Wilson Center Experts
Frederick "Skip" Burkle
Professor Burkle is Senior Fellow & Scientist, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Harvard University and Harvard School of Public Health, and former Senior Scholar and now Senior Associate Faculty and Research Scientist, the Center for Refugee & Disaster Response, Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutes. He also serves as a Senior International Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Washington, DC (2008-present). From 2002-03 he served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Global Health at US Agency for International Development, US Department of State. From 1989 to 2000, he was Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery and Public Health and Chairman of the Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, University of Hawaii Schools of Medicine and Public Health. He served as Professor, Department of Community Emergency Health & Paramedic Practice, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, Monash University Medical School, Melbourne, Australia from 2006-2010 and is currently an Adjunct Professor; and, as a Clinical Professor of Surgery and Adjunct Professor in Tropical Medicine at the University of Hawaii. He is Adjunct Professor, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland and Honorary Professor, University of Manchester, UK. He served as the Senior Advisor in Medicine and Public Health for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and as a Research Scientist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He is a graduate of Saint Michael's College (1961) and the University of Vermont College of Medicine (1965). Dr. Burkle holds post-graduate degrees from Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, the University of California at Berkeley, a Diploma from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, in Health Emergencies in Large Populations, and a Diploma In Tropical Medicine from the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. He is qualified in Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Psychiatry and holds a Master's Degree in Public Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and received the Emergency Physician of the Year Award in 1999 from the Governor of Hawaii. Dr. Burkle was the founder and Director of the Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance from 1994-2000 a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for humanitarian civil-military cooperation, the only one so designated.
Professor Burkle has published over 200 scientific articles, abstracts and multiple book chapters, four books, three on disaster management including Disaster Medicine a sentinel text on the emergency response to disasters (1984). He has worked in and consulted on numerous humanitarian emergencies and large-scale international disasters in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe and serves as an International Health Delegate to the Red Cross. He served as Joint Civil-Military Liaison for the Kurdish Crisis in southern Turkey, northern Iraq, and Baghdad, and again in the humanitarian crisis in Somalia where he also served as a UN Delegate to the 3rd Somalia Conference in Ethiopia. In 1996, he headed a global health assessment for the International Rescue Committee in the former Yugoslavia, Central Africa, Thai-Cambodia Border, Asia and Pakistan and in 1999 was a member of the Presidential Delegation to Kosovo. In 2003 he served the US State Department as the Senior Medical Officer in Iraq on the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. He also served as the Interim Minister of Health in Iraq during the planning and relief phase of the crisis in 2003, as Senior Advisor for WHO on Health Emergencies in Liberia, and currently as a consultant for WHO-Health Action in Crises. He served as the elected Chair of the National Disaster Life Support Consortium of the American Medical Association for 4 years and is currently a member of the Science Advisory Board of the National American Red Cross, Washington, DC.
Dr. Burkle was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences in 2007, and named a Woodrow Wilson International Scholar in 2008. In 2009 he received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters, Honoris Causis, from Saint Michaels College. He has received numerous "Excellence in Teaching" and humanitarian service awards. These include the prestigious William Crawford Gorgas Medal for "distinguished work in preventive medicine, groundbreaking work in disaster management and humanitarian assistance and the training of an entire generation of U.S. and international personnel”, the Colonel Donald G. Cook ( Medal of Honor Winner) Award for Humanitarian Service, and the Humanitarian Award from the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. In 2005 he received the University of Vermont, College of Medicine Alumni Association Award for Community Service in Medicine for his “distinguished career in humanitarian and military service.” In 2012 he was selected to present the Joseph Leiter Lectureship at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC. This award, presented every two years recognizes “research and instruction to outstanding service and leadership and professional recognition that supports and encourages the best and brightest in the field.”
He is a frequent keynote and panel speaker at major universities and conferences, including WHO, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Council on Foreign Relations, Global Forum in Davos, Switzerland, National Institutes of Health, and the World Bank. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Rescue Committee, the world's largest refugee NGO, headquartered in New York City and was their Executive Medical Director in 1999. He is the Section Editor for Humanitarian Affairs for Prehospital & Disaster Medicine.
