DONNA F. BARBISCH
101 E St SE
Washington DC 20003
Dr. Barbisch is among the nation’s most distinguished experts in creating collaborative solutions in
today’s complex environment of terrorism and catastrophic disasters. She is a change agent who can
build or reform organizational cultures to effectively guide integration of critical infrastructure
protection, intelligence and preemption, with public health and emergency management at all levels,
from national strategy to local execution. Her work has been described as a visionary approach to
strategic planning for building resiliency, reducing threats and responding to crises in complex systems.
Dr. Barbisch retired as a US Army Major General. She has a proven track record as a policy analyst,
strategic planner and a leader with command and management experience. Her background includes
major successes in the private sector and U.S. military.
1997–Present, Global Deterrence Alternatives, LLC
President of a consulting business that assists governments and private companies establish the
resiliency needed for emergency preparedness whether for pandemics, bioterrorism, civil unrest or
terrorism events. Clients have included numerous U.S. states and cities and more than ten foreign
governments. Successes include:
Designated as Deputy Chief of Party for Project PREPARE, a USAID funded pandemic
preparedness initiative in Africa and SE Asia.
Provided subject matter expertise for implementing the Targeted Capabilities List as part of the
National Preparedness Guidelines
Provided senior policy support and subject matter expertise for California Department of
Emergency Services/Department of Health in developing standards and guidelines to effectively
deal with healthcare surge during a catastrophic event. Supported collaborative process to
integrate areas of legal, transportation, hospitalization, healthcare, public health, and emergency
Provided senior policy and subject matter expertise to develop response and mitigation plan for
potential failure of the Mosul Dam, Iraq
Developed the All Hazards Strategic and Operational Plan for the District of Columbia
Department of Health; initiated the integration of the National Incident Management System
(NIMS) for the District of Columbia
Developed comprehensive pilot project for regional surge capacity and isolation/quarantine
protection. Includes criteria for personnel, logistics, and policy integration
Provided strategic guidance and oversight for numerous senior level policy groups and think tanks
on terrorism prevention, deterrence, response, and recovery
Participated in the National Academies, Transportation Research Board, National cooperative
Highway Research Program to develop appropriate solutions in transportation’s role in homeland
Primary analyst in assessing the Department of Veterans Affairs potential capability to enhance a
medical response to a WMD event
Developed guidelines for the Department of State, Antiterrorism Assistance program
As of September 2011
Provided guidance and review of interagency coordination applications to international
community, Kuwaiti Oil Company
2011–Present Senior Policy Advisor
Center for Disaster Medical Science, University of California, Irvine
2009–Present, Distinguished Fellow
George Mason University, Center for Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security
University of Pittsburgh, Center for National Preparedness
2001–2005 Adjunct Professor
George Washington University: Instructor and consultant in health policy and disaster preparedness
2002–2004 Adjunct Researcher
RAND: Consultant on national policy and military capability relative to homeland security
ANSER: Senior advisor, Interagency Collaboration; National security issues in homeland
Medical University of South Carolina
Directed masters level educational program of instruction in nurse anesthesia at 5 hospitals
throughout South Carolina
Course instructor, policy and management
Managed grants to improve healthcare to a community in excess of 300,000
Halifax Memorial Hospital, Department of Anesthesia
2005 Major General US Army (Retired)
2004–2005 Director Chemical Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Program Integration
Mobilized for the Global War on Terrorism: Responsible for integrating chem-bio defense programs,
identifying equities across DoD and the interagency community. Developed low cost, expedient
counter measures in chemical and biological defense focused on optimizing decision making using
empirical data linked with outcome measurements. The program built on existing capability, provides
situational awareness, and optimizes appropriate information sharing for decision maker at all levels,
from first responder to policy makers.
2001–2008 Adjunct Professor, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College
2001–2002 Military Assistant (IMA) to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and
Provide advice and council to the Assistant Secretary regarding policy oversight of programs within
the Army regarding personnel, training, and mobilization
Conduct analytical review of existing program, identify requirements/capability mismatch,
Principal Advisor for Homeland Security
1997–2001 Deputy Commander, Clinical Support, 3d Medical Command
Senior advisor for homeland security to the Chief, Army Reserve
As of September 2011
Provided senior command level medical guidance, analysis, and operational support for Central
Command Area of Operations
Developed organizational processes to grow the echelon above corps senior medical command
from an authorization level 9 active duty organization to an authorization level 1(fully ready) Army
Reserve integrated organization composed of Army Reserve, active duty, and Army National
Established processes to mentor and grow unit morale as well as build unit integrity.
