An international leadership seminar developed in partnership with the Aspen Institute Socrates Program, organized under the framework of the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program, debating the resilience of healthcare systems and key challenges in public health. The seminar will be conducted in English and will take place in a picturesque location in Snagov, close to Bucharest.

The Future of Public Health:
Building a More Resilient Post Pandemic System

Public health systems of countries around the world have been put to the test by SARS-COV-2 pandemic. This unique and often allusive disease seems perfectly designed to expose systemic weaknesses and tests the decades-old question in public health of how to balance innovation and universal healthcare.

Countries around the world have managed this balance differently and are discovering live the costs and benefits of these choices. This seminar will debate key challenges of different public healthcare systems and ways in which different policies and investments are shaping outcomes, looking to develop best practices for the Romanian health system. Topics will include:

  • Increasing confidence in the healthcare system: how to build trust in science and healthcare professionals in the age of technology and disinformation. 
  • Equity and resilience in healthcare: looking back at the SARS-COV-2 crisis and preparing the system to cope with external shocks such as pandemics and refugee flows. 
  • Public-private partnerships in the healthcare sector: benefits for Romania and best practices from other health systems. 

Additionally, discussions will address, more broadly, the cost of not investing in healthcare and not financing research & development. Furthermore, as a means of strengthening the resilience of public health systems, discussions will also explore how national pandemic preparedness plans should look like.

Bringing together key stakeholders from the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program Community, we will use the Aspen Method to create a group as diverse as possible in terms of professional sectors (private, public, non-profit) and gender.

Around 20 participants will debate, based on texts sent beforehand, topics relating to public policies, reforms and sustainability in the healthcare sector, focusing on the interaction between the main public, private, academic and non-governmental actors in the healthcare system.

The costs of accommodation at the Seminar location, meals, moderation, reading materials and group transfer will be covered by Aspen Institute Romania, through the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program.

The participation to the seminar is by invitation only.

The participants will include multiple stakeholders from the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program community.

Seminar moderators:


Katherine E. Bliss is a senior fellow and Director, Immunizations and Health Systems Resilience, with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, where she draws on her background in the social sciences and foreign policy in leading research focused on global support for health programs in low- and middle-income countries. She is particularly interested in how political and cultural perspectives on gender, equity, and innovation shape approaches to such health challenges as HIV/AIDS; vaccine-preventable diseases; and access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Trained as a historian, Katherine spent the early part of her career teaching at the university level and publishing books and articles on public health and gender relations in twentieth-century Mexico. A Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship enabled her to shift her focus to global health policy, placing her at the U.S. Department of State, where she worked on environmental health issues and the development of foreign policy approaches to pandemic preparedness.

At CSIS, Katherine has previously served as deputy director and senior fellow within both the Americas Program and Global Health Policy Center, where she oversaw a multi-program project on the influence of the BRICS countries on the global health agenda and directed the Project on Global Water Policy. Her recent work has examined the impacts of the pandemic on maternal and child health services, as well as the challenges facing immunization programs within fragile or conflict-affected settings. Katherine received her A.B. in history and literature, magna cum laude, from Harvard College and her Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. She completed a David E. Bell Fellowship at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.


Vlad Mixich is a health policy expert with professional experience in eight countries, working for international organisations like the European Commission or the World Bank mainly in the area of health systems strengthening and healthcare reforms. Since October 2020, he works for the European Investment Bank’s Project Advisory Support unit and he is an independent health policy expert appointed by the European Parliament to the Management Board of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). Vlad is a Member of the Advisory Board on the Healthcare & Quality of Life Program, Aspen Institute Romania. With a degree in Medicine in Romania, Vlad holds a master’s degree in international health policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK) and recently he joined the WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Policy and Regulation at Utrecht University (Netherlands). He was a Fulbright Scholar and Humphrey Research Fellow at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University in Atlanta (US). He previously was an Eisenhower Fellow for Innovation focusing on health policy and a Marshall Memorial Fellow. Besides his professional activities, Vlad is a published author and he was the editorial director of the main medical publication in Romania, his writings being awarded several European prizes.