In addition to multiple humanitarian missions, Dr. Burkle served as the Medical Director of the last Viet Nam orphan lift out of the former Saigon in 1975, and with International Services of the American Red Cross in the Kurdish Crisis in Iraq in 1992. A retired Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve he completed combat tours in the Vietnam (1968) and the Persian Gulf Wars with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marine Divisions, and with the US Central Command in Somalia. He received two early promotions and served as the Senior Medical Officer of the al Khanjar Trauma Center (largest trauma center ever built in the history of the US Marine Corps) during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal (2 awards) one with Combat "V", Combat Action Ribbon, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation (2 awards), Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Vietnamese Meritorious Medical Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal (2 awards) and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
Dallas CE, Bell WC, Stewart DJ, Caruso A, Burkle FM Jr., Nuclear war between Israel and Iran: lethality beyond the pale. Confl Health. 2013 May 10;7(1):10.
Chan JL, Burkle FM Jr. A framework and methodology for navigating disaster and global health in crisis literature. PLoS Curr. 2013 Apr 4;5.
Burkle FM Jr. Pandering to ignorance on climate change: lessons from an investment strategist. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013 Jun;28(3):200-1.
Burkle F Jr, Garfield R. Civilian mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Lancet. 2013 Mar 16;381(9870):877-9.
Burkle FM Jr. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater: can the military's role in global health crises be redeemed? Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013 Jun;28(3):197-9.
Macpherson R, Burkle FM. Neglect and failures of human security in humanitarian settings: challenges and recommendations. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013 Apr;28(2):174-8.
Burkle FM, Walls AE, Heck JP, Sorensen BS, Cranmer HH, Johnson K, Levine AC,Kayden S, Cahill B, VanRooyen MJ. Academic affiliated training centers in humanitarian health, Part I: program characteristics and professionalization preferences of centers in North America. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013 Apr;28(2):155-62.
Fox JH, Burkle FM Jr, Bass J, Pia FA, Epstein JL, Markenson D. The effectiveness of psychological first aid as a disaster intervention tool: research analysis of peer-reviewed literature from 1990-2010. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2012 Oct;6(3):247-52.
Burkle FM Jr, Nickerson JW, von Schreeb J, Redmond AD, McQueen KA, Norton I,Roy N. Emergency surgery data and documentation reporting forms for sudden-onset humanitarian crises, natural disasters and the existing burden of surgical disease. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012 Dec;27(6):577-82..
Koenig KL, Burkle FM Jr. Downwind from the great tohoku earthquake: a call to global action. West J Emerg Med. 2012 May;13(2):211-2.
Hsu EB, Burkle FM. Cambodian Bon Om Touk stampede highlights preventable tragedy. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012 Oct;27(5):481-2.
Kirsch TD, Perrin P, Burkle FM, Canny W, Purdin S, Lin W, Sauer L., Requirements for independent community-based quality assessment and accountability practices in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief activities. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012 Jun;27(3):280-5.
Legemaate GA, Burkle FM Jr, Bierens JJ. The evaluation of research methods during disaster exercises: applicability for improving disaster health management. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012 Feb;27(1):18-26
Patel RB, Burkle FM. Rapid urbanization and the growing threat of violence and conflict: a 21st century crisis. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012 Apr;27(2):194-7.
Nickerson JW, Chackungal S, Knowlton L, McQueen K, Burkle FM. Surgical care during humanitarian crises: a systematic review of published surgical caseload data from foreign medical teams. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012 Apr;27(2):184-9.
Urbanization and Humanitarian Access Working Group, Janneck LM, Patel R, Rouhani SA, Burkle FM. Urbanization and Humanitarian Access Working Group: toward guidelines for humanitarian standards and operations in urban settings. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2011 Dec;26(6):464-9.
Urbanization and Humanitarian Access Working Groups, Rouhani SA, Patel RB,Janneck LM, Prasad A, Lapitan J, Burkle FM. Urbanization and Humanitarian Access Working Group: a blueprint for the development of prevention and preparedness indicators for urban humanitarian crises. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2011 Dec;26(6):460-3.
Knowlton LM, Gosney JE, Chackungal S, Altschuler E, Black L, Burkle FM Jr,Casey K, Crandell D, Demey D, Di Giacomo L, Dohlman L, Goldstein J, Gosselin R,Ikeda K, Le Roy A, Linden A, Mullaly CM, Nickerson J, O'Connell C, Redmond AD,Richards A, Rufsvold R, Santos AL, Skelton T, McQueen K. Consensus statements regarding the multidisciplinary care of limb amputation patients in disasters or humanitarian emergencies: report of the 2011 Humanitarian Action Summit Surgical Working Group on amputations following disasters or conflict. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2011 Dec;26(6):438-48.
Dallas CE, Burkle FM Jr. Nuclear war in the Middle East: where is the voice of medicine and public health. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2011 Oct;26(5):383-5.