Presented by the Novartis Foundation

Sense of Urgency:

A conversation on pandemic preparedness
with Dr. Rick Bright

October 12, 2021

10:00 a.m. ET | 4:00 p.m. CET


Presented by:

The Novartis Foundation

About the Event

With genetic variants of the COVID-19 virus spreading across the globe, the need for rapid action to prevent and predict global health pandemics is acutely felt. Accurate, standardized, and shared surveillance data is one key to tracking global health crises. And yet, in the recent G-20 high level independent panel report “A Global Deal for Our Pandemic Age,” globally-networked surveillance and research was identified as among one of the major gaps in our capacity to prevent future pandemics.

How can we ensure standards for genomic surveillance to ensure better coordination across the globe? How can we scale up pandemic preparedness capacity in lower- and middle-income countries? What types of non-traditional data can help to identify and address global health emergencies?

Watch this discussion with Devex senior reporter Catherine Cheney addressing these questions with Dr. Rick Bright, senior vice president of pandemic prevention and response at The Rockefeller Foundation. In addition, Dr. Bright will speak on recent collaborations between WHO, the U.K., and others to strengthen pandemic preparedness worldwide.


10:00 a.m. ET

Welcome & introduction by Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter, Devex

10:05 a.m. ET

One-on-one interview with Dr. Rick Bright, Senior Vice President of Pandemic Prevention and Response, The Rockefeller Foundation and Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter, Devex

10:35 a.m. ET

Closing remarks
with Jason Shellaby, Director, Global Health Policy, Novartis Foundation and Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter, Devex


Dr. Rick Bright

Dr. Rick Bright

Senior Vice President of Pandemic Prevention and Response, The Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Rick Bright joined The Rockefeller Foundation as senior vice president of pandemic prevention and response to lead the development of the foundation’s pandemic data and action platform that will prevent future pandemics by identifying and responding to the earliest alerts of a disease outbreak, and stopping it within the first 100 days. Bright has extensive experience in global public health — working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PATH, and the private sector — and making key advancements in vaccine and therapeutic developments for influenza viruses with pandemic potential, as well as new vaccine treatment and testing technologies. Most recently, Bright served the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response and director of the esteemed Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Bright resigned from government service in protest over the Trump administration’s approach to handling the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically over the level of political interference against science, and the spread of inaccurate information that he said was “dangerous, reckless, and causing lives to be lost.”

Jason Shellaby

Jason Shellaby

Director, Global Health Policy, Novartis Foundation

Jason Shellaby drives thought leadership in urban health, digital health, and AI through policy, programmatic, and research engagements. During his time at the Novartis Foundation, Jason has also led several global health initiatives, including the national scale-up of a telemedicine program in Ghana and the management and policy integration of hypertension programs in Senegal, Ghana, and Vietnam. Prior to joining the Novartis Foundation, Jason served as deputy director and director of external affairs at Village Health Works, supporting scale-up and capacity building for health care facilities in Burundi, as well as their NYC headquarters. He was a program fellow at the Clinton Global Initiative, where he designed and implemented program content for the CGI annual meeting. He also worked on the environmental initiatives team at the World Economic Forum. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Tufts University, a master’s degree in international affairs from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and a master of science in global health policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Catherine Cheney

Catherine Cheney

Senior Reporter, Devex

Catherine Cheney is a senior reporter for Devex. She covers the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology, innovation, and philanthropy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. She frequently represents Devex as a speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Devex, Catherine earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University; worked as a web producer for POLITICO and reporter for World Politics Review; and helped to launch NationSwell. Catherine has reported domestically and internationally for outlets including The Atlantic and the Washington Post. Catherine also works for the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit that trains and connects reporters to cover responses to problems.

The Novartis Foundation aims to improve the health of low-income populations by working with local authorities and partners to re-engineer health systems from being reactive to proactive, predictive and preventative.

The Novartis Foundation