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Carmen Villar, MSW

Chief of Staff

Carmen Villar Carmen Villar is Chief of Staff for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is responsible for managing day-to-day operations of the Office of the Director. She resolves issues that cross organizational lines, coordinates decision-making processes, and ensures that CDC focuses on its highest priority initiatives. She has exemplary expertise in public health management and makes a visible impact on staff morale throughout the agency.

Before becoming Chief of Staff in 2010, Ms. Villar was Deputy Director of CDC’s Nigeria office. In this capacity, Ms. Villar served as the principal advisor to the Country Director on policy and program development. She oversaw the management and operations of the approximately $200 million portfolio of public health activities including The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); avian influenza surveillance; and the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program. As a member of the USG interagency senior management team, Ms. Villar exercised strategic planning and diplomatic skills that increased collaboration and coordination with the government of Nigeria and improved public health across the country.

Prior to joining the CDC-Nigeria team, Ms. Villar served as both Acting Director and Deputy Director for the CDC-Zambia program. She has a strong passion for global health and frequently shares fond memories and lessons learned from her 5 years serving abroad for CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS.

Before moving overseas, Ms. Villar served as Acting Deputy Director for Management and Operations (DDMO) for CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP), where she oversaw the administration and management of a $630 million budget, nearly 400 cooperative agreements, and 700 staff. Her experience in managing and guiding research, program, HIV prevention community planning, and capacity building activities in various positions throughout DHAP and the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program refined her management skills and prepared her for senior leadership roles both domestically and internationally.

Ms. Villar joined CDC in 1997 as a Presidential Management Intern, where she completed policy rotations in the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, the Financial Management Office, and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau.

Ms. Villar’s interest in HIV/AIDS and government was apparent early on in her career. Prior to joining the federal government, she gained policy experience working for the California State Assembly and as the Government Affairs Coordinator for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles.

Ms. Villar completed both her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and Master of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley.

She has received numerous awards in recognition of her work in government including the HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service and the State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award.

Ms. Villar deeply values time with her husband Jason and 7 year old son Alejandro. In her spare time she enjoys jogging, reading, and traveling.