Event Archives

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Seminar by Dr. Peter Neumann, Director of ICSR - 'Muslim Radicalisation in Europe'
Location: Room G-1, Guttis Hall, Penn Law School
Date: October 17, 2008
Description: We were pleased to host Dr. Peter Neumann, Director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR), for a seminar presentation entitled 'Muslim Radicalisation in Europe' on October 17th. In the session, Dr. Neumann delved into the various groups of Muslim immigrants into Europe and described certain characteristics concerning radicalization as well as interactions with their local communities. Dr. Neumann possesses tremendous experience and expertise in this area, and he has previously served at various committess and boards related to terrorism and security, and has authored several books including Britain's Long War (2003) which provided a comprehensive assessment of British strategy in the Northern Ireland conflict.

ICSR Future Action Series Presentation by Richard Barrett, Head of U.N. Al Qaeda Monitoring Unit

Location: Penn Club, New York
Date: August 21, 2008
Description: This seminar is part of the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence's (ICSR, for which ISTAR is one of its founding organizations) Future Action Series and we had guest speaker Richard Barrett, Coordinator of the United Nations' Al-Qaida/Taliban Monitoring Team, present his views on the current status of Al Qaeda. Barrett outlined the conclusions of his paper 'Seven Years After 9/11: Al-Qaida's Strengths and Vulnerabilities,' published as part of the seminar series, presenting a nuanced evaluation of the organization's current ability to assert itself in the international arena. He concluded that Al-Qaida is severely weakened internationally since 2001 but increasingly assertive in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, offering several suggestions for further curtailing the organization's strength. Barrett's report represents his personal views and is not necessarily shared by the United Nations.The event is part of our efforts at engaging strategic threat issues academically and attracting representatives from diverse fields in their discussions.

Director Harvey Rubin Delivers Talk at Dow Jones
Location: Dow Jones Corporation
Date: May 20, 2004
Description: The talk covered the mission of ISTAR, targets of terrorism, the nature of the threats, the relevant research groups at Penn working in the area of strategic threats and terrorism with examples of their work and future goals of our interdisciplinary group at Penn.
For more information: See Presentation Slides

ISTAR Fall Lecture featured Theodore Sorensen
In honor of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the ISTAR Fall Lecture for 2003 was “Presidents and Their Advisors During Crisis.” The keynote speaker was Theodore Sorensen, who drew on his experiences as President Kennedy’s special counsel discussing the inner workings of the American leadership’s response to major crises. The symposium took place on Thursday November 13, 2003.

ISTAR Monthly Seminar Series
November's ISTAR seminar featured a talk by Frederick S. Calhoun entitled "The Transportation Security Administration: From Ground Zero to Now—Creating a Research Analysis Unit that Matters." Frederick S. Calhoun is Research Analysis Leader at the Transportation Security Administration. Also, Dr. Harvey Rubin gave a talk entitled "The Department of Homeland Security: One Year Later."
October's ISTAR seminar featured a talk by Professor Howard Kunreuther entitled "You Can Only Die Once: Dealing with Interdependent Security Problems." Professor Kunreuther is Co-Director of the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the Wharton School.

Managing Political Risk in Business and Government
A speakers series sponsored in conjunction with the Department of International Relations
Dr. Karim Pakravan, Director and Head of Country Risk, Bank One
Mr. Raymond Biagini, Managing Partner, McKenna, Long, and Aldridge, Ltd.
Mr. Greg Janiec, Director, Homeland Security, Weston, Inc.
Dr. Jerry Smith, Chief Technology Officer, IPR International, Inc
Ms. M.P. Azevedo, International Regulatory Affairs Consultant



The ISTAR-NSF-NSA Workshop on the 'Mathematical Foundations of Open Systems'

Location: The Inn at Penn, Philadelphia, PA
Date: May 23-25, 2010
Description: ISTAR, in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Security Agency (NSA) held an invitation-only workshop on the 'Mathematical Foundations of Open Systems'. This workshop hosted international experts in various fields including computer science, information science, mathematics, computational biology and others, and provided a platform for discussion of the current state of knowledge in open systems in order to chart a research path going forward.

Specifically, the workshop addressed the need for a logical/mathematical foundation for modeling the behavior of dynamic open systems that evolve over time through self-organization, regulation, and adaptation to changing environments and structures. Such a framework should provide a unified approach for obtaining an advanced understanding of natural systems, the ability to fix and modify them, and to design cyber physical systems (CPS) in principled ways using new notions of control and coordination.

We invite you to visit the workshop website for more information.

The Biosecurity at BIO Conference - a PGS-ISTAR-BIO Collaboration
May 5-6, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois

Location: Convention Center, Chicago, Illinois
Date: May 5-6, 2010
Description: The groundbreaking Biosecurity at BIO Conference was co-located with the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) 2010 International Convention being held May 3-6 in Chicago, Illinois. Organized by the Partnership for Global Security (PGS) and the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response in cooperation with BIO, the Biosecurity Conference represented a unique opportunity to address biosecurity issues at the BIO International Convention, which averages 15,000-17,000 attendees each year.

