Director, Global Health Threats, Skoll Global Threats Fund
Mark Smolinski is a global leader on disease surveillance. In 2003, Mark led the development of a regional surveillance system linking Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. Similarly, he has worked to improve regional collaborations in SE Asia, Africa, and Russia. Mark was the study director for the U.S. Institute of Medicine’s landmark report, Microbial Threats to Health: Emergence, Detection, and Response.
Mark has led global efforts toward early detection and rapid response to emerging threats. His work has brought together governments, NGOs, academia, and private industry in partnerships across national borders in Southern Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Russia, and SE Asia. In 2006, Mark joined the start-up team at Google.org as the director of the Predict and Prevent Initiative. Prior to Google, Mark served as Vice President for Biological Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a public charity directed by CNN founder Ted Turner and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. While at NTI, Mark led the development of a regional disease surveillance system linking Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, demonstrating the power of health as a diplomatic tool even in areas of longstanding conflict.
In 2003, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences released a landmark report, the Emergence, Detection, and Response to Microbial Threats to Health for which Mark was the study director. He has also served as an advisor to the World Health Organization, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary of Health, and an Epidemic Intelligence Officer at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mark was a member of the investigation team that discovered hantavirus in 1993 in Southwestern United States.
A native of Michigan, Mark holds a B.S. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he also received his M.D. He received his M.P.H. from the University of Arizona. Mark is a trained Internist and board certified in Preventive Medicine and Public Health. WIRED magazine’s 2008 Smart List of 15 people the next president should listen to included Mark, a.k.a., the threat detective