Thank you Rebecca, and
good morning everyone. Can you understand Appalachian, that’s the first thing I have to ask you. I figure this is an international campus so accents are a thing of
norm here as opposed to being an oddity. But it’s a pleasure to
be with you this morning and just to share a few thoughts with you. I can’t tell you how excited we are at the Griffin Foundation
about our pending association as the Elizabeth R. Griffin program here at the Center for
Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown. We have worked in
similar programs together in different places in the world and to be connected to a
program that has the national and international reputation
that this one has is, I’m sliding off into semi-retirement, not permanent retirement,
but semi-retirement. And it is one of the great
successes of my career is making this link. I want to tell you just a
little bit about the foundation and our history and what it
is that got me into this room talking to you about biosafety. My undergraduate work,
I have a double major in sociology and history,
and my graduate work is in human resource development, so you’re sitting there going
well what the heck is he doing coming in here and talking to us about biosafety and global heath security. In 1997, a young woman name Beth Griffin, big name was Elizabeth. Beth was a graduate of Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia,
she had a double major in biology and dance, and had planned a future career
working with animals and she wanted to be a veterinarian. If you know about veterinary schools, most of the veterinary
colleges in the United States, most of the students in
those veterinary colleges come from the undergraduate
programs in those colleges. There’s a couple of exceptions to that, but for the most part
that’s the way it works. My daughter in law is a veterinarian. She’s the managing veterinarian
at the spay neuter clinics in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. She went to Auburn, she was
a competitive diver there, she did her undergrad at Auburn, guess where she went to vet school? Auburn, you know, as did
80% of her class, right. And then they have certain
slots that are set aside for border states that
they have agreements with and so there’s all that sort of thing. So she needed to beef
up her CV a little bit so she went to work as a
nonhuman primate resource worker at Yerkes in Atlanta. She was working in a company
with a experiment one day and moving some monkeys
from one cage to another and got splashed in the
eye with some material out of the bottom of a cage. And from that splash in the eye, she contracted a macaque herpes B virus, which for macaques is like
a human having a cold sore, for humans it’s like death. And in six weeks she was dead. Now what you need to back
up about this is that when she graduated from Agnes
Scott her first career option was to be the dance captain at
the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The B virus is encephalitic
and she died within six weeks but within two and a half she was paralyzed from the neck down. So she would have never
been the same thing. Well her family, upon her death started a foundation to work
with people who work with nonhuman primates in research to work on occupational
health and safety issues. Beth’s death came about
as a result of ignorance not stupidity, and there is a difference. Ignorance is when you
don’t know any better. Beth was the first person we know of to contract the macaque B virus
through an ocular exposure. So the common knowledge of
the time you don’t get it unless there’s a bite or a scratch. So you really didn’t worry about it unless there was that bite or scratch. And so they kept telling her that no, that can’t be a possibility
because you don’t have a bite, you don’t have a scratch. Even though Dr. Julia Hilliard
who happened to be in Atlanta and who happens to be the
foremost expert in the world on B virus was saying she’s got B virus, you need to treat her
prophylactically for B virus. And they’re like no,
we’re the medical doctors, we know what we’re doing. They didn’t. And that was ignorance. Stupidity’s if you do
the same thing again. Right, stupid is when you know better and do it anyway. So the whole idea behind the foundation was to work with these nonhuman primates. Well Bill and Caryl,
that was Beth’s parents. The father died a few
years ago of lung cancer, which is really warped
’cause this is a guy that bicycled through the Alps, never smoked a cigarette in his life. But when they set up the foundation they thought this nonhuman
primate research world would just beat a path to their door wanting to know how can
we do things better. Well if you know anything about
laboratory animal research you know that that is one of the more closed worlds out there. You just don’t go out there
and say, guess what we do here. And so they needed somebody
to build a relationship with those people who worked
with nonhuman primates, and I had done a lot of
other kind of side stuff during my 30 year teaching career. And among those things was working with his medical practice,
and I’d also been a lobbyist and all those other kind of little things that you do otherwise. And so they just wanted
to get this ball rolling and I knew absolutely nothing about it, but I learned very quickly. They decided they would invest
in me because I knew Beth, she had been a former student of mine. And so they said go find things to learn. So the first group I met was
the Association of Primate Veterinarians, I didn’t even
