Meet the Speakers
Dr. Saskia Popescu is an infectious disease epidemiologist and infection preventionist with a focus on hospital biopreparedness and the role of infection prevention in health security efforts. Dr. Popescu is an expert in healthcare biopreparedness and is nationally recognized for her work in infection prevention and enhancing hospital response to infectious diseases events.
She holds a PhD in Biodefense from George Mason University, a Masters in Public Health with a focus on infectious diseases, and a Masters of Arts in International Security Studies, from the University of Arizona. Dr. Popescu is an Alumni Fellow of the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Health Security. Currently, she serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health within their department of epidemiology and biostatistics.
Dr. James Phillips, MD is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician working in Washington, DC and Bethesda, MD and a CNN Medical Analyst. His specialties are disaster and operational medicine, medical counterterrorism, and healthcare workplace violence. He has performed extensive international medical work, particularly in austere environments including Iraq, Ukraine, and Nepal, and also is an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Medical Director.
He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at Auburn University and was invited as an Emerging Leader in Biosecurity Fellow at the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Dr. Phillips trained in Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management as a Fellow at Harvard and was a resident in Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois-Chicago and Plastic Surgery at the University of Michigan. He has authored scientific journal articles in major medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, book chapters, and numerous editorials featured in The New York Times, CNN, and NBC. He is a recognized national expert on both the COVID 19 pandemic, disaster medicine, and healthcare workplace violence. He is a graduate of the Counter Narcotics and Terrorism Operational Medical Support (CONTOMS) program and is a nationally registered EMT-Tactical.