Dr. Lawrence D. Kerr (Larry) is the Director of Pandemic and Emerging Threats within the Office of Global Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Kerr leads and manages the Office overseeing a broad policy portfolio including the Global Health Security Agenda implementation, pandemics and emerging threats, antimicrobial resistance, security policy issues [biosafety and biosecurity, biothreat prevention (Biological Weapons and Toxins Convention, United Nations Security Council 1540, Global Partnership against the Spread of Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction)], and dual-use research of concern. Prior to joining HHS in December 2015, Dr. Kerr served as the Director for Medical Preparedness Policy in the Resilience Directorate at the White House National Security Council Staff as the principal staff member responsible for coordinating policy regarding public health and medical resilience for biological events, whether the results of naturally emerging disease or deliberate release including his role on the Ebola Task Force.
He previously served as the Senior Bio Advisor to the Director of the National Counterproliferation Center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Dr. Kerr advised the senior leadership on strategic plans to prevent and counter the spread of biological weapons of mass destruction. Before joining NCPC in April 2006, he was Director for Biodefense Policy with the White House Homeland Security Council in the Executive Office of the President. He served as Assistant Director for Homeland Security for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and as Director of Bioterrorism, Research and Development for the Office of Homeland Security in the EOP. Dr. Kerr joined the Life Sciences division of OSTP in January 2001 where he came from his position at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.
Prior to his work at the NIH, Dr. Kerr worked in science and health care policy on the health subunit of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 106th Congress as a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow. He staffed the Senator on a variety of legislative affairs including: NIH reauthorization; medical device coding for Medicare reimbursement; radiation exposure compensation litigation; interagency coordination of counter-bioterrorism efforts; pediatric AIDS; and Ryan White CARE reauthorization.
As an Assistant Professor in Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville TN, Dr. Kerr ran a basic science laboratory devoted to the study of the transcriptional regulation of gene products involved in HIV replication and breast cancer development. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, reviews and book chapters. He holds a B.S. in Biology and Art History from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. Dr. Kerr completed his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Vanderbilt University in 1990 and undertook his post-doctoral work at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, CA. Dr. Kerr is currently an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.