• Challenge Judge

    Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response RADM Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H.

    Dr. Lurie is the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As such, she serves as the Secretary’s principal advisor on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. Her office is the lead agency for federal public health and medical preparedness and response, helping the nation prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

    Prior to her current position, she served as Senior Natural Scientist and Paul O’ Neill Alcoa Professor of Health Policy at the RAND Corporation. There she directed RAND’s public health and preparedness work as well as RAND’s Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. She has previously served in federal government, as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health in the HHS; in state government as Medical Advisor to the Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health; and in academia, as Professor in the University of Minnesota Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

    Dr. Lurie has a long history in the health services research field, primarily in the areas of access to and quality of care, managed care, mental health, prevention, public health infrastructure and preparedness and health disparities.

    Dr. Lurie attended college and medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency and MSPH at UCLA, where she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. She served as Senior Editor for Health Services Research and has served on editorial boards and as a reviewer for numerous journals. She has served on the council and was President of the Society of General Internal Medicine, and on the board of directors for Academy Health, and has served on multiple other national committees. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the AHSR Young Investigator Award, the Nellie Westerman Prize for Research in Ethics, the Heroine in Health Care Award, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

    Dr. Lurie continues to practice clinical medicine in the health care safety net in Washington, DC.

Technical Advisors
  • Barry Dauber

    Business Development and Program Manager

    Barry Dauber is the Business Development and Program Manager with Topsy Labs, Inc.. Topsy employs fast-indexing technology that ingests massive amounts of social media data from the world’s largest social networks and applies it to live-ranking software and influence algorithms, identifying the most important content seconds after it has been posted to the social web. Barry has close to a decade working with the government in various capacities from developing strategy and program management for the latest technologies to supporting large enterprise wide system implementations. He is an avid user of social media and can talk about all things Twitter with the best of them. Barry holds a bachelors in Economics and Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Brandon Dean, M.P.H.

    Staff Analyst, Emergency Preparedness and Response Program
    Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

    Brandon Dean, M.P.H., is a Staff Analyst for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Program in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. He received his BA from BYU and MPH from UCLA, specializing in emergency public health. In more than six years with Los Angeles County, Brandon has become one of the primary analysts and emergency planners of the Department, creating, testing and improving public health emergency response plans and policies. In particular, he has become the Department’s point person in development and application of mathematical disease modeling for improved strategic planning and operational responses. He also serves on NIH/NIGMS’ Models of Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) Steering Committee.

  • Aaron Kite-Powell, M.S.

    Surveillance Epidemiologist, Bureau of Epidemiology
    Florida Department of Health

    Aaron Kite-Powell is a surveillance epidemiologist with the Bureau of Epidemiology, Florida Department of Health and is the ESSENCE-Florida System Coordinator. In this capacity, he manages Florida’s ESSENCE system, which was one of two winners of the HIMSS Public Health Davies Award in 2011. He is responsible for project management, coordination of system and data source development, system testing, monitoring and analysis, training, and coordination with Florida’s state and county health department users.

    Aaron began his work with the Florida Department of Health in 2007 with the primary task of implementing a statewide syndromic surveillance system. Prior to this work, he graduated with an M.S. from the Oregon State University Department of Public Health in 2003. After graduation, he worked at the local level in Maryland with a focus on environmental health and mapping. To pursue his interest in epidemiology and disease surveillance, he applied and was accepted in 2005 to the Florida Epidemic Intelligence Service Fellowship, a 2 year post-graduate applied epidemiology training program modeled after the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. During these 2 years, his primary responsibilities were to expand syndromic surveillance coverage in Broward County, FL, including recruitment of hospitals, routine monitoring and analysis, reportable disease case investigation, and assistance with outbreak investigations. During this time, he was also deployed to the coastal counties of Mississippi, where he was a part of a team tasked with enhancing acute disease surveillance in the weeks after Hurricane Katrina. Shortly thereafter he led similar post-disaster surveillance activities after Hurricane Wilma in Broward County.

  • Taha A. Kass-Hout, M.D., M.S.

    Director, Division of Informatics Solutions and Operations
    US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    Taha A. Kass-Hout, MD, MS, is director of the Division of Informatics Solutions and Operations at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He previously served as Deputy Director for Information Science in the Division of Notifiable Diseases and Healthcare Information (DNDHI). Dr. Kass-Hout has over 14 years of experience in health, public health, and informatics. He has led research and development initiatives, the critical assessment of new and emerging health IT technologies, and the development of new capabilities and solutions in health and public health for federal, state, commercial, and international health organizations

    Dr. Kass-Hout brought a new vision for CDC’s BioSense that incorporates innovative features such as a horizontal sharing model, which allows timely data to be shared among multiple parties, in alignment with the needs of state and local jurisdictions. Dr. Farzad Mostashari, national coordinator for health information technology at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS, praised BioSense 2.0 and publically gave it his support during a formal address in December 2011.

    Dr. Kass-Hout also chairs the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Biosurveillance S&T sub-committee dealing with “detecting aberrations from the norm,” managed CDC’s Distribute project, and was active in responding to the 2003 SARS outbreak, where he led the informatics and information response for the National Center for Infectious Diseases.

    Dr. Kass-Hout earned his M.Sc. and M.D. from the University of Texas. In addition, he has had clinical training at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center.

  • Farzad Mostashari, M.D., ScM

    National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
    Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
    Department of Health and Human Services

    Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM serves as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Farzad joined ONC in July 2009.

    Previously, he served at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as Assistant Commissioner for the Primary Care Information Project, where he facilitated the adoption of prevention-oriented health information technology by over 1,500 providers in underserved communities. Dr. Mostashari also led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded NYC Center of Excellence in Public Health Informatics and an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded project focused on quality measurement at the point of care. Prior to this he established the Bureau of Epidemiology Services at the NYC Department of Health, charged with providing epidemiologic and statistical expertise and data for decision making to the health department.

    He did his graduate training at the Harvard School of Public Health and Yale Medical School, internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. He was one of the lead investigators in the outbreaks of West Nile Virus and anthrax in New York City, and among the first developers of real-time electronic disease surveillance systems nationwide.

  • Mark Smolinski, M.D., M.P.H.

    Director, Global Health Threats
    Skoll Global Threats Fund

    Mark has led global efforts toward early detection and rapid response to emerging threats. His work has brought together governments, NGOs, academia, and private industry in partnership across national borders in Southern Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Russia, and SE Asia.

    In 2006, Mark joined the start-up team at Google.org as the director of the Predict and Prevent Initiative. Prior to Google, Mark served as Vice President for Biological Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a public charity directed by CNN founder Ted Turner and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. White at NTI, Mark led the development of a regional disease surveillance system linking Isreal, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, demonstrating the power of health as a diplomatic tool even in areas of longstanding conflict.

    In 2003, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences released a landmark report, the Emergence, Detection, and Response to Microbial Threats to Health for which Mark was the study director. He has also served as an advisor to the World Health Organization, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary of Health, and an Epidemic Intelligence Officer at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mark was a member of the investigation team that discovered hantavirus in 1993 in Southwestern United States.

    A native of Michigan, Mark holds a B.S. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he also received his M.D. He received his M.P.H. from the University of Arizona. Mark is a trained Internist and board certified in Preventive Medicine and Public Health. WIRED magazine’s 2008 Smart List of 15 people the next president should listen to included Mark, a.k.a., the threat.

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