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July 3, 2002
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Press Release

Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, Named CDC Director and ATSDR Administrator

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today named Julie L. Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., to be director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Dr. Gerberding is an infectious disease expert and has been leading CDC's efforts to prepare for and counter terrorism. She assumes the post immediately.

Dr. Gerberding, 46, has been acting principal deputy director of CDC, and has served as part of the leadership team named to direct the agency since former director Dr. Jeffrey Koplan resigned March 31. She has also served as acting deputy director of CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases.

"Dr. Gerberding knows public health, she knows infectious diseases, and she knows bioterrorism preparedness," Secretary Thompson said. "She brings the right mix of professional experience and leadership skills to ensure the CDC continues to meet the nation's public health needs."

Dr. Gerberding played a major role in leading CDC's response to the anthrax bioterrorism attacks last fall.

"The events of last fall made clear to all of us that this cannot be a time of business-as-usual," Dr. Gerberding said. "In a time of rapid change and growing responsibilities, CDC will ensure excellence in public health science, excellence in service to our public health partners and a sound organizational system to ensure that we fulfill our mission."

Dr. Gerberding joined the CDC in 1998 as director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, where she developed CDC's patient safety initiatives and other programs to prevent infections, antimicrobial resistance and medical errors in healthcare settings. Previously, she headed the Prevention Epicenter -- a multidisciplinary service, teaching, and research program that focused on preventing infections in patients and their healthcare providers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Dr. Gerberding earned her B.A. degree in chemistry and biology and M.D. degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at UCSF, where she also served as chief medical resident at San Francisco General Hospital before completing her National Institutes of Health (NIH) training fellowship in clinical pharmacology and infectious diseases at UCSF. She earned her Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1990.

Dr. Gerberding is also a tenured associate professor of medicine and epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF and an associate clinical professor of medicine at Emory University.

She is a native of South Dakota and is married to David A. Rose.

Secretary Thompson also praised the interim leadership team that steered CDC during the past three months. "During these months, the CDC remained focused on its essential missions, including an unprecedented rapid review of state bioterrorism preparedness plans required in issuing some $1.1 billion in grants to states," he said. "David Fleming and the other members of the interim team all deserve credit for making the transition a smooth one."

The CDC is the nation's disease prevention agency, protecting people's health and safety, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and improving health through strong partnerships. The agency includes 11 institutes, centers and offices, with nearly 8,600 employees. Its fiscal year 2002 budget is $6.8 billion.


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at

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This page last updated July 3, 2002

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