know there was such a thing. It’s a whole group of people
that work with monkeys. I met with them and began a
relationship with that group and it was a wonderful group
of people with whom to work. And this was at the time,
I have to explain this, this is one of those, as I look back over what’s happening, it was for the most part at that time an old boy’s club, right? It was like 90% men. And it was an old boy’s
club because most of them had had military experience,
they came up as vets in the force health divisions
and they had been at USAMRIID, and they’d been at Lawrence
Livermore, and the CDC, they’d had all these different
cross path kind of things. It’s interesting now because that group is more than half women, so the transition has
significantly taken part there. But I got these guys really excited and all this kind of stuff
and then 2001 rolled around, and y’all had the Amerithrax thing when the biosecurity
thing kind of ramped up. And that touched us
peripherally but not much. But in 2003 the SARS outbreak occurred. Now I’m telling you people
things that you already know, but this is just how I got into this room. The global response to SARS
was to build laboratories all over the world. High containment laboratories
all over the world. Okay? And the people who had experience working in high containment laboratories were nonhuman primate veterinarians. This was like the core
of knowledge in working, particularly on the animal side in high containment research. These guys had mostly been at USAMRIID, which is the birthplace of
biosafety to begin with. And they said, they came to us and said, “You know, if you’re
trying to keep any more “Beth Griffin things from happening, “you’re gonna need to get
in more into biosafety.” Because as one of them said,
one of my DARPA buddies said, “They’re building planes
and they don’t have pilots.” So I got to learn all about
biosafety and here I am. So that world just kind of expanded and expanded and expanded. But these are pictures of Beth and I always like to
show this one back down in the bottom right hand
corner because there’s Beth holding a monkey not wearing
eye protection, you see that? And if you work around macaques now, you certainly wear eye
protection because of Beth. If you work with macaques
now you probably carry a card because of Beth that says if
I’m exhibiting these symptoms, take a sample of my blood,
send it to this lab, you know, start me on acyclovir like now. And we’ll talk about, because
I am the zebra, not the horse. And there are a number
of people who do that who work with other
infectious agents as well. Which is a good thing. And I never miss an
opportunity to tell people that if you work in a situation where a biological risked
exposure is a possibility, to always tell your personal physician what it is exactly that
you do for a living. How important that is. ‘Cause they know where you work but they have no idea what you do. They know about your
insurance, trust me on that. They know what is covered
and what isn’t covered but they don’t know what
it is exactly that you do. And I’ve done this for
years and years and years, giving talks everywhere,
you know, telling people tell your physician exactly what you do. Just sit there and look at them, tell him or her what it is that you do. Couple of years ago, I’m
watching a football game, I’d just recently got back from a trip, but I’m watching a
football game, and somehow right after halftime my temperature went from perfectly normal to like 104. My wife says it goes up a degree every time I give this talk. But I went from happily
watching a football game and drinking a beer on a Sunday afternoon to having conversations with Jesus, ‘kay? And my wife called my physician. And the first question he asked her was, where has he been? ‘Cause what he wanted to do,
I’m the zebra in his office, I travel a lot, and so
what he wanted to do was to eliminate those
external possibilities. I think he probably has pneumonia, but let’s check and see if
there’s anything going on where he’s been. It was pneumonia, it wasn’t fun. All right, I love this picture. And here’s where I want
to kind of touch in on the Georgetown thing. I need you to understand that I’m really not a technical expert,
I know enough biosafety and biosecurity to be dangerous. I’ve had probably a couple
of thousand hours of training in it, but I’ve never been a
biosafety officer anywhere. Okay? Ever. I’ve never been in charge
of biosecurity anywhere. People that work with
me, they describe me, and I take this as a compliment, but it’s more like a you’re kidding. They call me a thought leader
because I drop what they call, what someone once
affectionately called Jim bombs. Because I come from the perspective of not being a technical expert. I’m in that limbo land between what science is doing and
what the public knows. I’m in that limbo land
between what science needs and what the public needs. ‘Cause I can understand a little of both because I work with both very well. Now even though I’m dressed as the expert, notice I have the pinstripe kind of suit, I have my Academy of
Science Malaysia tie on. I have wingtips, the ultimate,
and the receding hairline. But I’m behind this guy. And one of the things that
I have noticed is that there are these institutions at the top. Right, so when Caryl
Griffin Russel who is the founder of the foundation that I work for, as I’m not only the executive director, I’m the IT department, the, you know, I do just, you name it I do it. Clean up my own office. When we were talking about both of us wanting to go into some
