Senior Research Scholar,
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
International Affairs Building 420 W 118th Street New York City, New York 10025 USA
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.
FIELDS OF INTEREST
Biosecurity and Biosafety and Biodefense Policy and Practice. Health Security and Diplomacy. Pandemics and Democracy.
PhD Sociology and African History (University of Wisconsin, Madison). BA Hons Sociology (University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa).
HONORS & AWARDS
Fullbright award for graduate study at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Honorary Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Honorary Professor, Division of Human Genetics, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. Gordon Moore Distinguished Visiting Professor of History and Sociology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California. Honorary Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. Senior Fellow (non-residential), Hannah Arendt Centre, Bard College. Genomics Research & Policy Visiting Fellow, Economic and Social Research Council, University of Edinburgh. Visiting Research Scholar, American Bar Foundation, Chicago. Post-Doctoral Fellow, Southern African Research Program, Yale University,