Gerald Epstein

Hertz Fellow: Gerald Epstein

University of California, Berkeley

Area of Study


Fellowship Years

1978 - 1983

Gerald Epstein joined the National Security and International Affairs Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in March 2016 as Assistant Director for Biosecurity and Emerging Technologies. In that capacity he addresses issues at the intersection of science and security such as biosafety, biosecurity, countering biological weapons, export controls, and the security implications of emerging life science and other technologies. He is on detail to OSTP from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which he joined in 2012 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Policy.

From 2009 through 2012, Dr. Epstein directed the Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Prior positions include Senior Fellow for Science and Security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (2003 – 2009) and Research Staff Member at the Institute for Defense Analyses (2001 – 2003). Dr. Epstein previously served at OSTP from 1996 to 2001, where in the last year he held a joint appointment as Assistant Director of OSTP for National Security and Senior Director for Science and Technology on the National Security Council staff.

From 1983 to 1989 and again from 1991 until its demise in 1995, he worked at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment; from 1989 to 1991 he directed a project at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government on the relationship between civil and military technologies. He has also taught at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.

As a Hertz Fellow, Dr. Epstein received his PhD in astrophysics from UC Berkeley. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also is a member of the editorial boards for the journals Biosecurity and Bioterrorism and Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. He has served on the Biological Threats Panel of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on International Security and Arms Control, the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Security, and Prosperity, and the Biological Sciences Experts Group for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.


1983 - Measurement of the Large-Scale Anisotropy of the Cosmic Background Radiation at 3 mm