The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: Financing Pandemic Preparedness and Response

Session 1: September 28, 4:00-5:30 pm, Belfer 503 (M-RCBG conference room)

Session 2: October 26, 3:30-5:00 pm, Fainsod (Littauer 324)

In the wake of Ebola, and with Zika escalating as a crisis, there’s widespread consensus that the global community is grossly under-prepared for infectious diseases crises and often slow and inadequate in responding to outbreaks when they occur. There’s also broad agreement across the global health community about the key components of what should be done to reinforce our defenses and improve response mechanisms.  However, making these changes happen is proving enormously challenging, largely due to a combination of financial, governance and human resource constraints. This session will focus on the financial and economic aspects of the problem.

As Chairman of the US National Academy of Medicine’s Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future, Peter Sands was responsible for the report entitled “The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: a Framework for Countering Infectious Disease Crises” (February 2016) and has since published in both the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet on this topic. He is now involved in creating and leading  an international taskforce to address the specific challenge of financing domestic preparedness, working with the World Bank, WHO and UN.

Peter Sands was Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank from November 2006 to June 2015.  He joined the Board of Standard Chartered PLC as Group Finance Director in May 2002, responsible for Finance, Strategy, Risk and Technology and Operations.  Prior to this, Sands was Director and Senior Partner at worldwide consultants McKinsey & Co. Before joining McKinsey, he worked for the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  Sands is the lead non-executive board member of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom and the co-chair of the India UK CEO Forum. He holds a number of board memberships including the World Economic Forum and Lingnan University and is Governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. He graduated from Oxford University and holds and MPA from HKS (1988), where he was a Harkness Fellow. As a senior fellow, Sands’ research will explore a variety of topics related to banks and financial markets.  His faculty sponsor is Richard Zeckhauser, Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy.  Email:


M-RCBG Senior Fellow Peter Sands.