EngageEventsA Conversation with Senator Richard Burr
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A Conversation with Senator Richard Burr

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This event will offer a rare opportunity to hear from a recently retired veteran member of Congress about the most important policy topics in the news today and how we address crucial challenges confronting the United States. Senator Burr will field questions on a range of policy issues. There will be a special emphasis on his areas of specialty: healthcare policy, national security, American competition with China, cyber security, AI, what we need to change to be ready for the next pandemic, how to rebuild trust in public health agencies, and student loans. He will also take audience questions.


After nearly three decades in federal service as a U.S. congressman and U.S. senator, Richard Burr is widely known as one of the foremost government authorities in healthcare and life sciences policy. Since his election to Congress in 1994 and through his tenure as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), Senator Burr has led many of the most transformative government initiatives in the healthcare and life sciences fields. His legislative accomplishments include the 1997 FDA Modernization Act, the Pandemic All Hazards Preparedness Act, which created the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and was critical in the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic vaccine, the PREVENT Pandemics Act, and the creation of ARPA-H, which established the Advanced Research Projects Authority for Health (ARPA-H) within the National Institutes of Health. For decades, Senator Burr has helped shape nearly every medical agency, instrumentality and operation of the US Federal Government.

Richard is a former Chairman and senior member of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, and he served as an influential member of the Finance Committee for twelve years. As a member of the Intelligence Committee, and ultimately its Chairman, Richard helped drive the shift of the intelligence community towards current threats and advised banking, manufacturing and academic sectors of the threats posed by malign actors around the world. As Chairman, he led the committee to act as the de facto technology committee, informing others in the Senate about threats and opportunities of 5G modernization, supply chain vulnerabilities related to semiconductors and other emerging technologies.

During his five terms in the House of Representatives and three terms in the Senate, Richard also led initiatives in education, civil rights and conservation policy. He contributed to drafting the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, which dramatically reduced interest rates for students who have federal student loans, and he was the principal drafter of the latest Child Care Development Block Grant reauthorization. Richard spearheaded the passage of the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which allowed for individuals with disabilities to save money in their own name without losing critical benefits, and he worked to reauthorize the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act. Richard also led a bipartisan group of senators in passing the Great American Outdoors Act, landmark conservation legislation that fully and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Richard Burr is currently principal policy advisor and chair of DLA Piper’s Health Policy Strategic Consulting practice within the firm’s Regulatory and Government Affairs practice group. He provides policy advice, strategic consulting and a wide range of related services to life sciences and healthcare clients navigating a rapidly changing policy landscape and significant regulatory and political uncertainty.

Sponsored by the Gamba Family Red and Blue Exchange, an initiative of the SNF Paideia Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Made possible by the Gamba Family and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

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