Donna Barbisch (Anatomy of a Pandemic)

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Barbisch is president of Global Deterrence Alternatives, a strategic planning organization providing policy and program guidance on integrating solutions related to the national security threats of terrorism, natural disasters, and emerging infectious diseases. She is among the nation’s most distinguished experts in terrorism and disaster preparedness and response. With more than 20 years in managing complex medical and organizational challenges, Barbisch moved her focus to the complexities of combating terrorism and complex disaster management in the early 1990s. She has been described as a visionary in reducing threats and responding to complex disasters both nationally and internationally.

As a strategic planner, Barbisch focuses on developing effective programs built on evidence-based information, measurable objectives, and best outcomes in catastrophic events. Barbisch uses research-based theory and practice reinforced by modeling and simulation to drive decision support tools at all levels from individual preparedness and response to executive decision-making for today’s escalating threat environment. Her integrated training and operational modeling are designed to produce a cultural shift in preparedness. She is a leader, educator, facilitator, and proven agent for change who can build or reform organizational cultures to deal effectively with the ambiguous and unknown challenges in today’s environment.

In addition to her other civilian accomplishments, Barbisch is a retired army major general. She served in a multitude of active and reserve assignments from Vietnam to the Pentagon. Her most recent assignment was as director of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear program integration for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Barbisch holds a bachelor's degree from California University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a doctorate in health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina.


Robert A. Schweikart
Charleston, SC
May 16, 2011

We’re talking about quite a lady here.  I first met her when her daughter and mine became friends at Seabrook Island, SC in the early 90’s.  Donna was a colonel (Full) then in the Army reserves and was teaching Nurse Anesthea at the Medical University of SC.  Not long after that she went to full time status in the Army and the rest, as they say, is history.  The cream rises to the top.  An impressive representative of preparedness and a career in homeland matter of security has improved our nation.  Good for youmajor general Barbisch.

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