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Laurie Garrett    

One of America's Premier Authorities on Healthcare and Disease Prevention

Laurie Garrett is an award-winning science writer and author. She is the only writer to have been awarded all of the “Three P’s” of journalism: The Peabody, Polk (twice), and Pulitzer, for which she was three times a finalist and once a recipient. Garrett wrote her first bestselling book, "The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance" while splitting her time between the Harvard School of Public Health and the New York newspaper, Newsday. She subsequently authored "Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health" and "I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks." Garrett is a columnist for Foreign Policy magazine, a frequent MSNBC contributor, and a former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

With decades of experience as a science writer, Garrett speaks with extensive knowledge of emerging diseases and epidemics, and their impact on governments and societies. With the advent of the Coronavirus, she has been dubbed the woman who predicted the Coronavirus pandemic.

In the 1992-93 academic years, Garrett was a Fellow at Harvard, where she worked closely with the emerging diseases group, a collection of faculty concerned about the surge in epidemics of previously unknown or rare viruses and bacteria. During the 1990s, Garrett continued tracking outbreaks and epidemics worldwide, noting the insufficient responses from global public health institutions in Zaire, India, Russia, and most of the former USSR, Eastern Europe, and the United States. This resulted in the publication in 2000 of "Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health."

In 2011, Garrett’s long-awaited third book was published: "I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks." The book describes the events that unfolded primarily in Washington DC and New York City over 120 days in the fall and winter of 2001 and 2002. It also details the repercussions of the response to 9/11 and the Anthrax events, transformations of critical government institutions, public health disasters, and what, in particular, the specter of terrorism meant for the American people.

For thirteen years Garrett was a Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, focused on the national security aspects of emerging diseases and climate change. Currently, she is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Health Security Advisory Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the National Association for Science Writers.

Speech Topics

Bioterrorism: The Modern Peril

It's a surreal, terrifying thought: terrorists using bio-chemical weapons. Garrett has investigated both the science and the politics behind international bio-terrorism, and, here, provides a responsible, informative assessment of who is capable, what form it might take, and how likely it is to happen.

Climate Change and Global Health: Ending the Debate

To the timely debate over the impact of climate change on human health, Garrett offers this frank, hopeful talk. The health community, she says, is focusing on how climate change affects the movements of diseases, such as malaria. While these threats are serious, we must also look at how other consequences of climate change are already wreaking havoc on human health: catastrophic weather—resulting in flooding, famine and drought—is infecting and killing thousands; we must turn our attention toward preparedness. Garrett shows you where our efforts—activism, money, policy—need to go, and how urgently they need to get there.

Betrayal of Trust: Critical Issues in Global Healthcare

Based on her international travels to report on and research healthcare, Garrett delivers a sweeping, multimedia talk that uncovers the reality of healthcare in the United States, Europe, Russia and Africa -- providing a new understanding of both the challenges and the opportunities of delivering quality healthcare to the global village.

I Heard The Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks

This powerful talk combines health issues, investigative journalism, and a personal minute-by-minute account of 9/11 to offer an astonishing view of a dark chapter in American life. A proud New Yorker who heard the first jet slam into the north tower, Garret raises fascinating questions around the World Trade Center attacks, the anthrax scare, and the mental trauma afflicting Americans during, and well after, 9/11. She captures the national mood as it veered from a united political place to a deeply divided anger. By the end of the winter of 2002, she reminds us, the arc had completed, from spectacular unity and confidence in governance to accusations of American arrogance. Through the frustrated anthrax investigations and drumbeats of war, the global community, especially Americans, moved in just a few months’ time from collectivism to fragmentation. Drawing on personal diary entries, and a deep understanding of health and government policy, Garrett's sweeping talk details repercussions of these historic events, transformations of critical government institutions, public health disasters, and, what, in particular, the specter of terrorism meant -- and means -- for the American people.

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