sort of semi-retirement, I have four grandchildren. She has grandchildren. We’re talking about
this, we were looking at all the possibilities, and I said, what if we could link up with somebody. One of the things I wanted
to make sure was that the group that I linked up
with was up there on the top. And I’m just, that’s one of
the reasons that I’m just really really excited that
all this is coming about. We’re having fun with
lawyers and things like that. Right, because I can’t figure out why they like to drag things
out, especially hours, because hours bill by the hour. But we’re looking forward to
the formal part of that first, but I think it will be, I truly
not only think, in my heart, it’s going to be just an
absolutely tremendous alliance between the connections that they have and the connections that we’ve
established over the years. And I just think it will
be a great leap forward for biosafety and biosecurity, and particularly in terms
of global health security, so I want to thank them very much for accommodating all this. When I speak, I am normally
thunder in the desert. If you understand the reference
of thunder in the desert. ‘Cause I’ve spent a lot
of time talking to groups to whom this is totally foreign. Or I spend a lot of
times talking to groups that need to hear some sort of
great inspirational message. I am Mr. Safety Day. Let me tell you, I’ve given more keynotes at more Safety Days at
more different places. It’s Safety Day. And here’s the other thing. I have learned that when
it’s Safety Day somewhere, when they’re having Safety
Day, when they’re investing and bringing me to talk, right. The fecal material has hit
the wind propulsion machine. And I’m part of their
cleanup activity, right. They have gotten themselves
in an area of complacency. And one of the things
that we have to understand in all environments, and
here’s the sociology part, in all environments, unwritten rules are much stronger than the written ones. And biosafety and
biosecurity is a world full of written rules and policies. And you can write those
until the cows come home but the unwritten ones will win every day. So when Beth has her eye
things dangling around her neck that’s because the rule
was you have to wear them. The unwritten rule is you wear
them down around your neck. Because it’s Atlanta, Georgia, people, you put goggles on your
face, just say the words Atlanta and Georgia
together and you sweat. You put goggles on your
face and they fog up, so the unwritten rule is, put ’em on if somebody important walks by, right? It’s kind of like the
don’t eat in the lab. Well if you’re gonna eat in the lab put your food in the
drawer, unwritten rule. Unwritten rule is how fast
do you drive on the highway? Written rule is the sign, unwritten rule is how fast
everybody drives, right? What will they let you get away with. That’s true everywhere you go. So what I try to bring things in to, is I recognize the importance of rules and regulations and policies,
and I work with those a lot and work in the
development of those a lot, but I also work with people, and I know how people respond
to those kinds of things. Wherever they may go. I was at a Global Health Security Agenda Steering Group meeting
in Geneva a while back, and this was part of the presentation from the WHO, and I love the
question, are we prepared? You know, the whole thing
behind the Global Health Security Agenda is the are we prepared for the next pandemic to come our way? And the whole initiative
is to get countries up because those international
health regulations were rules, but what was the unwritten rule? Eh. Eh. These are countries
people, yeah we’ll do that, of course we will, yeah. Work on it here, work on it
there, put it up on the shelf. I share this with you,
in my teaching career, and I did this kind of
work part time for a while, I retired from teaching in 2006. There was a thing called
No Child Left Behind. I was in charge of community
relations for my school, which meant I kept a
notebook on what we did for community relations. I’m sitting at my desk, there
was no money involved in this by the way, I’m sitting
at my desk one night at seven o’clock, filling out
this notebook stuff, for the, and it dawned on me that
nobody anywhere at any time was ever going to see
this and somebody in every public school in America was doing this. Eh. I could write in there Bozo the Clown or something like that, nobody would know. And every time somebody talks
about IHRs and countries not, I go back to oh yeah, I
know what they’re doing. ‘Cause they’re filling
in those papers and going nobody’s ever gonna look at
this because everybody thinks it’s not going to happen here. Now here’s the power
behind the Global Health Security Agenda and why I
think it’s more than just another political kind of thing, is it’s actually got
checkpoints involved in it. It actually has this joint
external evaluation process and it actually talks
about how are you gonna fund these things, and all
these other discussions come in from a multi-sectoral approach. And that’s a very powerful thing, and it’s one of those things
I don’t think we can lose. But when it comes to the
part about biosafety, one of the things that
this guy had in his slide is this picture down
here, and you probably can’t see it too well, but
during the Ebola outbreak where people are wearing
gear as if they were dealing in a level 4 lab, right,
they’re suited up to the max. And that’s in a part of the world worse than Atlanta, Georgia,
