President Obama has nominated Dr. Tara O’Toole as DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology. The nominee is the founder and current director of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Her official biography follows:
Prior to leading the Center for Biosecurity, Dr. O’Toole was a founding member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, serving as its director from 2001-2003. She is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice and Science and was a principal author and producer of Dark Winter, an influential exercise conducted in 2001 to alert national leaders to the dangers of bioterrorist attacks.
Dr. O’Toole served as Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health from 1993-1997, where she was principal advisor to the Secretary of Energy on environmental protection and oversaw health and safety for approximately 100,000 workers in government laboratories. In this position, Dr. O’Toole developed the first overall management and safety plan for dealing with waste left from nuclear weapons production.
Prior to joining DOE, Dr. O’Toole served as a Senior Analyst at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment from 1989-1993, where she directed studies on the health impact of pollution resulting from nuclear weapons production, among other projects. Previously, she practiced internal medicine in Baltimore community health centers from 1984-1988. Dr. O’Toole holds an M.D. from George Washington University, an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. from Vassar College.