LOOKING FORWARD: Avoiding a Vaccine Cold War

Watch the live stream below:

Event Details

Thursday, September 17th
12:30pm CST / 1:30pm EST

On Thursday, September 17th, the George & Barbara Bush Foundation, in collaboration with the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, hosted a virtual program called “Looking Forward: Avoiding a Vaccine Cold War.” The presentation featured the world’s leading authorities discussing the realities of what it will take to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the program notably focuses on the complex issue of vaccines.

The hour-long program featured moderator Dr. Martin J. Murphy, Jr., the Bushes’ close friend and recently named Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Alliance for COVID-19 Data Research. Dr. Murphy converses with three of the top minds grappling with the pandemic and vaccines globally.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, Director, The Wellcome Trust
Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO, The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, The World Health Organization

Additionally, “Looking Forward” features conversations on the role Texas A&M University will play when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves a COVID-19 vaccine for distribution.  Greg Hartman, Texas A&M’s Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Texas A&M Health, joined Bush School fellow Dr. Glen Laine, the Vice President for Research Emeritus and Director of the Michael E. DeBakey Institute for Comparative Cardiovascular Science and Biomedical Devices at Texas A&M University. Together, they delve into the recently announced contract between the federal government and the Texas A&M University System’s Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM). Through the agreement, Texas A&M joins Operation Warp Speed to produce millions of vaccine doses. Read more about this unique facility and contract here.

“As the foundation representing the President who helped end the last Cold War by working closely with allies, we feel certain the Bushes would want us to help provide reliable information by bringing together the world’s leading experts and scientists to discuss the realities of this unique global challenge,” said Andy Card, Interim CEO of the George & Barbara Bush Foundation. “Working with the Bush School, Texas A&M, and our other highly distinguished event partners, we want to make sure our audience fully appreciates the realities of where we are today – and where we need to be for a safer tomorrow.”


“These are the world’s top doctors, researchers, and strategists responsible for helping our world navigate through this unprecedented period of challenge. Our purpose behind this Looking Forward program is to get the evidence-based facts out about vaccines,” Dr. Murphy added. “Working closely with the Bushes after they left the White House, I saw firsthand how their leadership changed the trajectory in the war against cancer – and as we can see, the convening power of their sterling names and reputations can still help affect positive change.”

About the panelists

Sir Jeremy Farrar is a British medical researcher who is director of the Wellcome Trust. Prior to that, he was Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam for 18 years from whence he fought SARS, Ebola, H1N1, among other deadly infectious pathogens. Named by FORTUNE among the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in 2015, Jeremy is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Britain’s Royal Society.

Dr. Richard Hatchett is Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) that finances and coordinates the development of vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus – often using innovative first-of-a-like vaccine platforms.  Prior to leading CEPI, Richard served in multiple leadership roles at the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) where he led the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for emerging viruses, including MERS, Ebola, and Zika.  He has also served in the White Houses of President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan has been a globally recognized physician-researcher since her pioneering studies in tuberculosis and HIV. As WHO’s Chief Scientist, Soumya has been devoted to staunching the COVID-19 pandemic since December 31, the date WHO announced its appearance last year.