Protecting the rapid advances in the life sciences that improve global public health and quality of life, while preventing the misuse of these advances, is one of today’s most complex global security challenges. With its theme of “advancing bioscience and global security,” the Biosecurity Conference gathered the wide variety of stakeholders responsible for implementing biosecurity to discuss this challenge.

The Biosecurity Conference opened on May 5 with a General Session featuring Obama administration officials discussing its bioscience and biosecurity priorities. Additional panels on May 5 and May 6 focused on globalizing pubic health and biosurveillance, public-private partnerships for medical countermeasures, strategies to prevent biological threats, personnel reliability and infrastructure security, and the convergence of emerging technologies.

We invite you to visit the conference website where you will be able to peruse the conference agenda as well as any follow up news related to the conference. We also welcome you to view the conference brochure. Pictures from the 2-day event can also be viewed here.

PhillyHealthInfo.org and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia Hosted Forum on H1N1 Influenza Outbreak

Location: The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Date: May 4, 2009
Description: PhillyHealthInfo.org and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia organized this forum on the H1N1 flu outbreak, in which officials in the Delaware Valley discussed local and state actions on the outbreak. ISTAR Director Dr. Harvey Rubin was among the panelists at the event. Please click here for the program's official brochure.

Symposium on Government and Business National Security Risks
Location: the Inn at Penn, 3600 Sansom St., Philadelphia, on the Penn campus
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 9 am – 4:30 pm
Description: The University of Pennsylvania, Penn’s International Relations Program and ISTAR sponsored “Convergent National Security Risks to Government and Business: A Symposium.” The keynote was given by U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak of Pennsylvania. Security/risk management professionals from the federal government, corporate sector, investment community, academia, law enforcement and emergency response agencies attended this important symposium. We have archived the event announcement and the full schedule for reference.

The NSF-NSA-ISTAR Bio-security Training Workshop
Location: Embassy Suites, Baltimore, Maryland
Date: May 7-10, 2007
Description: ISTAR, together with the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), convened a non-classified workshop from May 7-10, 2007, on bio-security and challenges for education and training for the key members of the federal workforce and the intelligence community in this area.  The workshop was attended by experts and officials from the NSA, NSF, Department of Energy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Department of Homeland Security, Executive Office of the President, Battelle Memorial Institute, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, Walter Reed Army Institute and others.  The workshop allowed participants to better define and understand terminologies, needs, and future directions for comprehensive training in order to ensure that critical members of the federal workforce are kept abreast of the science and progress in this ever-changing field.  This workshop has led to a continuing relationship between ISTAR and the NSA.  ISTAR scholars are now in the process of developing curricula to teach “Area Studies” to mid-high level NSA analysts.  “Area Studies” topics include China’s nuclear arsenal, as well as Indian-Pakistani relations.

Conference on Homeland Security and Civil Liberties cohosted by the United States Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, ISTAR, and Penn Law
Location: University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date: June 18, 2004
Description: The U.S. Army War College, together with the University of Pennsylvania Law School and ISTAR, cohosted an event featuring national experts drawn from the military, federal government, legal academia, and the civil rights bar. The panelists discussed the nation's security needs and the potential tradeoffs involving civil liberties and security when confronted with new threats arising after the September 11 attacks.
Click here for the event Schedule

31st Annual Educational Conference and International Meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Inc. (APIC)
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Date: June 6-10, 2004
Description: This event featured a talk by the 2003 Belldegrun Scholar, Emily Mok entitled "Smallpox Bioterrorism Vaccination Policy Decision Analysis Using Computer Modeling and Simulation".

The First Conference on Living with Terror: Psycho-Social Effects
Presented by the University of Haifa and the University of Pennsylvania
Location: National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
Date: June 28-29, 2004
Description: The University of Haifa in Israel, together with the University of Pennsylvania, 14 national health care professional societies, and the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) joined together to host The First International Conference examining the psycho-social effects of terrorism on individuals and on society.
Further Informaiton: See Conference Program
Video from CSPAN

Advanced Computation Inspired by Biological Processes
This workshop brought together researchers who work in areas close to biology and computer and information science to discuss how biological systems are able to achieve their robustness and reliability by incorporating computing principles into artificial systems. The conference was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

HomeFront Greater Philadelphia Conference
ISTAR Director, Harvey Rubin, moderated a roundtable discussion on marshalling regional assets to secure the home front.

