civil nuclear agreement,” by Robert Einhorn, Brookings Institution, April 12, 2024. The Biden administration has responded positively to Saudi Arabia’s interest in civil nuclear cooperation with the United States—both because such cooperation is a Saudi condition for the normalization of Saudi-Israeli relations, which the administration strongly supports, and because […]

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Sea Change: Nordic-Baltic Security in a New Era

Posted on Friday March 22

By Edward Lucas, Catherine Sendak, Charlotta Collén, Jan Kallberg and Krista Viksnins, Center for European Policy Analysis, September 28, 2023. For the countries around the Baltic Sea, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine both highlighted a problem and created a potential solution to it. The Kremlin’s unambiguous demonstration of aggressive intent and capability underlined the risks of dismantling […]

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The Inescapable Two-State Imperative

Posted on Saturday March 2

By Jake Walles, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April 19, 2021. The arrival of a new U.S. administration offers a welcome opportunity for a reset of U.S. policy vis-á-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Donald Trump’s administration followed an approach that diverged sharply from those of its predecessors, but its so-called new thinking achieved little and unnecessarily alienated […]

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Two Essays by Ron Lehman

Posted on Saturday December 30

Lehman, Ron. “Sputnik-like Events: Responding to Technological Surprise.” In Strategic Latency: Red, White, and Blue — Managing the National and International Security Consequences of Disruptive Technologies edited by Zachary S. Davis and Michael Nacht, pp 33-51. Center for Global Security Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2016. National security costs imposed by technological surprise can be […]

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Symposium: Advancing Cyber Diplomacy

Posted on Wednesday December 6

Council on Foreign Relations, March 2023. This symposium convenes senior government officials and experts from academia and the private sector to address the U.S. Department of State’s newly created Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, the goals of American cyber diplomacy, and how major public and private international stakeholders can advance global cyber cooperation amidst […]

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Is Net-Zero a Possible Solution to the Climate Problem?

Posted on Monday October 30

By John M. Deutch, MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, October, 2023. Historically, the objective of climate policy has been to maintain the global average temperature increase under a specified level. Increasingly, countries and organizations today express the objective as a specific target date for reaching Net-zero emissions. Over ninety countries, including China […]

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Yes, the government keeps way too many secrets

Posted on Thursday September 28

By Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, September 3, 2022. We don’t yet know what classified documents and information former President Donald Trump took with him to Mar-a-Lago. But all of this talk about the secrets the government keeps from its citizens gets to a gripe of mine as a journalist: The US government often misapplies classification […]

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The Evolution of Authoritarian Digital Influence: Grappling with the New Normal

Posted on Tuesday August 29

By Shanthi Kalathil, PRISM, October 21, 2020 As the world contends with the wide-ranging ramifications of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it has been simultaneously beset by the global information crisis, which mimics the shape of the pandemic itself in its viral effects across huge segments of the global population. Misinformation—unwittingly spread false information—is rampant. Overarching […]

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Ambassador Charles Ray: Three articles on Why Africa Matters

Posted on Monday July 10

Our August 2023 speaker, Ambassador Charles Ray, thought the following articles would provide a helpful background for his presentation on Why Africa Matters. “Does Africa Matter to the United States?” by Charles A. Ray, Foreign Policy Research Institute, January 11, 2021. Most Americans generally have one of two images of Africa: a primitive home of famine, […]

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‘It’s good to think strategically’: Thomas E Ricks on civil rights and January 6

Posted on Saturday July 1

 By Martin Pengelly, The Guardian, October 8, 2022. “There is a direct connection from Freedom Summer to the January 6 committee,” says Thomas E Ricks as he discusses his new book, Waging a Good War: A Military History of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968. Freedom Summer was a 1964 campaign to draw attention to violence […]

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Amna Nawaz Interviews & Reports

Posted on Thursday June 1

Our June 2023 speaker, Amna Nawaz, thought the following videos would provide a helpful background for her presentation On the Frontlines: Reporting Overseas and Here at Home. “Secretary of State Blinken discusses U.S. immigration policy as Title 42 ends,” PBS NewsHour, May 11, 2023 With COVID restrictions at the border expiring, the U.S. is preparing […]

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Christopher Costa: Two articles on future terrorism threats

Posted on Tuesday April 25

Our May 2023 speaker, Christopher Costa, thought the following articles would provide a helpful background for his presentation on Counterterrorism and the Future Terrorism Threat. The world has entered the fifth wave of anti-government terrorism,” by Christopher Costa, The Hill, January 12, 2023. In light of a failed far-right coup in December in Germany, fueled by ideologically and historically incoherent […]

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Cyberwar in Ukraine: What You See Is Not What’s Really There

Posted on Sunday April 2

By Susan Landau Friday, September 30, 2022, 8:01 AM It has been seven months since Russia invaded Ukraine. Despite much speculation, many aspects of the war have ultimately not turned out as expected. The war wasn’t, as Russia had anticipated, a six-day rout—or even a six-month one. And notably, cyber didn’t, as some had predicted, […]

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