Rear Admiral Arthur J. Lawrence

Rear Admiral Arthur J. Lawrence,
Senior Fellow

Rear Admiral Arthur J. Lawrence, Assistant Surgeon General (Ret.), is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks. He served more than 37 years as a career officer in the US Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps. He served in a wide variety of clinical, research, management, and policy leadership assignments. RADM Lawrence completed his career assigned as the Director, Office of Security and Strategic Information, Office of the Secretary, where he directed national security and intelligence operations for the US Department of Health and Human Services, and was senior advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary. 

RADM Lawrence has been a member and leader of several National Security Council workgroups and committees, and provided biomedical liaison, education, and advice to organizations overseen by the Director of National Intelligence (CIA, NSA, DIA, DNI).  Prior to his final assignment, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Operations and responsible for the oversight of medical and public health operations of the 14 major program offices and nearly 650 personnel he supervised.

During a thirteen month tenure as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health in 2001-2002, he directed the Department’s and the National Disaster Medical System’s responses to the terrorist acts of 9/11 and the medical and national public health response to the release of anthrax. He played significant planning, policy, and leadership roles to address the domestic and global HIV/AIDS epidemics during assignments in the PHS and as a member of the policy staff of the Executive Office of the President. In addition, he led the National Vaccine Program Office and the Office for Human Research Protections during periods of redesign, innovation, and reinvigoration.

Prior to his Washington assignment, as a member of the staff of PHS Region III – Philadelphia, he assisted several dozen communities in developing and operating clinics under the Community and Rural Health Initiatives (Section 330), Migrant Health Initiative, and placed and supervised one of the largest National Health Service Corps medical, dental, and advanced practice nurse groups in the region and nation. He completed his regional office tour as an assistant regional health administrator. At commissioning prior to his regional assignment, he served as a clinical pharmacist at the US Marine Hospital (US Public Health Service) – Boston (Brighton) where he participated as a team member in the management of patients with Hansen’s disease in addition to inpatient and outpatient clinical duties. 

RADM Lawrence is a highly decorated officer, being awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Surgeon General’s Meritorious Service Medal each on three occasions, the Surgeon General’s Medallion, and several other uniformed services awards and decorations. He is also the recipient of awards from several health related civilian organizations.  He is expert in and instructs on biomedical, public health, preparedness and response, scientific intelligence, and counterterrorism issues. 

He is an active member of several national intelligence, military, health, and biomedical organizations.  Educated as a clinical pharmacist with a concentration in psycho-neuropharmacology, RADM Lawrence also holds an M.B.A. from Suffolk University and a Ph.D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He later served as a Visiting Scholar at the Wharton School, and on appointed adjunct faculties of Temple University, College of Pharmacy; Drexel University, Management of Technology Program; and, Rutgers University, Graduate School of Management. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executives in National and International Security program where he later served as an instructor on chemical and biological terrorism and public health. He also most recently served at the school’s Belfer International Center as an advisor to the Managing the Microbe program. He is currently working as a team member developing a $58 million veteran’s preference apartment complex on the grounds of the now-closed US Marine Hospital grounds in Boston. Dr. Lawrence is an avid amateur Public Health and Marine Hospital historian.