How Are Global Biorisks Changing and Why Should I Care?

The world of global risk management is constantly evolving. Since senior security leaders play a pivotal role in safeguarding their companies’ assets, it’s important to stay aware of major developments as they unfold. The only constant is the fact that nothing will stay the same for long.

The Biorisk Landscape: Constant Change Is The Norm

Your job would be easier if the threats posed by biorisks remained consistent from one day to the next. Unfortunately, they don’t. Here are the most important elements that can change threat levels.

Pandemics and Emerging Diseases

Infectious diseases can profoundly impact your business’s health and survival. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored this fact for business leaders worldwide. During the pandemic, we watched as supply chains, workforce availability and operational continuity fell apart before our eyes. You can’t control when the next pandemic will strike. But you can engage in strategic preparedness and response planning so it won’t take you by surprise.


Technology is evolving at breakneck speed. Of course, technological advancements can make our jobs easier and the future brighter. But they also mean that the threat of bioterrorism has never been more sobering. You’re at the forefront of ensuring your organization is fortified against intentional biorisk threats.


Environmental Factors

Our climate is changing rapidly, and it will continue to do so. Environmental degradation, driven by human activity, poses a significant threat to your business continuity in years to come. This threat is indirect, yet profound. Our changing climate is creating conditions that make the emergence and spread of diseases more likely on a global scale. A comprehensive risk management plan will consider the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on your enterprise.

Human Factors

Population density is increasing as global population grows. Wars and migrations make more people vulnerable to exposures. Global interconnectedness through air travel, trade, and other means creates opportunities for biorisk spread. All of these issues are constantly evolving. They demand your enterprise have the readiness and adaptability to handle such events.

What Do These Threats Mean For Me?

As a business leader, you should take these threats personally. What will they demand from you?

Strategic Leadership

You can’t formulate a comprehensive crisis management strategy without recognizing and addressing biorisks. Today’s business world is more uncertain than ever – strategic leadership is what it takes to maintain a competitive edge.

Operational Resilience

Your clients, employees and investors are watching to see how your enterprise navigates the next crisis. Implementing effective biorisk management solutions is the best way to maintain operational resilience. Your company’s financial stability and operational continuity are at stake.

Reputation Management

It’s impossible to put a dollar amount on your business’s reputation. COVID-19 reminded us that mishandling biorisks can have a long-lasting impact on your reputation. When you prioritize biorisk management, you position your enterprise to protect its image in the long term.

Employee Safety and Well Being

Today’s employees often refuse to work in environments that jeopardize their health. If you want to attract and maintain top talent, you’ll need health and safety protocols that can adequately safeguard your workforce.

Compliance and Regulation

Regulations relating to biorisk don’t stay the same from one year to the next. If you fail to stay in touch with the changing face of biorisk management, you could fall out of compliance and face legal and financial consequences.

How Can I Stay Up To Date?

Maintaining flexibility and fluidity is key to navigating the rapidly evolving biorisk landscape. How can you jumpstart your organization?

Engage in Comprehensive Risk Assessment

You’ll need to perform a comprehensive risk assessment that focuses specifically on biorisks. This will identify potential vulnerabilities within your organization and its supply chain.

Develop a Strategic Plan Using Cutting-Edge Technology

Begin with your existing security protocols, and develop a strategic plan for biorisk management. Your plan should include both reactive and proactive measures, and you should employ the best tools available in your decision making.

Develop a Strategic Plan Using Cutting-Edge Technology updated

Collaborate With A Wide Array Of Experts

When you engage with experts, public health authorities and industry peers, you get to stand on their shoulders. Get your organization involved in sharing insights and best practices about emerging threats.

Provide Practical Training and Education

A knowledgeable workforce is a prepared workforce. Invest in training programs for your entire team, and your organization will be better prepared to meet biorisks effectively.

Adopt The Latest Technological Solutions

Yesterday’s biorisk management solutions can’t solve today’s problems. You need a platform that provides actionable, data-driven insights in order to plan a swift and coordinated response.

Staying Ahead of the Game With PHC’s Global Threat Tracker

Are you looking for the best tool to protect your enterprise from the next biorisk? 

Look to our Global Threat Tracker, the newest feature of the PHC Pharos platform. It enables your enterprise to understand biosecurity risks and respond early. You can track one location or all of your locations using filters for COVID-19, RSV, influenza and other risks.

The alerts and recommendations in the Global Threat Tracker are based on our experts’ knowledge of information sources and disease spread. Working with some of the best software engineers and technology specialists, our epidemiologists and infectious disease experts are the core of everything we do.

