Peter Black

Scientific Steering CommitteeoneHEALTH

Deputy Regional Manager for the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases, FAO, Thailand

Dr Peter Black is a veterinary epidemiologist and foresight practitioner. Currently he is the Deputy Regional Manager for the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO RAP) based in Bangkok. This work focuses on reducing the risk and impact of emerging infectious diseases using a One Health approach.

Dr Black has a special interest in the use of strategic foresight with a particular focus on the investigation of the underlying drivers of disease emergence. He graduated from the University of Queensland in 1982 and worked for seventeen years for the Queensland State Veterinary Service in Australia as a field veterinarian and policy officer. In 1993, he completed a Masters of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (MPVM) at the University of California, Davis and was subsequently the project leader for animal health surveillance in Queensland. Peter’s involvement in the first two detections of Hendra virus in Queensland in 1994 and 1995 and the first human case of Australian bat lyssavirus in 1996 stimulated his initial curiosity in emerging infectious diseases. In 1997, Peter worked in a policy role in Brisbane where he was instrumental in introducing a formal risk management approach to animal and plant health activities and developed a particular interest in risk perception and risk communication. It was this interest coupled with strategic planning activities that encouraged him to undertake a Master of Science in Strategic Foresight at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, which he completed in 2005.

Strategic foresight has been defined as ‘the ability to create and maintain viable forward views and to use the insights arising in organisationally useful ways’. It is this approach that underpins his capacity to collaborate across diverse sectors and with a very wide range of stakeholders. Peter has developed a capacity to view opportunities and threats through a range of lenses by using a number of different frameworks. This inevitably leads to a larger range of strategic options for action.

The application of foresight perspectives to veterinary epidemiology and more particularly to emerging infectious diseases, led Peter to adopt and promote more cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary approaches such as the integrated ‘One Health approach’. Peter has been invited to give presentations at various conferences—mostly addressing issues relating to biosecurity, emergency management, emerging infectious diseases, climate change, One Health, and foresight. He has developed a wide range of professional networks within Australia, Asia and the QUAD countries (i.e. USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia).