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Robert P. Kadlec
Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (Preparedness and Response)
Assumed office
August 18, 2017
President Donald Trump

Robert P. Kadlec is an American physician and career officer in the United States Air Force who currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (Preparedness and Response).


Kadlec holds a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy, an M.D. from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and an M.A. from Georgetown University.[1]


Kadlec spent 26 years as a career officer and physician in the United States Air Force. He has served as the Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Senior Director for Biodefense Policy on the Homeland Security Council and as staff director for U.S. Senator Richard Burr's subcommittee on bioterrorism and public health.[1]

Kadlec was serving as Deputy Staff Director for the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence when he was nominated by President Donald Trump to become Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (Preparedness and Response).[2] Kadlec was confirmed for this position by the United States Senate on August 3, 2017.[3]

Office of Preparedness and Response[]

In his capacity as the leader of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Kadlec said in March 2018 that his office is taking on several efforts to protect the U.S. from "21st century health security threats." These threats could include the deployment of bio-weapons (such as infectious diseases, bacteria, viruses, or toxins) or the release of chemical weapons (such as chlorine gas or mustard gas). Kadlec said that these threats have continued to rise in the U.S. and abroad.[4]

ASPR recommends that all first responders become familiar with the ASPR’s Primary Response Incident Scene Management (PRISM) series, "which Kadlec said has been developed to provide evidence-based guidance on mass casualty disrobe and decontamination during a chemical incident."[4] The PRISM guidance documentation was developed based on scientific evidence gathered under a research program sponsored by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). ASPR oversees BARDA in the HHS hierarchy.[4]

Biodefense work[]

In January 2018, Kadlec testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in a hearing investigating public health threats and reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA). He testified in full support of reauthorizing the PAHPA law. In the decades before and after PAHPA was passed, Kadlec worked in various government capacities focused on biodefense and national security. In the White House Homeland Security Council, Kadlec had served as Director for Biodefense. He also served as Director for Biodefense as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for Biodefense Policy from 2007 to 2009.[5]


External links[]

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