Led Crimson Cross, an Echelon Above Corps strategic planning exercise to validate planning
assumptions and develop requirements for the use of weapons of mass destruction in two theaters
as well as domestic environments
Improved readiness posture of 3d MEDCOM, which deployed as the senior medical unit
coordinating activity in the Central Command Area of Operations.
1997–1998 Senior Advisor to Commander, Soldier and Biological, Chemical Command for
WMD, Consequence Management (Active Duty)
Co- Director, NYC Bioterrorism Exercise “City SAFE” coordinating a simulated Federal, State,
and Local response to catastrophic effects of a biological attack producing in excess of 80,000
casualties, overwhelming local and State capability
Facilitated readiness posture for NYC; developed synergy multi-agency synergy
Established framework to prioritize utilization of scarce resources at the federal level
Provide council, recommending and establishing guidelines for DoD participation in facilitating
improved domestic BW response
1996–1997 Director, Reserve Leadership Integration Studies (Active Duty), US Army War
Instructor in the Department of Command, Leadership, and Management, focused on strategic
leadership, complex problem solving, and organizational effectiveness
Course instructor: Negotiation, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking
Directed research on integrating multi cultural, complex organizations
Facilitator for Women’s Strategic Leadership Initiative
1991–1993 Commander 350th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH)
Command and coordinate corps level hospitalization support
Coordinated domestic support program during Dessert Storm
Prior to 1988
Vietnam Veteran: Staff Nurse, 91st Evacuation Hospital, Chu Lai, Vietnam
Multiple leadership, nursing, and nurse anesthesia positions covering 1968-1988
2000 Medical University of South Carolina, Doctor of Health Administration (DHA): Health Policy
1996 Army War College, Strategic Leadership
1993 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Master of Public Health: Health Policy
1984 California University of Pennsylvania, B.S., Education/Anesthesia
1974 Mercy Hospital School of Anesthesia, Diploma: Nurse Anesthesia
1969 Columbia Hospital School of Nursing, Diploma: Nursing
As of September 2011
“Koenig and Schultz's Disaster Medicine: Comprehensive Principles and Practices,” Cambridge
Press, chapter author (surge capacity and quarantine) 2009.
Understanding Surge capacity: Essential Elements. Academic Emergency Medicine. Nov 2006.
Preparing Healthcare Facilities for Catastrophic Events, Federal Roles and Responsibilities. Web
cast American College of Healthcare Executives and Hospital Corporation of America. Feb 2006
An Approach To Development Of A Community-Based Infrastructure For Cooperation In
Medical Disaster Planning For The District Of Columbia. APHA 132nd Annual Meeting. 2004.
Community Preparedness and Response to Terrorism, Johnson, et al, Praeger, 2004, Contributing
Chapter Author: chapter: “Regional Responses to Terrorism and other Medical Disasters:
Developing Sustainable Surge Capacity.”
Triage for Civil Support: Using Military Medical Assets to Respond to Terror Attacks, Cecchine, et
al, Rand Corporation, October 2004.
The Evolution of Protecting the US: From Civil Defense to Homeland Security, American College
of Emergency Physicians, Disaster Medicine Newsletter, August 2004
Response to Terrorism: Preparing Healthcare Leaders for Our New Reality, McGlown, Health
Administration Press, February 2004; Contributing chapter author: chapters: “Understanding the
Government’s Role in Emergency Mangement” and “Integrating Civilian and Military Medical
Resources and Response Capabilities.”
Role of the Reserve Components in Homeland Security, The Officer, September 2003.
Responding to Terror: A Report of the US Army War College Consequence Management
Symposium, Tussing, August 2001, Contributor
Identification of Barriers to the Use of Department of Defense Medical Assets in Support of
Federal, State, and Local Authorities to Mitigate the Consequences of Domestic Bioterrorism,
Medical University of South Carolina; 1999 Doctoral Thesis.
US Army Readiness for Mobilization and Deployment, US Army War College, 1996
How the Army Runs: A Senior Leader Reference Handbook, US Army War College, 1997,
Leading and Managing in the Strategic Arena: A Reference Text, US Army War College, 1997,
Army Command, Leadership, and Management: A Reference Text, US Army War College, 1997,
“The State of Simulation and Gaming in Training and Response” Mini Summit on Innovative
Simulation Training Models. 2011
“Assessing Team and Individual Performance in Disaster Medicine and Public Health
Preparedness and Response” From Preparedness to Performance: Assessing Individual and Team
Performance in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness and Response - A National
Consultation Meeting. USNORTHCOM / Yale-New Haven in support of HSPD-21. 2011
“Homeland Security, a Vision of Preparedness” National Defense Industrial Association,
Coordinated program on collaborative efforts for the future. September 2007
“Terrorism and Catastrophic Events: New Challenges for Healthcare Organizations” American
College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Education Clusters, Multiple 2 day programs,
“Developing Sustainable Surge Capacity for a Regional Public Health Response to Terrorism and
Other Medical Disasters” Panel Presentation, American Public Health Association, Nov 2004.
“An Approach to Development of a Community-Based Infrastructure for Cooperation in Medical
Disaster Planning for the District of Columbia” Poster Session, American Public Health
Association, Nov 2004.
As of September 2011
“Medical Service in International Missions – New Challenges for Reservists” Presentation to the
German Joint Medical Corps Conference, October 2004.
“Surge Capacity” expert panel, Johns Hopkins, Office of Critical Event Preparedness and
Response, May 2004.
“Airborne Infectious Disease: The Macro View” regarding quarantine policy, Health Resources
and Services Administration, November 2003.
“Surge Capacity: The Seamless Emergency Medical Logistics Expansion System (SEMLES),
Emergency Healthcare Reserve Corps, November 2003.
“Public Health Preparedness” Global Homeland Security Conference, September 2003.
Managing the Behavioral Consequences of Terrorism Workshop, Cross-Issues facilitator,
Georgetown University Medical Center, June 2003.
Developing Strategies for Deterrence: Improving capability to meet the current threat; Multiple
presentations 1997 – 2005.
US Policy on National Health: Management and Response to the Use of Biological Weapons;
1999 – 2003.
Civil Support; Where Does the Military Belong? 1998 – 2003.
Military Operations Research Society, Requirements Determination for Chemical, Biological,
Radiological, Nuclear, and High Explosive Devices; 1999.
Improving Population Health: Reducing the Consequences of a Biological Attack; 1998.
Strategic Planning and Implementation: A Senior Leaders Guide; 1998.
Organized Health Care Delivery Systems: Improving Outcomes of Biological Warfare; 1998.
Executive Management Responsibility in Information Management Systems; 1998.
Flexible and Rapid Mass Casualty Redistribution Following Large Area Urban Coverage by
Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents; 1997.
Consequence Management Casualty Evacuation and Logistics System; 1997.
Additional experience: commanding, teaching and conducting research in National Security
Studies, Organizational Alignment and Structure, Strategic Leadership/Management, Critical and
Creative Thinking, Negotiation, Organizational Change, and Diversity in Complex Organizations
as well as positions in Clinical Anesthesia, Military Operations, Personnel, Training, Marksmanship,
Recruiting, and Drug and Alcohol Counseling.
ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS/TASK FORCES
Threat Reduction Advisory Committee for the Secretary of Defense, 2010 – present
Board of Directors, Capitol Hill Village, 2011 – present
Board of Directors, The Army Distaff Foundation, 2009 – present
Editorial Advisory Board, Disaster Medicine and Public Health, 2008 – present
Institute of Medicine, Committee on Medical Preparedness for a Terrorist Nuclear Attack,
Assessing Medical Preparedness for a Nuclear Event, 2008-2009
Executive Advisory Board, Previstar, 2007-2009
US Vice President, Confederation of the International Officers of the Medical Reserve, 2005 –
Board of Directors, Armed Forces Foundation, 2003 – 2008
Homeland Security Advisory Board, American College of Forensic Examiners International, 2002
Chair Homeland Security Committee, Reserve Officers Association, 2002 – 2005.
Washington DC, Council of Governments Biological Terrorism Task Force, 1999 – 2004.
Civilian Advisor to the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Civil Support, 1999-2000.
General Officer Steering Committee for the Total Force on Domestic Support, 2000 – 2002.
General Officer Strategic Planning Group for the future of the Army Reserve, 2000 – 2002.
Senior Advisor on WMD planning for the Chief, Army Reserve, Domestic Support Operations,
1996 – 2002.
As of September 2011
Senior Army Reserve Commanders Association, Executive Steering Committee, 1999 – 2002.
Department of Veterans Affairs, Emergency Management Strategic Healthcare Group, Technical
Advisory Committee: Chairman, Subcommittee on Quarantine, 1999 – 2004.
Committee on Homeland Security, Reserve Forces Policy Board 2000-2002.
Consequence Management Integration Services, Lead for Medical Issues, 1999 – 2002.
Biological Warfare Improved Response Program, Soldier and Biological Chemical Command, 1999
As of September 2011