Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE — Frederick “Skip” M. Burkle Jr., former interim minister of health in Iraq, will be at the University of Tennessee on Aug. 9 to talk about “Dilemmas and Controversies in the Execution of the War in Iraq.”

Frederick "Skip" M. Burkle Jr.
Frederick “Skip” M. Burkle Jr.
The College of Nursing Homeland Security Nursing Program and the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy are sponsoring his talk, which will be held at 4 p.m. at the College of Law.

Burkle also will be speaking to nursing students enrolled in the new Homeland Security Program classes during his visit.

Burkle — who is qualified in emergency medicine, pediatrics, pediatric emergency medicine, and psychiatry and has a master’s degree in public health — is now the director of the Asia-Pacific Center for Biosecurity, Disaster & Conflict Research. He also works with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the Center for Refugee & Disaster Response at The Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutes.

Burkle has been involved with numerous humanitarian emergencies and large-scale international disasters in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and he serves as an International Health Delegate to the Red Cross.

He was the 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 United Nations Delegate to the 3rd Somalia Conference in Ethiopia.

Burkle’s resume runs parallel to some of the world’s biggest crises:

• From 1994-2000, Burkle was the founder and director of the Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, a U.S. Department of Defense organization.
• In 1996, he led a global health assessment for the International Rescue Committee in the former Yugoslavia, Central Africa, Asia and Pakistan.
• In 1999, he was a member of the Presidential Delegation to Kosovo.
• From 2002-03, he was deputy assistant administrator for the Bureau of Global Health at U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) at the U.S. Department of State.
• In 2003, he served the U.S. State Department as the senior medical officer in Iraq on the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. He was interim minister of health in Iraq during the planning and relief phase of the crisis, and was senior adviser for the World Health Organization on health emergencies in Liberia.
• He currently serves at disaster chairman of the Hawaii chapter of the American Red Cross.

Burkle has been a professor at several universities and has worked with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has published more than 130 scientific articles and four books, three on disaster management, including Disaster Medicine, a text on the emergency response to disasters.


Susan Speraw, (865) 974-7586,
Alan Lowe, (865) 974-8515,