Global Pandemics and Bioterroism Focus of Mansfield Center Discussion

December 01, 2014

MISSOULA – The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has raised questions about the global community’s ability to adequately contain and treat a life-threatening pandemic. The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center will host David Hamon, director of Banyan Analytics and a former senior official at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and Alex Philp, founder and president of GCS, to discuss “Global Pandemics and Bioterrorism: Are We Prepared? Implementing Resiliency Through International Exchange, Planning and Capacity Development.” 

The program begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, in the Dell Brown Room of Turner Hall at the University of Montana. The event is free and open to the public, but RVSPs are requested  at 406-243-2988 or  

The recent Ebola outbreak challenged the ability of local governments and international organizations like the World Health Organization to contain highly contagious and fatal diseases. In their talk, Hamon and Philp will examine how a global pandemic could affect Montana, the resiliency of the country’s infrastructure in the face of an outbreak or bioterrorist attack and what the U.S. can do to prepare itself for such an event. 

Hamon has 33 years of experience in international security affairs. He spent nearly 10 years with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency working on strategic research and dialogues for the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office. He also has served with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Africa Policy, as director of policy and programs, during which time he worked with the United Nations Peacekeeping Department. 

Philp is the founder of GCS, a geoanalytics company that uses cloud, mobile and analytic services to provide critical information for management, defense and health care systems. He launched GCS as a spinout from NASA-funded research and development in advanced geospatial information technology at UM.  

The Mansfield Center at UM promotes better understanding of Asia, U.S. relations with Asia and ethics in public affairs in the spirit of former U.S. Sen. Mike Mansfield and his wife, Maureen. The center houses programs that focus on peoples and cultures of modern Asia and ethics in public affairs, the core interests and hallmarks of Sen. Mansfield’s career. 

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Contact: Deena Mansour, associate director, UM Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, 406-243-2713,