Expert Bio

Thomas J. Bollyky is the inaugural Bloomberg Chair in Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), where he directs the global health program. He is also CFR’s senior fellow for international economics, law and development, and a senior consultant to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Bollyky is the founding editor of Think Global Health, an online magazine that examines the ways health shapes economies, societies, and everyday lives around the world. 

Bollyky’s work has appeared in general interest publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, the Atlantic, and the Wall Street Journal as well as in nearly fifty scholarly publications in journals such as Science, Nature, the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Bollyky has testified multiple times before the U.S. Congress and foreign parliaments and served on several expert committees at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. He directed the first two CFR-sponsored Independent Task Forces devoted to global health: on pandemic preparedness and noncommunicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries. Bollyky has been a consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a temporary legal advisor to the World Health Organization. In 2013, the World Economic Forum named Bollyky as one of its global leaders under forty. Bollyky's book Plagues and the Paradox of Progress was listed as one of the top ten selling health and medicine books in 2018 and has been translated into Chinese and Japanese. 

Prior to coming to CFR, Bollyky served in a variety of positions in the U.S. government, most recently at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). He led the negotiations on medical technology regulation in the U.S.-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement and represented USTR in the negotiations with China on the safety of food and drug imports. Bollyky was a Fulbright Scholar to South Africa, where he worked as a staff attorney at the AIDS Law Project, and an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he represented clients before the International Court of Justice and the U.S. Supreme Court. Bollyky is a former law clerk to Chief Judge Edward R. Korman and was a health policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Bollyky received his BA in biology and history at Columbia University and his JD at Stanford Law School. He is a member of the New York and U.S. Supreme Court bars, and of the Council on Foreign Relations. 


  • Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, senior consultant
  • Georgetown University, adjunct professor of law
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