right, when it comes to heat. So how people walked around in Tyvek suits and all that I have no idea. I can imagine that it was. But that’s a biosafety thing. And are we prepared? One of those action packages deals with biosafety and biosecurity. And are we prepared is very key to biosafety when it comes to responding to an emerging infectious disease. Whether it’s in an animal population, a human population, or both. It is not a sidebar issue. I love this because it’s like
one of the three pictures. Let me go on. Now, today I am singing to the choir. So I told my wife, she
said what are you gonna talk about at Georgetown;
I said, well I’m gonna use this choir thing. Now I cannot sing. I always wanted to sing, I sing in the car when I’m by myself. Can’t carry a tune in a
bucket, you know, as they say. My wife is a singer. She can do Handel, she can
do Patsy Cline, she can sing. She’s in choir, I’m like,
oh and she started telling more about choirs than I ever
wanted to know in doing this. But I always just kind of
like using the expression singing to the choir. I go to a lot of meetings just like this, listen to people just like me, and hear things I have already heard. And I nod my head, okay. Handel’s Messiah, I know that, you know. I can sing along with you. But there are different people
who have different interests in this room, just like
if you were in a choir we’d have different people who could sing in different voice ranges, right. The only time I ever
got into a choral group I was in the seventh grade
and my voice had changed, and the music teacher put me in the chorus because on Drill Ye Terriers, Drill there was this thing that
you go drill, drill, drill. And that was my job, on the other songs I was to move my lips. All right, so we got in our choir here, if we’re gonna talk about biosafety, and if I had a truly mixed audience, I’d have people who actually do biosafety. Is there anybody in this room
that actually does biosafety? Good, I had two, you can raise, the hand can go all the way up. So I’ve got two people, we’ll
call these implementers. They’re biosafety people, they really know what I’m talking about, okay,
they do the biosafety stuff. Policy people. Policy people, let’s see
you, yay policy people, okay. All right now policy people
sometimes have experience in biosafety, sometimes not. What they usually have
experience in is the science and the ability to define
and to write policy. And connect, right,
this is where they are. So these are the policy people, all right. And then the third group
is the people for whom these people and these people affect. So when I’m doing Mr.
Safety Day, you know, and I tell them, tell
me about my audiences, I want you to bring people in, I want to meet with the scientists, I want to meet with blah blah blah. I want all these people
in the room together. I tell them also I want
the management in there. But these are the people
whom those policies affect, and these people work with. Although if you’re a biosafety person and you’re an implementer,
you know you have absolutely no authority to do
anything at all, usually ever. Okay? These people bring the money in, wherever it is they are, ‘kay? And they are the royalty
in their institutions. And policy stuff, wherever it is, no matter what the policy is it’s nothing but a pain in the tush. Okay, what do you mean I have to do that? That adds cost, that adds time, that adds this, that adds that. So the message is heard
three different ways. Let’s compound this a little bit more. Globally speaking, we speak
three different languages. We speak biosafety. We talk about biosafety. We talk about bio risk management. I’ve had people in the world
ask me what the difference between biosafety and
bio risk management is. The people that teach biosafety
don’t understand that. The people that teach bio risk management don’t understand that. The people who sit in these audiences that have these training
people that come through every year, on the one
and done kind of missions, they want to know what the difference between biosafety and
bio risk management is. And then we have the biosecurity people. Who are strictly on the biosecurity side. And when I say strictly
on the biosecurity side, these are the people who interrelate, particularly in other countries, these are the government
agencies and stuff that interact with the science community
on the security side. It can be military, it
can be law enforcement, it can be game wardens,
all that kind of stuff. It can be a different audience altogether. And I assure you that this
audience does not speak the same language as either
this one or this one. ‘Kay? They have a whole different
mentality about things. So it’s not as simple as it first appears. It’s like the idea that somebody, and this comes again from
that education thing, that you can walk into a
classroom and every child in there is going to learn everything
you teach them and then some. That’s just not gonna happen. So what you have to do, I love this, this is a painting of the
signing of the Constitution. Told I was a history teacher,
can’t let you out of that. Years ago, when I first got connected into the biosecurity thing, I
met with Homeland Security in an office in Frederick, Maryland. It was a nondescript little
office next to a dental office. I go in the place, it’s
like a science fiction film. You know, you go in, you have
this little receptionist, and you sign in, except
you do a thumbprint thing, and then you sit down and wait. And then you go into
the back and they have all these screens up
and I’m like holy cow. I’m doing my Gomer Pyle, golly. Now I had been invited to this meeting. And again, it was in Frederick,
