Combating the Ebola Outbreak: Lessons Learned From and Prospects For the International Response 

A discussion with:
Anne Witkowsky
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations
US Department of Defense

Donald Lu
Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response
US Department of State

Kristi Rogers
Managing Director and CEO
Aspen Healthcare Services

Colonel Nelson Michael, MD, PhD
Director
US Military HIV Research Program, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Donald Shriber, JD, MPH
Deputy Director for Policy and Communication
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center for Global Health

Moderated by:
J. Peter Pham
Director, Africa Center
Atlantic Council

With already more than 2,800 deaths (according to the latest estimate from the World Health Organization) and the potential that up to 1.4 million could be infected by the end of January (according to a new estimate under development by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the 2014 Ebola epidemic—which has disproportionately affected the West African states of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—has been the largest and deadliest outbreak to date. On Tuesday, September 16, US President Barack Obama declared that containing the epidemic was a top national security priority for the United States and announced the dispatch of 3,000 troops to support and strengthen international relief operations already underway in the region.
The international community’s response to the outbreak thus far has once again highlighted many concerning and apparently unresolved issues related to the ability of national and international organizations to manage complex crises. The response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, and the West Africa Ebola crisis have all suffered from similar weaknesses—a lack of coordination and an absence of unity of effort, a focus on high profile projects overlooking critical unglamorous but high impact actions, competing national and international objectives, and bureaucratic obstacles to the efficient allocation of donated resources, not to mention an inability to track and monitor where and how funds were spent.

The Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, in partnership with Aspen Healthcare Services, which has continuously operated a full-fledged clinic in Monrovia through the current crisis, will thus convene an expert panel of practitioners to discuss the current crisis and to identify critical lessons that need to be learned, or relearned, and acted upon.

DATE:                Thursday, October 2, 2014

TIME:                3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

LOCATION:        Atlantic Council
                       1030 15th St. NW, 12th Floor
                       Washington, DC 20005

This event is on-the-record and open for press coverage; members of the media should contact [email protected] to register.

Follow along with @ACAfricaCenter using #ACEbolaResponse