Distinguished Lecture Series – Sydney Institute of Infectious Diseases

This webinar took place on Tuesday, July 5, 22, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (AEST).

Catch up on this webinar as Dr. Rick Brenan describes increasing health risks related to epidemics/pandemics, conflicts, natural disasters and climate change. Progress and challenges in the response to COVID-19 and the growing emergency burden, with a focus on the Eastern Mediterranean region, will be highlighted. Recommendations and initiatives to strengthen global health security, learning lessons from COVID-19, will be provided, along with key resolutions from the recent World Health Assembly.

About the speaker

Rick Brennan is Regional Director of Emergencies for the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean based in Cairo, Egypt. He oversees WHO support to 22 countries for emergency preparedness and response, including for the COVID-19 pandemic, major humanitarian crises, as well as multiple other emergencies. Previously, he spent seven years at WHO headquarters, including as Director of Emergency Operations, Director of Ebola Response and Coordination, and Director of Humanitarian Response.

Rick has extensive emergency experience in over 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. He received his medical degree from the University of Sydney and trained in emergency medicine at Westmead Hospital. After an MPH from Johns Hopkins University, he worked with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on humanitarian and civil-military issues. Subsequently, Rick served as health director for the International Rescue Committee in New York for 10 years, overseeing global humanitarian health operations. Prior to joining WHO in 2012, he worked with JSI Research and Training in Liberia leading a large post-conflict health system support project.

Rick has made several significant contributions to advancing health emergency preparedness and response, including leading the development of the WHO Emergency Response Framework. For seven years, he represented WHO and the health sector on the United Nations Emergency Directors Group.

Angela C. Hale