By Lillian Parr
On Wednesday, October 27, the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) hosted a webinar to discuss how the successes and challenges of Operation Warp Speed—the U.S. federal government’s effort to drive the development of COVID-19 vaccines—can be built upon in the future. This conversation on the future of rapid development, manufacturing, and delivery of medical countermeasures for biological threats was led by Christine Parthemore, CEO of CSR, and Andy Weber, Senior Fellow at CSR.
CSR was excited to host two incredible guests, Dr. Matt Hepburn and Dr. Monique K. Mansoura, who contributed a wealth of knowledge and insight on Operation Warp Speed and the partnerships that enabled it.
Dr. Matt Hepburn is the Senior Advisor on Pandemic Preparedness to the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prior to his role at OSTP, he directed COVID-19 Vaccine Development under the Countermeasures Acceleration Group, formerly known as Operation Warp Speed. Dr. Hepburn has also served as the Joint Project Lead of Enabling Biotechnologies for the Joint Program Executive Office, as a Program Manager at DARPA, and in various other roles across the U.S. government.
Dr. Monique K. Mansoura is the Executive Director for Global Health Security and Biotechnology at The MITRE Corporation, where she focuses on the sustainability of the biodefense industrial base. At MITRE, Dr. Mansoura was also a part of the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, which brought together healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia, and startups in order to more effectively deploy healthcare resources. Dr. Mansoura has extensive experience in the biopharma industry, especially in building innovative public-private partnerships.
In the webinar, Dr. Hepburn and Dr. Mansoura discuss how cooperation between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense drove Operation Warp Speed, and how this is a stellar example that should be taken forward to nimbly solve future public health problems. In addition, the speakers emphasize that Operation Warp Speed was by no means perfect, and that lessons from what went wrong should be applied in future efforts. Dr. Hepburn and Dr. Mansoura also speak on the American Pandemic Preparedness Plan, the importance of building a forward-looking bio-industrial policy, as recommended in MITRE’s 10-Point Action Plan: Sustaining A Biopharma Industrial Base for a More Secure Nation, and much more.
Check out their fantastic conversation at this link or below, and keep watching CSR’s blog and YouTube channel for more webinars featuring expert analysis on key security threats.