CDC Director Announces New Executive Leadership Team

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Julie Gerberding today announced her executive leadership team. The announcement was made during a meeting with CDC employees at the main headquarters in Atlanta.

Named to the executive leadership team are William H. Gimson, chief operating officer; David Fleming, MD, deputy director for public health science; Ed Thompson, MD, deputy director for public health services; Kathy Cahill, senior advisor for strategy and innovation; and Verla Neslund, acting chief of staff.

"CDC is a vital component of HHS, and strong leadership is essential for the agency to fulfill its core mission of protecting the public health," said Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. "Dr. Gerberding has assembled an impressive team to guide the agency as it continues to tackle complex and important public health issues like terrorism preparedness and disease prevention."

Gerberding chose a corporate executive team model to manage CDC and its sister agency, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), after consulting with corporate executives and seeing how the model could improve the agency's effectiveness, accountability and impact. The corporate team approach allows for more flexible integration of CDC's diverse operating components as well as greater integration within the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Within the past decade CDC has been charged with increasingly varied responsibilities for the nation, including public health terrorism preparedness and response. This kind of growth requires a new approach to leadership and management that allows the agency to balance emerging issues with its long-term vision for safer, healthier people in every community," said Gerberding.

In commenting on the new team Gerberding said, "I am excited about the team we have assembled. They have extensive leadership experience at CDC or in states, and they bring exceptional expertise to their positions. With this team approach, I believe we will be able to effectively leverage the diversity of this agency to better communicate and serve the people of this nation and the world."