Maryland, it was oh-8:30. These are things I
remember very distinctly. I had spent the night in the Fairfield Inn in Frederick, Maryland,
I was there in time to be at my oh-8:30 meeting. This guy walks in who’s
obviously a retired colonel and now doing something else. He sits at the head of the meeting, he looks around and says, “All right, “so who do we need at the next meeting?” And I’m like, wait a minute,
the first thing on the agenda is we’re gonna have a next meeting. Which means I could have
just skipped this one. So I learned the ways of
those kind of meetings. But I also learned an important lesson. He looked around the
room, after we did our in, he said, “Who’s missing?” Who is it that needs to be in this room if this is what we’re going to talk about. And this is often something we do not do. And the reason I use this
painting of the US Constitution and the formers is who’s
missing in that picture? Who’s missing? – [Woman] Anyone who’s
not an old white guy. – Anybody who’s not an old white
guy pretty much is missing. This is pretty much the landed gentry and the intelligentsia of the time. And having those people missing is gonna create some
issues on down the road. So when you’re doing these
things out there in the world always ask yourself who’s missing. Make sure you reach out for them otherwise you’re gonna have issues. Now the other thing, have
you ever traveled overseas and forgot to take your
little adapter thing with you? All right. What we do in biosafety and biosecurity, the goal of it needs to be
that it works with an adapter. That what we come up
with is local, practical, and sustainable, that’s been
an ever going sermon of mine. Because without it being local,
without it being practical, without it being sustainable, it is not going to be effective. If you take what you do
in the First World lab and expect to immediately apply it in a developing world scenario,
you’re kidding yourself. It’s not gonna work. There are training issues,
there are infrastructure issues, there are all kinds of
issues that are beyond most people’s imagination. And how they go about
just repairing things is a whole different world. So it takes a special
skill to be able to adapt. Because what we have a tendency to do, and this is not necessarily
such a bad thing, but we have a tendency to try
to make it a uniform thing. So wherever it is, we can plug it in and it’s gonna work here. Not the adapter thing, but let’s make this kind of a uniform type thing. Now if I had one of my
wishes to come true, which rarely I do, but
if I had one of my wishes to come true, I would say, you know, if we could go back and
do things all over again wouldn’t it be fun to
do lend a lab, you know, and send these mobile labs out that had the same kind of equipment
everywhere they were and everybody could be trained
in the same way and all this. But one of the things that
we do internationally, we have the IFB certification
program now, right. So we’re measuring people
to a level of competency. Bio risk management was built
on the CEN workshop agreement. And the CEN workshop agreement is moving to ISO kind of things. These are more plugin
than they are adaptable. I got news for you,
the rest of the world’s not quite ready for this one yet. But we’re First World
people who have what I call disposable intellectual time. Disposable intellectual time is time that we can devote to doing things like coming up with international
standards for stuff. Understand that most
workforces don’t have that. They don’t have that
kind of disposable time. If they don’t have the disposable
time to come up with it, what makes you think they have the disposable time to implement it? So those are the kind of things we just have to keep in mind. All right, so the whole idea behind the Global Health Security
Agenda, here we are a choir, everybody knows these things. We want to prevent avoidable
catastrophes, right? I like that idea that
there is a catastrophe that cannot be avoided. We want to detect threats early. And respond rapidly and effectively. Every meeting I go to that
has an international audience wants to know why the Global
Health Security Agenda does not apply to chronic diseases that are endemic in countries. Why is the focus and the
funding always directed at emerging infectious diseases? And these are Jim bombs, I’m
just dropping these for you so you can hear this. All right, because when we get
into the what’s in it for me kind of thing, they hear
what we’re saying back here, and they hear what
they’re saying in Europe and places like that, and
our concern about the threat of emerging infectious diseases. We’ll throw up an airplane
and say one of these people’s gonna get on a plane and come here. And if they do that,
the economic catastrophe that will occur, right. Now that’s an important
message for policy makers and funders in places
’cause they’re saying why do I need to worry about emerging infectious diseases in Sierra Leone? I’m not going to Sierra Leone. Excuse me, one of those
people in Sierra Leone may get on an airplane, they may go to, and let’s talk about where
all they’re going through. Last week I was at a
meeting of the Georgia Global Health Alliance. And it was a very interesting meeting, and of course one of the
things they talked about was how many international
passengers a year pass through the Atlanta airport. ‘Kay? In Atlanta, these are people, you know, they’re people that live in Atlanta, who work in the Atlanta airport, right. So if they’re exposed in the
Atlanta airport and go home. Now we’re talking about,
oh that’s what’s in it. And they talk about how
