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Players for Clade X pandemic tabletop exercise include current and former elected officials, former senior government leaders

Center News


April 16, 2018 – Former high-ranking US government officials and a current US congresswoman will play a team of presidential advisors tasked with leading the policy response to a fictional outbreak scenario in the upcoming Clade X pandemic tabletop exercise hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

As the scenario unfolds during the day-long exercise on May 15, 2018, the players will engage in a series of simulated National Security Council–convened meetings informed by briefings and injects from Center staff. They will be presented with unresolved real-world policy issues that could be solved with sufficient political will and attention now and in the future. The players’ discussions and the Center’s own recommendations will illustrate high-level strategic decisions and policies that the United States and the world will need to pursue in order to prevent a pandemic or diminish its consequences should prevention fail.

The players and their respective roles are:



John Bellinger
Fmr. Legal Advisor to US State Department
Secretary of State
Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) Member, House of Representatives
Tom Daschle
Fmr. Senate Majority Leader
Senate Majority Leader
Julie Gerberding
Fmr. Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Jamie Gorelick
Fmr. Deputy Attorney General
Attorney General
Margaret Hamburg
Fmr. Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration
Secretary, Health and Human Services
Tara O'Toole
Fmr. Undersecretary, Department of Homeland Security
Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
Jeff Smith
Fmr. General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency
Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Jim Talent
Fmr. Senator (R-MO)
Secretary, Department of Defense


Tom Inglesby, MD, director of the Center, will play the White House national security advisor.

Limited audience seating at Clade X is by invitation only. However, a livestream of the event will be available on the Center's page on Facebook. Members of the media interested in attending Clade X should contact Nick Alexopulos; a media advisory will be released closer to the exercise date.

More information is available at

About the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security:
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security works to protect people from epidemics and disasters and build resilient communities through innovative scholarship, engagement, and research that strengthens the organizations, systems, policies, and programs essential to preventing and responding to public health crises. The Center is part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is located in Baltimore, MD.