John M. Barry is a prize-winning and New York Times best-selling author whose books have won multiple awards. The National Academies of Science named his 2004 book The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history, a study of the 1918 pandemic, the year’s outstanding book on science or medicine. His earlier book Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America, was named one of the 50 best books in the preceding 50 years by the New York Public Library. Barry has worked with state, federal, United Nations, and World Health Organization officials on influenza, water-related disasters, and risk communication.
From January 2007 until October 16, 2013, he was a member of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East, the levee board responsible for protecting the New Orleans metro area on the east bank of the Mississippi River. Tulane University then awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the recovery of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Barry has served on advisory boards and committees at MIT and Johns Hopkins and is Distinguished Scholar and adjunct faculty at Tulane University. H splits his time between New Orleans and Washington, D.C.