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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Julie
Gerberding, MD, MPH, announced today the appointment of new directors for three key organizational components of the federal agency responsible for protecting the nation's health.
"These individuals are outstanding scientists and will strengthen the agency's scientific
foundation on all fronts. They all bring tremendous skills that will build on the strong foundation of leadership across CDC to meet the daily challenges to make our nation safer and healthier," Gerberding said.
The announcement of these key positions marks another important step forward in the transformation of CDC that began two years ago. These new appointments will play a key role in helping to further shape the agency's Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases, and will move the CDC closer to achieving its vision of a stronger, more resilient agency.
The appointments include Anne Schuchat, MD, as director of the National Immunization Program. Schuchat began her career at CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer in 1988 and most recently served as the acting director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID). She has made critically important contributions to prevention of infectious diseases in children, including her role in group B streptococcal disease prevention, where she spearheaded the development of CDC's guidelines which have led to an 80 percent reduction in newborn infections and a 75 percent narrowing of racial disparity in this infectious disease. She has also been instrumental in pre- and post-licensure evaluations of conjugate vaccines for bacterial meningitis and pneumonia and in accelerating availability of these new vaccines in resource poor countries through WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization.
In a second appointment, Rima Khabbaz, MD, was named as the director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID). Khabbaz began her career at CDC as an EIS officer in 1980 and most recently served as acting deputy director of NCID. She has worked in research and epidemiology of hospital acquired infections, viral diseases and played a leading role in coordinating CDC's programs around blood safety, food safety, as well as emerging infectious diseases. She has played critical roles in CDC's responses to bioterrorism, outbreaks of new diseases, and infectious disease responses to natural disasters.
In addition, Kevin Fenton, MD, PhD, was named director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHSTP). Fenton has served as chief of CDC's
National Syphilis Elimination Effort since January 2005. He has worked in research, epidemiology, and the prevention of HIV and other STDs since 1995 and was previously the director of the HIV and STI Department at the United Kingdom's Health Protection Agency. Fenton has spearheaded the development of a number of national HIV, STD and
behavioral surveillance and research programs in the U.K and Western Europe including the National Chlamydia Screening Program in England, the 2nd British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, and the European Surveillance of STI (ESSTI) Network.