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Players for Event 201, a pandemic exercise, include global business leaders and prominent government and public health leaders—livestream open to all

Center News


October 15, 2019 – Former and current global business, government, and public health leaders will play a team of high-level decision makers convened to recommend actions to diminish the large-scale economic and societal consequences of a fictional outbreak of a severe pandemic scenario in the upcoming Event 201. The exercise, and virtual exercise, hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, takes place Friday, October 18, 2019, in New York City.

The pandemic simulation will also livestream to the public, 8:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EDT with a break at about 10:15 a.m. Live coverage of the scenario videos and briefings will be shown, but discussions among players at the table will not. Viewers will instead participate in their own moderated online discussion during those times. The event runs through 12:30 p.m.

In the 3.5-hour exercise, the players will be presented with a pandemic scenario that highlights unresolved real-world policy and economic issues that could be solved with sufficient political will, financial investment, and attention now and in the future. It will illustrate the pandemic preparedness efforts, response decisions, and cooperation required from global businesses, governments, and public health leaders.

As the video-driven scenario unfolds, the players will engage in a series of simulated meetings informed by briefings and injects from Center for Health Security staff. The players’ discussions and the host’s recommendations will illustrate high-level strategic decisions and policies that public and private entities around the world will need to pursue in order to prevent a pandemic or diminish its consequences should prevention fail.

The players play their real or former professional roles and come from a number of countries and industries essential to response and to keeping society and economies moving.



Latoya Abbott Risk Management/Global Senior Director Occupational Health Services
Marriott International
Sofia Borges Senior Vice President
UN Foundation
Brad Connett President, U.S. Medical Group
Henry Schein, Inc.
Christopher Elias President, Global Development division
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Tim Evans Former Senior Director of Health
World Bank Group
George Gao Director-General
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC)
Avril Haines Former Deputy Director
Central Intelligence Agency;
Former Deputy National Security Advisor
Jane Halton Board member
ANZ Bank;
Former Secretary of Finance & Former Secretary of Health, Australia
Matthew Harrington Global Chief Operating Officer
Martin Knuchel Head of Crisis, Emergency and Business Continuity Management
Lufthansa Group Airlines
Eduardo Martinez President
The UPS Foundation
Stephen Redd Deputy Director for Public Health Service and Implementation Science
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Hasti Taghi Vice President & Executive Advisor
Adrian Thomas Vice President, Global Public Health
Johnson & Johnson
Lavan Thiru Chief Representative
Monetary Authority of Singapore

Tom Inglesby, MD, director of the Center for Health Security, will facilitate the discussion at the tabletop exercise.

This is the first scenario in the series to focus on the global economic threats of a pandemic. Similar to the Center’s three previous exercises, Clade X, Dark Winter, and Atlantic Storm, Event 201 will educate senior leaders at the highest level of U.S. and international governments and leaders in global industries.

Limited audience seating at Event 201 is by invitation only. Members of the press interested in attending may contact Carol Miller.

More information is available at and on Twitter at #Event201, @JHSPH_CHS, @wef, and @gatesfoundation.

The exercise is supported by funding from the Open Philanthropy Project.

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.

About the World Economic Forum:

As the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, the World Economic Forum is committed to managing risks associated with emerging infectious diseases of epidemic and pandemic potential through innovative, cross-industry, and cross-sectoral public-private cooperation, strengthening national and global health security. Via the Forum’s Epidemics Readiness Accelerator, more than 100 stakeholders are addressing challenges associated with public-private cooperation relied upon for effective readiness. The 2019 Global Risk Report describes the transformation of biological risks, and the 2019 report, “Outbreak Readiness and Business Impact,” helps companies properly understand risks, enabling them to reduce their exposure, improve their resilience, and deliver on key opportunities for public-private cooperation to strengthen global health security.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.