Forum Speaker Series kicks off with talk about pandemic preparedness

The 2009-10 Penn State Forum Speaker Series kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 15 with a talk by Donna Barbisch, president of Global Deterrence Alternatives LLC. Barbisch will give a talk titled "Anatomy of a Pandemic: In an Emergency, More Time is NOT an Option" from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the ballroom at the Nittany Lion Inn.

The series features several luncheons, modeled after the National Press Club Speaker Series, which include a presentation by an invited speaker, followed by audience questions. The luncheons are held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Nittany Lion Inn or the Penn Stater on the University Park campus of Penn State.

Barbisch is president of Global Deterrence Alternatives, a strategic planning organization providing policy and program guidance on integrating solutions related to the national security threats of terrorism, natural disasters, and emerging infectious diseases. She is among the nation’s most distinguished experts in terrorism and disaster preparedness and response. With more than 20 years in managing complex medical and organizational challenges, Barbisch moved her focus to the complexities of combating terrorism and complex disaster management in the early 1990s. She has been described as a visionary in reducing threats and responding to complex disasters both nationally and internationally.

As a strategic planner, Barbisch focuses on developing effective programs built on evidence-based information, measurable objectives, and best outcomes in catastrophic events. Barbisch uses research-based theory and practice reinforced by modeling and simulation to drive decision support tools at all levels from individual preparedness and response to executive decision-making for today’s escalating threat environment. Her integrated training and operational modeling are designed to produce a cultural shift in preparedness. She is a leader, educator, facilitator, and proven agent for change who can build or reform organizational cultures to deal effectively with the ambiguous and unknown challenges in today’s environment.

In addition to her other civilian accomplishments, Barbisch is a retired army major general. She served in a multitude of active and reserve assignments from Vietnam to the Pentagon. Her most recent assignment was as director of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear program integration for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Barbisch holds a bachelor's degree from California University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a doctorate in health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Co-sponsored by the Penn State Bookstore and the offices of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, the Penn State Forum Speaker Series is open to the general public. Tickets for the Penn State Forum are $15. To purchase tickets for any or all of these events, contact the ID+ Office, located at 103 HUB-Robeson Building, University Park, call (814) 865-7590, or visit http://www.idcard.psu.edu/forums/ online for more information.

To suggest future Penn State Forum speakers, contact Gail Hurley, chair of the forum committee, at gah5@psu.edu, or coordinator Carol Griffin at cjg3@psu.edu.

The following speakers are scheduled to appear as a part of this year's forum speaker series. For their complete bios, visit http://live.psu.edu/story/40651 online.

George Bodenheimer
President, ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports; co-chairman, Disney Media Networks
“ESPN at 30: The Evolution Continues”
Friday, Sept. 25
Ballroom, Nittany Lion Inn, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Benjamin Solomon Carson
Neurosurgeon
“Healthcare and Healthy Lifestyle”
Tuesday, Oct. 13
President’s Hall, Penn Stater, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Barbara J. Rolls
Professor of nutrition, Penn State
“Feeling Full on Fewer Calories”
Monday, Nov. 16
President’s Hall, Penn Stater, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anthony T. Leach
Penn State Laureate
“M.L. King Holiday – A Choral Reflection”
Friday, Jan. 15, 2010
President’s Hall, Penn Stater, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Stephen L. Baker
Senior writer, BusinessWeek
“The Numerati: How Our Lives Will be Monitored, Measured and Managed in the Coming Age of Big Data”
Monday, Feb. 15, 2010
Ballroom, Nittany Lion Inn, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Justin Catanoso
Author
“My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family and Miracles”
Monday, March 15, 2010
Ballroom, Nittany Lion Inn, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lisa See
Author
“The Secrets We Keep: Finding the Lost Voice of China, Women, and Our Families”
Monday, April 5, 2010
President’s Hall, Penn Stater, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo
Former president of Nigeria
"Corruption, The Greatest Single Bane of Our Society Today”
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Ballroom, Nittany Lion Inn, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Contacts: 
Last Updated November 18, 2010