Lowell Lecture

Great Decisions on Pandemic Preparedness | Ashish Jha and Matthew McKnight

Date & Time

March 19, 2024 at 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Boston Public Library - Rabb Lecture Hall
700 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116
Driving Directions


A global leader driving public health research, policy, and practice, Dr. Ashish Jha joined the Brown School of Public Health as dean in September 2020. An accomplished and practicing physician, Dr. Jha is recognized globally as a trusted expert on major issues impacting public health, and a catalyst for new thinking and approaches. A long-time leader on pandemic preparedness and response, from directing groundbreaking research on Ebola to serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, he has led national and international analysis of key issues and advised local and federal policy makers around the world.

Matt McKnight is General Manager for Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks. Biosecurity at Ginkgo is Ginkgo’s new $200M business unit focused on national security, public health, and pandemic response. Prior to building the Biosecurity business, Matt spent 4 years as Ginkgo’s Chief Commercial Officer and 7 years as an investor at IndUS Growth Partners where he was also the President and COO of Decision Resources Group. Matt has worked supporting business development at Palantir Technologies and is an active seed stage venture investor. Early in his career, he served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Matt completed a degree in History at Dartmouth College and is a graduate of the joint degree program at the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where he was a Zuckerman Fellow.

Presenting Organization





Natalie Mase (nmase@worldboston.org, (617) 542-8995)

Research has shown that the question is not “if,” but “when” the next pandemic will occur. Although the previous pandemic seems to have waned, there are many lessons to learn about what’s needed for a new, global biosecurity infrastructure, so that we can mitigate the risks from the next pandemic. We need technology that can support rapid identification and understanding of emerging threats, such as collecting samples, analyzing data, and generating meaningful insights for public health officials and policymakers.

Join us for a timely discussion of this topic with Ashish Jha, former White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator, and Matthew McKnight, General Manager for Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks. The program will feature expert remarks from Mr. McKnight and Dr. Jha, live audience Q&A, and time for networking and discussion with other globally-oriented participants.