much it is to the economy of Georgia, this travel kind of thing. And what could happen if one
of those things breaks down. I want you to understand that that’s a very legitimate thing
to put to policy holders. But when we present that to an international audience it’s offensive. You hear me? Because a lot what we’re saying is they’re not prepared to take care of us if something happens there. And if we really want
this to be effective, really want this to be effective, we’ve got to talk in a language that shows that we care about where
this is that it breaks out. Now I’ve got an answer when
they, the part about the why does this not apply
to chronic conditions, why is this not being applied. I end up saying eventually it will be because it adds to capacity. I talked to a hospital manager last week. I said, I want you to tell me something, this is just kind of crass,
but this is just, I said, is your business model
built on chronic diseases? Well not not exactly, he said, but. I said, but you know when you
build a hospital somewhere you anticipate that
there’s gonna be X number of cardio patients
based on the population, X number of people coming in
with problems with diabetes, X number of people coming
in with drug related issues. Yeah, yeah. Okay? So chronic health, you know,
chronic health conditions are those things which
actually build capacity in the first place. And what our problem
is is when an emerging infectious disease takes place, is because it is that chronic health thing that builds the business
model for the health care, is that there’s no additional space. Let’s talk about some
of these other things. The idea of security itself, and the wall here is strictly
apolitical, yeah right. Security is to say that
there are vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. Right? And just to kind of
further this picture up, when we talk about security,
we’re talking about one side of the wall and
the other side of the wall. And this is a language
that we’ve got to kind of blend our way out of. We got to take down the
whole idea of the wall in terms of our discussion about how these diseases affect the world. One of the biggest vulnerabilities is in biosafety and biosecurity, by far, because they have what
I call the bio trifecta. This is infection control. This is biosafety, and
this is biosecurity. And the real trick, and I have to, this is where
watching Georgetown at work, this is one of the
wonderful kind of things. They’re really good at
linking these together. I’ve been places in training sessions where it’s really not so good. And the idea is that one
of the things that we know from a funder standpoint
is that the suitcase that carries biosafety training,
or bio risk management, the funding suitcase, is biosecurity. It’s in there. Now do you honestly think that the world that’s receiving this lesson
doesn’t understand that? ‘Kay. That it’s biosecurity. And that when we talk about
biosecurity we’re talking about intentional use, we’re
talking about nefarious or we’re talking about
making sure that people don’t do things in a
certain way because again that’s part of the ultimate
threat, and it is a threat. So let’s be perfectly honest about that. It is a threat,
particularly where there are economic situations which fuel the attractiveness of those things. One of my favorite
cartoons that I ran across in doing all this, unintended results. I hope you can pick up on this,
the guy’s got a little can of nonstick spray, he’s a stick man. I have to explain this to people. And then on the other
side the sticks are gone. Our intentions sometimes are wonderful, the results
sometimes not so much. And here’s one of the
things that I’ve observed, this is strictly anecdotal. Maybe Georgetown can give
me millions of dollars and I can go do a research
project to fund this. Throughout the world
where the United States and the global partners
program and other type have funded biosafety
and biosecurity training, for literally thousands of
people all over the world, noble endeavor. Those people have gone back to work, and one of two things has happened. One, they got so far behind
in the work that they have that when they got back they
couldn’t do the new work that they were trained to do,
’cause they had to catch up on the work that they didn’t do while they were being trained. ‘Cause they don’t have the
human resource capacity. Again, it’s one of those, understand that. So they get back and
their desk is piled up, and their boss needs them
to do the work they do. And if you’re an adult learner
here’s the education part, if you don’t apply what
you’ve learned in two weeks, you lose it. It’s really simple. Might as well not have
learned it in the first place. Two weeks, that’s not very long is it? Right? So what has to happen when
they go through this training is it has to be immediately applicable or applicable within two weeks, otherwise it’s highly ineffective. All right. That’s part of the problem. The second problem is they go
back and they get promoted. ‘Kay? They get promoted out of what
it is because they now have what we call a darling
relationship with funders. Which is good. And I need to put you out front. And I would go to program after program done by different organizations
and the same people in different parts of
the world would be there for essentially the
same kinds of training. And the reason they were there
is they’re now the darlings, right, the funders like them, I got it. I understand relationship work,
I know what they’re doing. They’re putting these people in there even though these people may