Strategic Thinking: How Climate, Disease and Socio-Political Structures Become Strategic Threats
ISTAR Inaugural Symposium

Robert Giegengack, Chairman, Department of Earth and Environmental Science
Gary Smith, Professor of Population Biology and Epidemiology; Chief of the Section of Epidemiology and Public Health
Harvey Rubin, Director, ISTAR; Professor of Medicine, Microbiology, and Computer Science
Arthur Waldron, Professor of History; Lauder Professor of International Relations



ICSR-ISTAR Luncheon at Bellevue Hotel Restaurant, Philadelphia, Feb. 26, 2009
Location: Hotel Bellevue Restaurant, Philadelphia
Date: February 26, 2009
Description: We were honored to have Henry Sweetbaum at a special ICSR-ISTAR luncheon which was held at the Bellevue Hotel in Center City Philadelphia. Henry was present with a gift of a replica of the statue of Ben Franklin that stands in front of Franklin Field at Penn to express appreciation for all that Henry has done for the ICSR consortium. In presenting the gift, Harvey Rubin quoted Franklin who is reported to have said that “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” and compared Henry’s involvement in ICSR and ISTAR as a true investment in knowledge.  
Henry then discussed the missions and activities of ISCR (http://icsr.info/index.php) including the Atkins Fellow program where young leaders from Israel and the Arab world develop their ideas on how to further peace and understanding in the Middle East through research, debate and constructive dialogue in a neutral political environment, the soon to be released report on the use of the internet in countering radicalization and study on Radicalisation and De-Radicalisation in Prisons - Lessons from 12 Countries. We were fortunate to host these special guests who represent both the government and private sectors in Philadelphia: Pedro Ramos, David Morse, B.J. Graham-Rubin, Nora Eisenhower, Frank Luchak, John Coogan, Jerry Wind, Bob Giegengack, Steph Rosenfeld, Jonathan Saidel, Ken Trujillo, Michael Matza, and Gail Balph Gordon. For pictures of the event please click here.

University of Pennsylvania Trustees Meeting, February 2007
Location: University of Pennsylvania Faculty Club
Date: February 2007
Description: The Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response presented an abstract of our current projects and research activities to the trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. If you would like to see the materials we presented to the board, please click here. Supplemental materials can be found here: (1) and (2).

Roundtable Discussion on Bio-Surveillance Information Technology Issues with Lockheed Martin and Health Authority Personnel
Location: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date: November 12, 2004
Description: ISTAR, together with Lockheed Martin and Health Authority collaborators are endeavoring to analyses the local Philadelphia bio-alert systems in an effort to identify strengths and weaknesses. We hope to eventually recommend initiatives that will improve the regional bio-surveillance capacity, the robustness of the system, and use this as a platform for regional application.

The Realities of Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Attack
This discussion was the first in a series where the members of the Mid-Atlantic Universities Consortium for Homeland Security brought together experts to discuss homeland security issues.
Consortium members: Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, University of Delaware, University of Maryland, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh.

Executive Briefings on Homeland Security
ISTAR director, Harvey Rubin, spoke on a panel addressing the needs created by the new homeland security environment. Keynote speakers at the conference included Carl M. Buchholz, former special assistant to the president and executive secretary at the White House Office of Homeland Security, and Mark A. Holman, former deputy assistant to the president for homeland security at the White House Office of Homeland Security. The event was presented by the Delaware Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association, and co-sponsored by ISTAR, Blank Rome, LLP, and the City of Philadelphia.

Iraqi Marshlands: Can They Be Saved? Assessing the Human and Ecological Damage
ISTAR member and Professor Emeritus Middle Eastern History, Thomas Naff, spoke on the panel discussing the Iraqi marshlands. The event took place at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and was sponsored by the British Embassy and the Brookings-SAIS Project on Internal Displacement.

Security in Society: Protecting an Increasingly Connected World
ISTAR director, Harvey Rubin, MD, PhD, presented his views on security in an interconnected world at the George C. Marshall Institute’s Washington Roundtable on Science and Public Policy.

Keystone Alliance Summit on Homeland Security
The Keystone Alliance, the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University, sponsored a summit to showcase research related to homeland security to members of the Pennsylvania federal congressional delegation and sponsors of homeland security related R&D such as DHS, DoD, NIH, NSF, DOE, DTRA, USDA and state agencies.

U.S. Vulnerability to Natural, Industrial, and Deliberate Disasters, and the Little that Could Be Done
Dr. Charles Perrow, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Yale University
Sponsored in conjunction with the Center for Organizational Dynamics, Department of Sociology.

Iraq: The End of the Beginning?
ISTAR member and Lauder Professor of International Relations, Arthur Waldron, spoke on the panel discussing the war in Iraq. This event was co-sponsored by the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethno political Conflict and Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences.

ISTAR External Board Inaugural Meeting
Leaders from the field of strategic threats, science, business, and education gather to discuss ISTAR’s growth and development.

White House Town Hall Meeting on Cyber Security
ISTAR faculty members participated in this town hall meeting discussing cyber security at the White House.




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