You can receive information from PHC Global through the stand-alone Pharos platform. Or Pharos can deliver data directly to your dashboards or systems securely via API, REST or GRPC protocols.

Watch our demo to learn more about the Global Threat Tracker.

Get started with the Pharos Platform. 

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Dave Komendat retired as the Vice President and Chief Security Officer for The Boeing Company, a role he held for 14 years of his 36 years within the security profession. Komendat was responsible for the company’s global security and fire protection policy and procedures, site security, executive protection, supply chain and aviation security, structural and aircraft fire protection, government and proprietary information security, classified cyber security, strategic intelligence, international security, business continuity and disaster preparedness, Global Security Operations Center, and security background investigations.


Komendat was also the lead Boeing interface for both national and international security policy engagement with numerous government and industry advisory groups. He represented Boeing as past co-chairman and current board member on the Domestic Security Alliance Council, past President of The International Security Management Association and served as a member of the Threats and Information Committee for the Overseas Security Advisory Council.  


Komendat is the founder and President of DSKomendat Risk Management Services, he also serves on several company advisory boards and holds board leadership roles with several non-profit organizations whose missions are to protect people globally, including Hostage U.S. and The International Security Foundation. Dave is also a Strategic Engagement Advisor for the Office of Private Sector within the FBI. In 2018, Dave was awarded the Director’s Award for Exceptional Public Service by FBI Director Christopher Wray.


Komendat graduated from California State University at Long Beach and also attended and completed the executive development program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Dr. Carter Mecher serves as the Medical Advisor for the Public Health Company. 


Prior to joining PHC, Carter served as a Senior Medical Advisor for the Office of Public Health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In this position, Dr. Mecher played a key role in the COVID-19 outbreak response. 


From 2005 to 2011, he served as the Director of Medical Preparedness Policy at the White House Homeland Security Council and National Security Staff. He was a principal author of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan. In this capacity, he helped set policy and devise strategies to mitigate the consequences of a pandemic and promote pandemic preparedness. 


Before serving at the White House, Dr. Mecher was the Chief Medical Officer for the Southeast VA Network in Atlanta from 1996 to 2005. In this role he oversaw the healthcare delivery for veterans in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. 


Dr. Mecher is a co-author of Lessons from the COVID War, an in-depth examination of the U.S. response to the pandemic. In addition, he is featured in Michael Lewis’ book The Premonition.


Dr. Mecher received his medical degree from Chicago Medical School and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in critical care medicine at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center.

Dr. Joe DeRisi is a Scientific Advisor to PHC. He is one of the early pioneers of DNA microarray technology and whole genome expression profiling; he is nationally recognized in the field of genomic epidemiology for designing a first-of-its-kind initiative for COVID-19. Joe currently serves as Co-President of Chan Zuckerberg BioHub and is a professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at University of California, San Francisco. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford University.

Dr. Sumiko Mekaru is the Vice President of Research and Innovation at The Public Health Company. Dr. Mekaru is an epidemiologist operating at the intersection of traditional epidemiology and technology and leading cross-disciplinary teams to solve challenges in public health. Prior to joining PHC, Dr. Mekaru was a Life Sciences Strategy, Policy, and Operations Expert at Booz Allen Hamilton where she recently led the development of COVID-19 forecasting models for disease transmission, resource utilization, and critical events for the Department of Defense. Dr. Mekaru has also led health technology teams at Epidemico and Boston Children’s Hospital, creating innovative health surveillance tools. She has published extensively on infectious disease outbreak monitoring, modeling, and surveillance. Dr. Mekaru holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Tufts University and a PhD in epidemiology from Boston University.

Justin McIntosh is an experienced professional with 10+ years in management and 8+ years in software engineering. Currently, he is the Vice President of Operations at The Public Health Company. His journey began in college when he co-founded Safe Site, a utility services company, which expanded to operations in three states with over 300 employees. After a successful exit, he founded Docusite, a construction risk management application, diving into software engineering. Despite challenges with Docusite, Justin’s passion for technology led him to various roles before landing at The Public Health Company.


In his current role, Justin is tackling the challenging task of improving operations in a remote environment. He is dedicated to his role and is always open to sharing experiences and insights. He is committed to nurturing effective teams, improving operations, and shaping innovative solutions. His focus is on creating a positive, growth-oriented environment and mentoring emerging leaders, reflecting his commitment to collective success.