not have the effectiveness in actually implementing what it is that you’re training them to do. So let’s wave a wand. This is a Lego guy with with your little bulldog thing. Let’s wave a wand. What would you go, I’m
asking you this question, what would you do to try to
keep that from happening? So that the training was more effective. Or what have you done? Really, ideas. Tell me, this is your turn. Anyone? – [Woman] You don’t walk away. – You don’t walk away. What if you don’t have the funds to stay? – [Woman] Well, that’s the problem. – That’s the problem, okay. So how do you stay connected if you have to physically walk away. – [Woman] Well, we have an internet now. And you actually can get internet in parts of the jungle in Africa. So you can do remote
mentorship, and checking in. And real time problem solving. So you can do that. To a certain extent, with
certain types of problems. – Certain extent with
certain types of problems. Do you find that if you
have this mentorship program that the people are more
likely to continue to do what it is that you’ve trained them to do? – [Woman] Depends on the
person and your relationship. – Okay. – [Man] I think also it
depend on what you say. If you trained them,
and then when you left their boss come over and now
give them different assignment. So what you training them was no longer actually their responsibility, they have to focus on what
their boss want them– – Right, absolutely. That goes back to the stick,
zoom, chunk, gone, right? Yes. – [Woman] Programs that I
think have some advantage are those where you’re training trainers. – Training trainers.
– You have that ongoing training resource within
the local environment. As opposed to you always having to come and they’re always relying on you, you’re setting up the
infrastructure there. – So how do you reach back,
and this is not an inquisition, how do you reach back and make sure that they are training other people? Is there an accountability
thing on their end to do that? Is there an accountability
thing for the organization that you’re pulling this person from? Do you understand the question, yeah okay. – [Woman] But it’s got to
be within that community, it can be accountable to
you from 6000 miles away. – Right. So one of the things that I
have found is an ongoing rule is you have to be willing
to jump out of your own boat before you expect people
to jump into yours. And this has to do with understanding about what these issues are. And how to go back to
the adaptability part on that making it local,
practical, and sustainable, is to have an upfront understanding that these are the things that might occur. In fact the probabilities of
them occurring are pretty good. Where the boss is going to
give them another assignment when they get back. Or that they’re going to be catching up. Or that they’re going to be
accountable to the organization that in terms of that training. I can’t imagine anything worse than going through a thing
about training people and then they really
don’t have the opportunity to train people. And one of the things
that happens is that, and this is strictly anecdotal again, don’t have that million dollar
study to back it up, but in developing world
countries they are apt to participate in external training programs. In other words, your
organization comes in and train and they are apt to send
people to do that training. They are less apt to set
aside training program, because of that lack of
human resource capacity, they are less likely to set
aside time for one of their own to do training with their own. Even though that’s really the
best way to make these happen, is to have the trainer as a local because then it’s not that face, and then it doesn’t
carry the same message, and there’s all sorts of things. One of the things that we have done is we promote what we
call the duty of care. This is one of those
things that I try to take the politics out of the discussion. And duty of care is something
that’s rather common through the world, and I
want to take it out of its legalistic thing about you
know, you can get sued. But the roots of duty of care
is that if you do anything that creates a risk for anybody, you have a moral and
ethical responsibility to mitigate that risk to
the best of your ability. Again, if you do anything
that creates a risk, you have a moral and
ethical responsibility to mitigate that risk to
the best of your ability. So when you walk into a
building and somebody spilled water on the floor and they
put up a sign about the, that has to do with that. Now sometimes there’s a
legalistic response to that, but the human story is that we do that, the human story is that we do that. If I have cleaning supplies in my house, and I got four grandchildren in my house, I need to do something
to keep my grandchildren from getting into the Tide
pods or whatever it is they might get into. You know? Doesn’t matter what the law is. Simply, it’s the right thing to do. It doesn’t matter if
somebody might get on a plane and go somewhere. It’s the right thing to do
is to mitigate the risks for where you are in the
immediate environment. Regardless of the politics,
regardless of the situation, it’s just simply what people do. I watch parents all over the
world hold their children’s hands when they walk across the street. Not because it’s the law that they do it. But because they’re
putting a child at risk and they’re doing what they
can to mitigate that risk. And if you start with
that as a basic assumption you have responsible people. And if you have responsible people you have responsible science. So I shared doing a
