A Diplomat's Perspective on America’s Preparedness and Global Health Security in the Face of COVID-19

  • 28 May 2020
  • 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
  • Online


Virtual Discussion

A Diplomat's Perspective on America’s Preparedness and Global Health Security in the Face of COVID-19


Retired Ambassador Jimmy Kolker


Thursday, May 28, 2020 | 12:00 pm-1:15 pm


Zoom Meeting

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$10 for Non-Members

Talking Points

Retired Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, who as head of the Global Affairs Division of the US Department of Health and Human Services 2014-2017 helped lead the U.S. government's work on Ebola and Zika, will analyze where we are and what Coronavirus means for U.S. global health and diplomatic engagement.

  • President Trump says that "No one saw this coming" 
  • But even though there were many lessons from experts and past epidemics, the COVID-19 outbreak caught us unprepared. 
  • What role did information, or lack of it, from China and the World Health Organization play in the U.S. response? 

About Ambassador Jimmy Kolker

Ambassador Jimmy Kolker served as Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 2014-17. In this role, Ambassador Kolker was the Department’s chief health diplomat, representing the United States at World Health Organization and Global Fund meetings.

Ambassador Kolker had a 30-year diplomatic career with the US Department of State where he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso (1999-2002) and to Uganda (2002-2005). From 2005-2007, he was Deputy U. S. Global AIDS Coordinator, leading the implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Ambassador Kolker was Deputy Chief of Mission at US embassies in Denmark and Botswana and won awards for political reporting at earlier posts in the UK, Sweden, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

From 2007-2011, Ambassador Kolker was Chief of the AIDS Section at UNICEF’s New York headquarters. .

Now retired, Amb. Kolker is a non-resident senior associate with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center. and co-teaches a graduate course on global health security at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. He serves on the boards of several NGOs involved in global health, Africa and diplomacy.

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