Dr. Wilmot Godfrey James PhD

Senior Research Scholar, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

International Affairs Building
420 W 118th Street
New York City, New York 10025


Wilmot James is a Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) at Columbia University and an Honorary Professor of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He conducts research on pandemic response and biosecurity, convenes high-level meetings on planetary threats, leads the Center for Pandemic Research at ISERP and is an Associate Director in the Program in Vaccine Education at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Wilmot co-convenes the Schmidt Futures supported Columbia-Witwatersrand Vaccine Safety and Confidence-Building (VacSafe) Working Group. He serves as a senior consultant in biosecurity to the Washington DC based Nuclear Threat Initiative Bio; and as a consultant to the Africa Center for Disease Control (Africa-CDC) on behalf of the Global Partnership Signature Initiative to Mitigate Biological Threats in Africa. Wilmot was previously a Member of Parliament (South Africa) and opposition spokesperson on health, trade and industry, schooling and higher education. He served on the Board of Trustees for the Ford Foundation between 1996 and 2008. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of Resolve to Save Lives. Wilmot is the author and/or editor of 17 books that include the policy-oriented Vital Signs: Health Security in South Africa (2020) and a co-edited collection of Nelson Mandela’s presidential speeches Nelson Mandela In His Own Words (2003) given to the late President on his 85th birthday.


Only select publications listed below
Name Published Date
The value proposition of the Global Health Security Index 2020
Prioritizing the needs of children in a changing climate 2018


  1. James, W and 9 others, Attitudes to vaccine mandates among late adopters of COVID-19 vaccines in Zimbabwe. Vaccines. 2022; 10 (1090).
  2. James W, Stanberry LR, Severance H, Grodman M, Grodman S and Rubin-Thompson L. Pandemics: Global Health Security. In Dhai A, Ballot D and Veller M, eds. Pandemics and Healthcare: Principles, Processes and Practice. Cape Town: Juta, 2021.
  3. James W. and 3 others, Epidemic/Pandemic Response in Africa: Covid-19 in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. New York: Columbia University and Brenthurst Foundation; 2021.
  4. James, W, and 17 others, The value proposition of the Global Health Security Index. British Medical Journal Global Health. 2020; 5:e003648.
  5. James W, Ed. Vital Signs: Health Security in South Africa: Johannesburg: Brenthurst Foundation. 2020.
  6. James, W, du Plessis JL & G Mills. The CBRN threat environment in South Africa. In James W. Ed. Vital Signs: Health Security in South Africa. Johannesburg: Brenthurst Foundation; 2020.
  7. James, W, Daven J & Kahn M. Investing in health security preparedness. In James W. Ed. Vital Signs; 2020.
  8. James W, and 19 others, Accelerating Action in Global Health Security: Global Biosecurity Dialogue as a Model for Advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. Health Security. 2019; 17(6).
  9. James W, Stanberry LR, Thomson MC. Prioritizing the needs of children in a changing climate. PLOS Medicine. 2018;15(7).