leadership training program at the Asia Pacific with Julie Fischer. She’s in Malaysia today by the way, so I’m wearing my
Malaysia tie in her honor. But to me one of the answers to this is you don’t only train people
in the technical part, but a vital ingredient
that we have missing in many of these programs is
training people in leadership. Because the leadership part is oftentimes people come from
situations where leadership comes by birth, it does
not come by talent. So we’re not talking
necessarily about leadership by title, but we’re talking about leadership by how do you effectively
make change where you are. Because there are people
who make extremely effective changes in society, who are
leaders of almost nothing. You know I was thinking
about this the other day. If you got a pastor of
Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Just another baptist church. Live in my part of the
world you can’t throw a rock and not hit a baptist church. Change comes about because of
leadership, wherever it is. And we’re missing, in
a lot of our programs, we’re missing golden opportunities when we’re training people
in those technical things that they need to have by not training them in the
soft skill side of leadership. And how to make effective
changes where they are. One of the things, we talk
about about our connection with the Global Health Security Agenda, and in these other top programs. I want to reach into these
kind of things and say, you need an action package on leadership. If there’s an action package
missing, it’s leadership. It’s how can people take
these talents where they are and get these programs going
and sustained where they are. Because they cannot rely on the First World to keep doing that. Because our political interests shift every time the wind blows, as
do our financial interests. That’s just, that’s the reality of it. And if this is going to be sustainable, are we prepared, if the
answer is going to say yes, it doesn’t require the
leadership of WHO or OIE or FAO or the United States
or the G7 or whatever, it depends on the leadership
that they have where they are. And the people who are
promoting it where they are. As being something that
is important to them. It’s not merely coal
falling off the coal car going through a poor community. We have to engage in forward thinking. A lot of what we do is
we train people to react. Leadership is about planning. Leadership is about developing
goals and meeting them. Again, where they are. Establishing their own. This JEE thing is a wonderful, I just sit there and I go, this
is just such a powerful tool to help you sit down, imagine having a leadership training class,
take your JEE thing in there, and go how are we gonna make this happen? Showing up at a World
Bank meeting, that’s cool, but it’s not gonna make it happen. Right? What’s a plan, what’s your business plan to make this happen? Who are the people we
need to have in the room? You know, who’s missing,
all those sorts of things. What are communication techniques. I asked, before I did one
of the leadership things I asked people whom I
consider leaders in my life some of the things, what
do you think are necessary qualities in being leaders. I’m sorry for the small print. But this is kind of like
in the order that people, going this way, in the order
that people gave answers. And at the top of that
list was responses like that they are ethical,
that they are moral, that they have integrity. And I went, oh yeah, duty of care. ‘Kay? How ’bout going and saying it’s
just the right thing to do? Forget about (mumbles), it’s
just the right thing to do. It’s the right thing
for us to do to prepare. In our country it’s the
right thing to do to prepare for an infectious disease
outbreak in our country. For the people in our country. It’s the right thing to do
to prepare for the things in livestock populations
and things like that because the people in our
country depend on that. Forget what it does to the global economy. It’s the right thing to do
because the guy is your neighbor. So we’re now talking about the future of the Global Health Security Agenda and I can’t part without
showing this cartoon. It’s one thing to talk it,
it’s another thing to fund it. Right, so we’re gonna use our
little polar bear over here as the infectious disease guy. And here with the Global
Health Security Agenda with our beachfront property. It takes more than talk. It takes action. Action takes money. And we can’t put anything
together unless there is financial will where
there is emotional will. And if there’s anything
that moves financial will it is emotional will. Because we will spend money on things we want to spend money on. Even if we can’t afford it. There’s not a person
in this room who hasn’t bought a gift for somebody
that they couldn’t afford. But they did it because
they wanted to do it. That doesn’t just work in
one on one relationships, it works with people and governments and larger entities as well. It takes leadership to
develop that emotional will to drive the political
will to spend the money. I really appreciate you all
spending your morning with me. If you got questions, comments, all that. I know some of you probably have to go to wherever it is you need to go. And I always try to quit
on time, and I did that. But I’m in no rush to go anywhere. I don’t have a plane to catch,
I just have a car to get into and drive back south, so if
you want to talk let’s talk. If you want to, if you need to leave, please feel free to do that. Thank you all very much. (audience applauding)