Dr. Elizabeth Cameron

July 29, 2024

Topic: Global Health and Pandemics

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.

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