2023 World Emerging Security Forum

Speaker Information

Gerald L. Epstein

Contributing Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

  • 2018 – 2023 : Distinguished Fellow of the U.S. National Defense University
  • 2016 – 2018 : Assistant Director for Biosecurity and Emerging Technologies of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • 2012 – 2016 : Deputy Assistant Secretary for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Policy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Gerald L. Epstein has spent forty years in governmental, academic, and civil society organizations, working at the intersection of science, technology, and national security policy. Originally trained as a physicist, he began his professional career at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, analyzing technological and policy aspects of topics including ballistic missile defense, antisatellite arms control, fusion energy, defense technology, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. he has continued to work on many of these topics, most recently concentrating on the governance of so-called “dual use” life science research and biotechnology.

At Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, he studied the relationship between military and civil technologies and co-authored the book Beyond Spinoff: Military and Commercial Technologies in a Changing World. He created and taught courses at Princeton and Georgetown Universities on arms control and nonproliferation and on science, technology, and homeland security.

He serves on advisory positions with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, where he is a member of the Board on Life Sciences and has served on committees addressing national security export controls, biological threats, and the bioeconomy, among other topics. He also serves on the editorial boards for the journals Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology and Health Security.