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Senior Scholar Crystal Watson accepted into Council on Foreign Relations term member program

Center News

Crystal Watson, DrPH, MPH

June 27, 2018 – Crystal Watson, DrPH, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, has been accepted into the Council on Foreign Relations Stephen M. Kellen Term Member Program, which offers promising young leaders the opportunity to participate in a sustained conversation on international affairs and US foreign policy.

“It will be an invaluable experience to interact with some of the world’s most respected thought leaders on issues central to my work,” said Watson. “I’m eager to make new connections among CFR’s diverse membership and share my biosecurity knowledge with the group.”

The CFR term member program was established to cultivate the next generation of foreign policy leaders from government, media, nongovernmental organizations, law, business, finance, and academia. Each year, a new class of members between the ages of 30 and 36 is elected to a 5-year term. The program allows these younger members to interact with seasoned foreign policy experts and participate in a wide variety of events designed especially for them. In addition to taking part in a full range of CFR activities, Watson and other term members will enjoy an array of special events with high-profile speakers, including an annual Term Member Conference, roundtables, workshops, trips to financial and government institutions across the country, and a week-long study trip abroad every 2 years.

CFR seeks “quality, diversity, and balance” in its membership. The organization considers myriad criteria when assessing applicants, ranging from intellectual attainment and expertise to promise of future achievement and service in foreign relations and standing among peers.

Watson has devoted her entire career to health security scholarship and practice, including 14 years at the Center and 1 year as program manager for the Integrated (CBRN) Terrorism Risk Assessment program of the US Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate. Her policy research focuses on public health risk assessment, crisis and risk-based decision making, public health and healthcare preparedness and response, biodefense, emerging infectious disease preparedness and response, and the funding and management of biodefense and health security in the US federal government. She is an assistant professor in the department of environmental health and engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Watson is the second Center staffer to become a CFR member. Senior scholar Gigi Gronvall, PhD, is an alumna of the term member program and became a life member in 2017.

About the Council on Foreign Relations:
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. The membership of more than 5,000 is divided almost equally among those living in New York, Washington, DC, and across the country and abroad, and it is a group unmatched in accomplishment and diversity in the field of international affairs.

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.