Newswise — The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is hosting Event 201, a 3.5-hour multimedia pandemic simulation involving 16 leaders from global businesses, governments and public health on Friday, Oct. 18, 8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., in New York City. Live observation of Event 201 is by invitation and media is welcome. The Center for Health Security is part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The pandemic exercise will also be livestreamed to the public 8:50 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., with a break at about 10:15 a.m. Livestream must pre-register and can view the event at Live coverage of the scenario (including video updates and live briefings) will be shown, but discussions at the table among leaders playing roles will be seen only by the in-person audience. Online viewers will participate in their own moderated discussions during those times.

The world has seen a growing number of epidemic events in recent years—approximately 200 annually. A large global pandemic (such as an Event 201) would be disruptive to health, economies, and society. Recent economic studies show that pandemics could be the cause of an average annual economic loss of 0.7% of global GDP—or $570 billion.

While the public sector is the front line of defense against pandemics, most of the resources and capabilities exist in the private sector. Like the Center’s previous preparedness exercises—Clade XDark Winter, and Atlantic StormEvent 201 participants will work through the complex policy, ethical, financial, and political challenges they would face were a serious health crisis to reach pandemic levels. This will be a unique pandemic exercise to engage industry leaders with governments and the pandemic-response community.

WHAT: Event 201 is a multimedia pandemic exercise played by leaders of governments, policy, public health, and global businesses essential to pandemic response and keeping economies and society moving during a severe, highly transmissible intercontinental outbreak. The simulation will underscore the need for the inclusion of private industry, along with business-government collaboration, in planning ahead to mitigate the devastating worldwide economic and societal impact of pandemics. A simultaneous live, online virtual version of the exercise is open to the public. Participants in the virtual exercise will see the same simulated newscasts, briefings, and questions as the live participants in New York but will engage in a separate online discussion of the topics raised.

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, 8:45 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. EDT (Virtual exercise 8:50 a.m.)

WHERE: The Pierre, 2 East 61st Street at Fifth Ave., New York City

WHO: Exercise participants:

  • Latoya Abbott, Risk Management & Global Senior Director, Occupational Health Services, Marriott International
  • Stanley Bergman, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Henry Schein, Inc.
  • Sofia Borges, Senior Vice President, UN Foundation
  • Chris Elias, President, Global Development division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Tim Evans, Former Senior Director of Health, World Bank Group
  • George Gao, Director-General, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Avril Haines, Former Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency; Former Deputy National Security Advisor
  • Jane Halton, Board member, ANZ Bank; Former Secretary of Finance & Former Secretary of Health, Australia
  • Matthew Harrington, Global Chief Operations Officer, Edelman
  • Chokwe Ihekweazu, Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
  • Martin Knuchel, Head of Crisis, Emergency and Business Continuity Management, Lufthansa Group Airlines
  • Eduardo Martinez, President, The UPS Foundation
  • Stephen Redd, Deputy Director, Public Health Service and Implementation Science, US CDC
  • Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson
  • Hasti Taghi, Vice President & Executive Advisor, NBCUniversal Media
  • Lavan Thiru, Chief Representative, Monetary Authority of Singapore

The following may be available for interviews upon request:

  • Tom Inglesby, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
  • Eric Toner, Project Director for Event 201, Senior Scholar at the Center for Health Security
  • Ryan Morhard, Lead, Global Health Security, International Organizations, and IGWELS, World Economic Forum
  • Chris Elias, President, Global Development division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Additional exercise players
  • Technical experts from Johns Hopkins

The exercise is supported by funding from the Open Philanthropy Project.

Read more at 


  • Exercise and virtual exercise website:
  • Exercise hashtag: #Event201
  • Center for Health Security on Twitter: @JHSPH_CHS
  • World Economic Forum on Twitter: @wef
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Twitter: @gatesfoundation


  • Media attending Event 201 must register with and receive materials, video, and audio from Carol Miller, strategic communications lead for Event 201, at [email protected] or 1-202-306-0130.
  • Still photography without flash is allowed in the exercise room, video and audio recording are not, but immediately after the event select high-quality video and audio will be available to press attending.
  • Interviews requested may be filmed and recorded in the green room at 12:30 p.m. EDT and during the break at 10:15 a.m. EDT. Contact Carol Miller.




Register for reporter access to contact details