Dr. Syra Madad is one of the nation’s leading epidemiologists and experts in public health and special pathogen preparedness and response. She is Senior Director, System-wide Special Pathogens Program at New York City Health + Hospitals, the nation’s largest municipal healthcare delivery system overseeing special pathogen preparedness and response efforts across the entire enterprise. Dr. Madad has a 50+ publications and has been a speaker at numerous scientific and medical conferences/webinars around the world. She is frequently quoted and appears on major media outlets. Dr. Madad plays one of the lead roles in the Netflix docuseries, Pandemics: How to Prevent an Outbreak, which follows a handful of leaders throughout the world on the frontlines to prevent the next outbreak.
On December 27, 2019, Dr. Madad published an op-ed in the Washington Post, co-written with Ron Klain, former U,S. Ebola response coordinator for President Obama, who is currently serving as White House Chief of Staff for President Biden. They urged Congress to renew funding for the system that helps keep Americans safe from a sudden epidemic. “Failure to act would be penny-wise but pound-foolish,” it read. “The day will come when a dangerous pathogen will arrive in the United States once again.” On December 31, four days after the article was published, the government in Wuhan, China, reported to the World Health Organization that it was treating dozens of patients for a novel virus of unknown origin.
Dr. Madad is Principal Investigator of NYC Health + Hospitals Institute for Diseases and Disaster Management and Health and Safety Lead of the Enhanced Special Investigations Unit of NYC Test & Trace Corps. In addition, she is core faculty in the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC), funded by the CDC & ASPR. She is a Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists and part of their COVID19 Expert Taskforce and Alumni Fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Health Security’s Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Program.
Prior to her current role, Dr. Madad served as the Lead Continuity of Operations Liaison and State Trainer for the BioThreat and Chemical Threat Teams at the Texas Department of State Health Services, Emergency Preparedness Branch. In this role, she served on the Ebola and Other Infectious Disease Agent Surge Team and assisted with the Texas state 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak response. In 2015, Dr. Madad was awarded the Ebola Response Team Appreciation Award by the Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services in recognition of her contributions to the state Ebola response effort.