Campus News

Disaster management and leadership expert to give lecture at College of Public Health

Dr. Isaac Ashkenazi, international expert on disaster management and leadership, to give lecture at UGA College of Public Health

Athens, Ga. – One of the world’s foremost experts in medical preparedness for complex emergencies and disasters, Dr. Isaac Ashkenazi will deliver a lecture titled “Preparedness for and Response to High Consequence Urban Terrorism-the International Experience.” This lecture is free and open to the public beginning at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 12 in room 175 of the University of Georgia Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical Health Sciences.

Ashkenazi is the director of the Urban Terrorism Preparedness Project at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a joint program of the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is also a professor of Disaster Medicine at Ben-Gurion University in Israel and a consultant to Harvard University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other national and international agencies. Ashkenazi is the former head of the Medical Services and Supply Center for the Israeli Defense Forces and served as the Surgeon General for the IDF Home Front Command.

Ashkenazi received his medical degree, summa cum laude, from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 1982 and volunteered to the paratrooper forces in the IDF as a military doctor. After four years of intensive military training, treating wounded soldiers and working under fire, Ashkenazi started his residency in ophthalmology at Sheba Medical Center. In 1992, he received a license to practice ophthalmology from the Israeli Medical Association. One year later, he received his M.Sc. in ophthalmology, summa cum laude, from the Faculty of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University.

Over the past twenty years, Ashkenazi has become increasingly interested in disaster management and has served in humanitarian missions in Asia, Africa and Europe. He has taught courses in disaster medicine, disaster management, leadership during crisis, urban terrorism and preparation of health systems for crisis. He has published more than two hundred papers in medical and scientific journals and presented his work in the United States, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Middle Eastern countries. In the last twelve years, Ashkenazi has received Presidential Medals of Honor for Humanitarian Assistance from Turkey and Greece, the President of Rwanda, the Jewish communities in France, Turkey, Italy and the U.S., and the United Jewish Communities.

This lecture is funded by a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Harold and Milly Solomon. Dr. Solomon, a physician practicing in Boston, Mass., has been on the “Best Doctors in America” list since 1994, is an associate clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and has numerous national honors and awards for his contributions to medicine. But when Solomon is asked to describe himself, he simply says that he is “a product of Georgia Public Schools.” He attended grade school and high school in Savannah, earned his bachelor of science degree from the University of Georgia in 1961 and completed medical school at the Medical College of Georgia. His wife, Milly Pincus Solomon, also attended UGA. Grateful for the education they received in Georgia, the Solomons’ gift has enabled them to give back to their home state and reflects their connection to UGA’s Jewish community.