Dr. Saskia Popescu

Dr. Saskia Popescu
Research Fellow, Council on Strategic Risks

Dr. Saskia Popescu is a Research Fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks. She is an internationally recognized and experienced infectious disease epidemiologist and infection preventionist with a strong background in enhancing healthcare biopreparedness, infectious disease threats, pandemic preparedness/response, project management, translation of complex issues into frontline applications, and disease surveillance. Dr. Popescu is an Assistant Professor within the Biodefense graduate program at George Mason University, serving as a consultant with the World Health Organization and helping to lead the Netflix infection prevention efforts for return to production work. She is also an Affiliate of the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security, an adjunct professor in the University of Arizona College of Public Health Epidemiology and Biostatistics program, and served as a signatory on the NGO statement for the Biological Weapons Convention. Dr. Popescu is an Alumni Fellow of the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Health Security. She currently serves as a member of the Federation of American Scientists Coronavirus Taskforce and is a member of the Committee on Data Needs to Monitor Evolution of SARS-CoV-2 within the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).

She holds a PhD in Biodefense from George Mason University, a MPH in infectious disease epidemiology, and MA in international security security studies from the University of Arizona, Dr. Popescu has created and disseminated a gap analysis for a six-hospital system to establish vulnerabilities for high-consequence diseases, helping to guide the creation of a high-consequence disease initiative to enhance readiness at the healthcare level. This work aided in rapid and coordinated responses to COVID-19. Her assessment and leadership regarding healthcare biopreparedness efforts has resulted in several peer-reviewed literature. She is certified in infection prevention (CIC), hospital preparedness through FEMA’s NIMS, and pandemic preparedness from the DHS Center for Domestic Preparedness. Popescu’s research addresses gaps within global health security, biodefense, healthcare biopreparedness, and the integration of antimicrobial resistance into global health security initiatives.