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Mark Smolinski  

Director, Global Health Threats, Skoll Global Threats Fund

Dr. Smolinski is Director of Global Health Threats for the Skoll Global Threats Fund. He 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 partnerships across national borders in southern Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Russia, and Southeast Asia.

In 2006, Dr. Smolinski joined the start-up team at as Director of the Predict and Prevent Initiative. Prior to Google, he 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. While at NTI, he led the development of a regional disease surveillance system linking Israel, 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 Dr. Smolinski was the study director. He has also served as an advisor to the World Health Organization, as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary of Health, and as an Epidemic Intelligence Officer at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Smolinski was a member of the investigation team that discovered hantavirus in 1993 in the southwestern United States.

A native of Michigan, Dr. Smolinski holds a BS from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he also received his MD. He received his MPH from the University of Arizona. He is a trained internist and is board certified in preventive medicine and public health. WIRED magazine’s 2008 Smart List of 15 people the next president should listen to included Dr. Smolinski, a.k.a., the threat detective.

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