ISE Webinar Series: Social Inequities and the Disparities of Impact @ Webinar
Jun 1 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Panelists: Jhumka Gupta, Department of Global and Community Health, CHHS, GMU
Ken Reinert, Schar School of Policy and Government
Colleen Vesely, Human Development and Family Science and Early Childhood Education
Jim Witte, Director of the Center for Social Science Research and the Institute for Immigration Research

Moderator: Bethany Letiecq, Human Development and Family Science Program

Please join here.

Bio:  Jhumka Gupta, ScD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Global and Community Health within the College of Health and Human Services. Her research program applies a social epidemiology framework towards advancing the science of gender-based violence against women and girls (e.g. intimate partner violence, sex trafficking). Specifically, she investigates the mental and reproductive health implications of gender-based violence, and conducts intervention studies aimed at reducing violence against women. Her primary focus is with vulnerable populations, both within and outside of the United States, and includes refugees, immigrants, and communities impacted by conflict. She has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications on these topics. She also serves as Associate Editor of BMC International Health and Human Rights.  Prior to coming to Mason, Dr. Gupta was an Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Public Health.  

Mental Health and Wellness During COVID-19 Series: Navigating Loss of Normalcy and Future Uncertainty @ Webinar
Jun 1 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Treat yourself to a FREE online workshop series. Learn tips & tricks and participate in a live Q&A with mental health professionals.

Please join us for our FREE, on-line workshop series: Mental Health and Wellness During COVID-19.
Each workshop will be hosted by GMU CPS therapists, and will offer live Q&A opportunities. You can join both, or select the one that is most meaningful for you!

·        Monday, May 18th at 6pm – “Managing Relationships During Quarantine”

·        Monday, June 1st at 6pm – “Navigating Loss of Normalcy and Future Uncertainty”

Use the following meeting IDs & passwords on to participate

Managing Relationships During Quarantine, 5/18/2020 6pm
MEETING ID: 896 6879 5930
PASSWORD: 047398

Navigating Loss of Normalcy and Future Uncertainty, 6/1/2020 6pm
MEETING ID: 858 9589 5596
PASSWORD: 017117


For more information:
email or

Rural Populations and Infectious Disease Transmission: Implications for COVID-19 @ Webex
Jun 2 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Epidemiologists and network scientists will discuss the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic factors that characterize rural populations, what has been observed for other infectious disease transmission in rural areas, and epidemiological modeling of COVID-19 transmission and applications for rural Virginia.

Registration is required to join this event.  Please register here.

SUMMER SPEAKER SERIES – Mason Online Pandemic Modeling Forum @ Webinar
Jun 5 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Computational Social Science Professor Robert Axtell. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University

Professor Robert Axtell, Computational Social Science Ph.D. Program, Department of Computational and Data Sciences, College of Science, will be hosting the Mason Online Pandemic Modeling

Forum to be held weekly on Fridays throughout the summer, focusing on the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease.

The first session will be held on June 5th. Speakers from all over the world will discuss their models. For presenters from North America, we will try to stick to the usual 3:00-4:30 PM time but we will adjust the time from week-to-week for overseas speakers. We look forward to seeing you online!

Additional details coming soon.

Summer Workshop on Pandemics, Bioterrorism, and Global Health Security: From Anthrax to Zika @ Van Metre Hall, Arlington Campus
Jul 13 @ 9:00 am – Jul 16 @ 12:00 pm

Threats to global health security continue to evolve due to the changing nature of conflict, advances in science and technology, globalization, and the growing threat posed by emerging infectious diseases and pandemics. Pandemics, Bioterrorism and Global Health Security: From Anthrax to Zika is a three and a half-day workshop, non-credit summer workshop designed to introduce participants to the challenges facing the world at the intersection of national security, public health, and the life sciences. The workshop faculty are internationally recognized experts from the government, private sector, and academia who have been extensively involved with research and policy-making on public health, biodefense, and national security issues. The workshop is organized by the Biodefense Graduate Program at the Schar School of Policy and Government and will be held at the Schar School’s campus in Arlington, Virginia on July 13-16, 2020.

Private and public organizations face a number of challenges in adapting to the changing global biosecurity landscape. The spectrum of biological threats is diverse, including naturally occurring disease outbreaks such as SARS, Zika, and Ebola, lapses in biosafety, dual-use research of concern, and the threat of bioterrorism. A severe disease outbreak, whether natural or man-made, can affect not just public health, but also public safety and national security. Pandemics and bioterrorist attacks will confront government agencies and the private sector with the need to make high-impact decisions with limited information during a rapidly evolving situation. Further complicating this domain is the dual-use nature of biology: the knowledge, skills, and technology developed for legitimate scientific and commercial purposes can be misused by those with hostile intent. Research with dangerous pathogens and the development of advanced biotechnologies such as synthetic biology and genome editing poses a dilemma for policy-makers and researchers who seek to maximize the benefits of such research while minimizing the risks. Thus, public health, law enforcement and national security agencies, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, and the academic life sciences community need to develop new types of expertise, adopt new types of risk assessment and risk management strategies, and learn to collaborate with each other.

