BRIEFER: Key U.S. Initiatives for Addressing Biological Threats Part 4 – The Department of State

By Jackson duPont, Yong-Bee Lim, Christine Parthemore, and Alexander Titus

Today the Nolan Center, an institute of the Council on Strategic Risks, is releasing its fourth briefer in its series Key U.S. Initiatives for Addressing Biological Threats, which focuses on the Department of State’s capabilities and gaps. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a microcosm of both the risks and opportunities that the life sciences represent for the modern, globalized world. On the one hand, COVID-19 continues to devastate the world. On the other hand, the pandemic has galvanized the international community to leverage cutting-edge life sciences tools and knowledge into the highly-effective vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics the world has today.

As such, in the coming years, the United States will have to expand its efforts to maximize benefits and minimize risks from advances in synthetic biology, bioinformatics, and additive bio-manufacturing. Hopefully, one of the results of the pandemic will be a surge toward greater international cooperation in this regard. The U.S. Department of State will be pivotal in realizing this vision. 

This is the focus of CSR’s fourth briefer in the  series. In it, we propose several recommendations to maximize the capabilities of the Department of State for addressing biological threats:

  • Enhancing multilateralism via tailored bio cooperation mechanisms 
  • Leveraging existing and emerging technologies to assist in detection, attribution, and verification of treaty compliance
  • Expanding diplomacy and programs for pathogen early warning
  • Appointing a special envoy and increasing biorisk expertise across the U.S. diplomatic corps

Read the full briefer here.


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