Profile

Rick A. Bright, PhD

Former Chief Executive Officer

Rick Bright is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Pandemic Prevention Institute (PPI) at The Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Bright leads the development of the Foundation’s pandemic data-to-action platform that integrates modern technology, data analytics and global partners to help the world detect, prevent, and mitigate pandemic threats to achieve containment as quickly as possible.

Prior to this role, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Bright has also gained extensive experience in the biotechnology industry where he served in senior leadership and executive management roles. He has held senior scientific leadership positions in non-governmental organizations where he championed innovative vaccine development and expanded vaccine manufacturing capacity to multiple developing countries. He also spent a decade in vaccine, therapeutics, and diagnostics development at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For this work, Dr. Bright received the Charles C. Shepard Science Award for Scientific Excellence.

Dr. Bright sits on the Executive Board of the New York Academy of Sciences’ International Science Reserve and serves as an international subject matter expert in biodefense, emergency preparedness and response, pharmaceutical innovation, vaccine, drug and diagnostics development. He also served as an advisor to the Biden Administration, World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine Forum on Microbial Threats. Dr. Bright is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves as a Sr. Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association.

Dr. Bright received a Ph.D. in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis from Emory University and a B.S. magna cum laude in Biology and Physical Sciences from Auburn University at Montgomery.

Authored Content

  • Mar 25 2022
    Blueprint Variants, Sublineages, and Recombinants: The Constantly Changing Genome of SARS-CoV-2 During the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged. Some have died out, and some have surged globally. They are all SARS-CoV-2, but they differ in important ways. Think of them as the boughs of the SARS-CoV-2 family tree, each of which has branched off into many smaller limbs. The smaller […] Dave Luo, Rick A. Bright, Jacqueline Houtman, Jessica Malaty Rivera, Jonathan Gilmour, Lindsey Shultz, Samuel V. Scarpino
  • Feb 16 2022
    Blueprint Tracking SARS-CoV-2 and Its Variants in Wastewater: An Old Technique Is Yielding Powerful New Insights in the Covid-19 Pandemic The newest addition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Covid Data Tracker reports on levels of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater. While researchers, public health departments, and some private companies have been monitoring wastewater since the beginning of the pandemic, this tracker marks an important step in the establishment of the National Wastewater Surveillance System […] Dave Luo, Rick A. Bright, Jacqueline Houtman, Jessica Malaty Rivera, Jonathan Gilmour, Lindsey Shultz, Megan Diamond
  • Jan 31 2022
    Blog Post To Get to a ‘New Normal,’ Public Health Must Focus on All Respiratory Viruses Much of the response to Covid-19 to date has been reactionary. Travel restrictions were implemented after a new variant had already breached the country. The use of higher-quality masks was recommended months after the emergence of increasingly more infectious variants — Alpha, Delta, then Omicron — and well after shortages had subsided. The need to ramp […] Céline Gounder, Rick A. Bright
  • Jan 28 2022
    Blog Post How We Can Spot the Next Covid-19 Variant Even Faster In Durban, South Africa, scientists led by Dr. Tulio de Oliveira, director of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI) at Stellenbosch University, were conducting routine genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 from different regions when they noticed worrying variations in genomes clustered in Gauteng Province. They alerted their colleagues around the country and within their research […] Rick A. Bright
  • Dec 28 2021
    Field Note Vaccine Inequity Increases the Risk of New SARS-CoV-2 Variants Emerging Robust genomic surveillance, along with transparency, communication, and global collaboration, is needed to detect and control emerging variants. To control the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on member states to meet a goal of vaccinating 40% of their population by the end of 2021. As of mid December 2021, over 8.6 billion […] Dave Luo, Rick A. Bright, Emily Bass, Jacqueline Houtman, Jessica Malaty Rivera, Jonathan Gilmour, Lindsey Shultz
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