Implementing these new priorities will require substantial organizational learning and change. But large organizations have deeply embedded professional norms and organizational culture that make them resistant to change, even during times of crisis. Each organization responds with its own routines, and its own distinctive view of “the threat,” which dilutes new initiatives, encourages stovepiping, and impedes effective collaboration. These organizational tendencies grow even more pronounced during times of declining budgets. Thus, while the need for collaboration is great, the potential for differing organizational styles to produce conflict is high.

The 1976 swine flu scare, 2001 anthrax letter attacks, SARS and avian influenza outbreaks, 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and 2015-2017 Zika outbreak provide rich case studies of how government agencies and international organizations have struggled to address novel biological threats, make high-impact decisions with limited information, and work effectively with new partners. The lessons from these cases are broadly applicable to both public and private organizations seeking to address current and emerging biosecurity risks.


  • Syllabus and reading materials
  • Social hour after first day of course
  • Light breakfast, coffee, and lunch provided on all days
  • Certificate of Attendance

Courses Objectives

  • Identify the range of biological threats and assess the risks they pose to public health and national security
  • Describe impediments to organizational change and identify strategies for overcoming these obstacles.
  • Examine lessons learned from the SARS and avian flu outbreaks, the 2009 influenza pandemic, and the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak. Explore the dual-use dilemma and how to balance the benefits of advanced biotechnologies against the safety and security risks they can pose. Investigate the growing importance of biotechnology to the national economy, domestic and international risks to biotechnology innovation, and legal, policy, and regulatory measures for safeguarding the bioeconomy.
  • Understand the technical, political, regulatory, and financial obstacles to developing new medical countermeasures for bioterrorist and pandemic threats.

Who Should Attend
Professionals and academics, both domestic and international, in public health, medicine and nursing, the life sciences, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, international affairs, law enforcement, emergency management, biosafety and biosecurity, and national security who have responsibilities for preventing, preparing for, or responding to pandemics, bioterrorism, and other threats to global health security.

Past participants have come from a range of government agencies , including the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Defense, Department of the Army, US Marine Corps, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories; private and non-profit organizations such as CRDF Global, Battelle Memorial Institute, Emergent Biosolutions, Booz Allen Hamilton, BAE Systems, Engility, Noblis, Quest Diagnostics, Synthetic Genomics, Sanofi, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and Merrick & Company; universities and think tanks such as Virginia Tech, Kent State University, University of South Florida, Institute for Defense Analysis, MITRE, UC Berkeley, National Defense University, University of Sussex, SAIS, Georgetown University, and ANSER; and foreign countries , including the Center for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness in Denmark, the Biosecurity Office of the Netherlands, the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture, the Philippine National Police Force, the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health in Georgia, and Defence Research and Development Canada.


Please note that we will only be accepting payment by credit card for this event.

Prior to May 1, the course fee is $1,200. After May 1, the course fee is $1,400. Discounts are available for George Mason University faculty, students, and alum and for groups of three or more from the same organization. If you qualify for one of these discounts or have any questions regarding registration, please email .

*Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be available if canceled prior to the start to the start of the workshop (July 13, 2020).

The summer workshop will be held on July 13-16, 2020 on the Arlington campus ( of the Schar School of Policy and Government. The Schar School is located in Founder’s Hall at 3351 Fairfax Drive in Arlington, VA. The school is conveniently located two blocks from the Virginia Square-GMU Metro station on the Orange Line. Garage parking is also available.

List of Instructors

Further Information
For more global health security news and analysis, visit the Pandora Report, follow us on Twitter, join our group on LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook  [not the embedded hyperlinks]

Please if you have any additional questions about the summer workshop or the Biodefense Graduate Program.

Arlington Forward 20:20 Series -The Era of Big Data and the Challenge of User Privacy @ Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall
Sep 14 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

September 14, 2020, 6 p.m. Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall.

Hosted by The College of Science and The Volgenau School of Engineering.

Arlington Forward 20:20 Series – Creating Shared Value in Organizations @ Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall
Sep 24 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

September 24, 2020, 6:30 p.m. Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall.

Hosted by Executive Development and the Business for a Better World Center of the School of Business.

Arlington Forward 20:20 Series – Are We Getting Smarter? The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Learning @ Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall
Oct 14 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

October 14, 2020, 6:30 p.m. Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall.

Hosted by The Virginia Serious Game Institute at the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Arlington Forward 20:20 Series – Using Technology to Bridge Divides @ Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall
Nov 17 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

November 17, 2020, 6 p.m. Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall.

Hosted by Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.