Lori Sutton is the Vice President of Marketing at The Public Health Company. She is a strategic marketing visionary and global brand leader with 20+ years of progressive experience in B2B/B2C SaaS software marketing in large enterprise and SMB markets. She has expertise in leading strategy development, overhauling brands, launching products and driving growth in target verticals. Prior to joining PHC, Lori was the Vice President of Marketing and Growth at SMS-Magic, where she led the global GTM strategy, orchestrated a brand overhaul, developed new messaging and positioning and launched revenue generating campaigns. Lori held marketing and management roles at Model N, Bullet Point Network, Saba and other SaaS software companies where she focused on marketing strategy, business objectives and analytics to drive revenue.

Lori holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, an Executive Education in Corporate Strategy at Harvard Business School and continues coursework at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Craig Katsuyama is the Vice President of Administrative Services at PHC. He brings extensive experience building companies from the ground up and was instrumental to the launch of IEX Group in 2012, which challenged the status quo of financial markets and created an entirely new stock exchange that works for all investors. Craig spent the last eight years at IEX where he built and oversaw the accounting and finance teams before transitioning to help establish IEX’s Event Stream business, a data messaging platform that applies IEX’s core technology to areas outside of finance. Craig graduated from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Economics.

Dr. David Fisk is the Chief Medical Officer at The Public Health Company. Prior to joining PHC, Dr. Fisk served as an Infectious Disease Specialist at Sansum Clinic.  He serves as the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Cottage Health, leading the infection control team at Cottage, working with physicians and hospital leaders on the COVID Incident Command Center to ensure the highest level of preparation and care for patients. In early March 2020, before the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Santa Barbara County, Dr. Fisk advised that the virus was already spreading locally before community members were observing symptoms.


Dr. Fisk completed his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and his Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Diseases fellowship at University of Michigan Medical Center. He is board certified in Infectious Diseases and a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Chris Latko is the Chief Technology Officer at PHC. He joined as a Principal Software Architect where he played a key role in building out the platform. He has over 25 years experience in the technology sector holding positions at companies he started, Fortune 500 companies, and a multitude of startups both in the United States and Japan. He has spent the last decade designing, refining, and reimplementing architectures for hypergrowth startups such as Boxfish, Paxata (acquired by DataRobot), Banjo, and Globality. Chris earned two patents for designing a streaming data ingestion/data normalization platform.

Kendall Burman serves as PHC’s General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining PHC, Burman held leadership roles at Alloy, a data and technology start-up for the progressive political market. Burman previously served as the Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives at the Department of Commerce and as Associate White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the President in the Obama Administration. She was also a counsel in the cybersecurity and data privacy practice at Mayer Brown and served as Chief Staff Counsel for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.


Burman is a graduate of Bowdoin College and received her J.D. from the University of Chicago where she was an editor of the law review. She was also was a fellow at both the New America Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Dr. Charity Dean is the CEO, Founder and Chairman of The Public Health Company, a venture-backed Silicon Valley technology startup. 


In August 2020 Dr. Dean founded PHC, envisioning a commercial-grade global biosecurity platform to empower enterprises to manage biorisk at scale. Dr. Dean’s obsession with building a new solution was born out of 24 years in public health and the recognition that Silicon Valley innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning could birth this entirely new capability. Two years later PHC PharosTM is a game-changer for numerous businesses providing real-time, dynamic risk management across their global footprint and assets. 


Dr. Dean founded PHC having served as the Assistant Director for the California Department of Public Health where she was part of the executive team under Governor Newsom running the COVID-19 pandemic response. She co-founded and co-chaired California’s COVID-19 Testing Task Force and under her leadership, California went from ranking last in the nation for testing to first in three months. In 2019, Dr. Dean served as Acting State Public Health Officer overseeing 4,300 staff with an annual operating budget of $3.5 billion. 


Before her move to statewide office, she served as the Public Health Officer for Santa Barbara County and oversaw a myriad of disease outbreaks and biological threats; she also served as attending physician for TB, HIV, and homeless medicine at the Santa Barbara Health Care Centers. 


Dr. Dean was awarded Physician of the Year in 2018 by the Central Coast Medical Association and honored as one of the Women of the Year by the California State Legislature.


Dr. Dean is a co-author of Lessons from the COVID War. Her work during the pandemic is the focus of Michael Lewis’ book The Premonition. Dr. Dean has shared her insights about the danger of biological threats and the changes we must make before the next crisis in a number of interviews and podcasts.


Dr. Dean holds a Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Oregon State University.

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