Sonja Rasmussen, MD, MS
Director, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response*
Dr. Sonja Rasmussen is the Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response* (PHPR) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This office is responsible for all of CDC's public health preparedness and response activities and provides strategic direction, support, and coordination for these activities across CDC as well as with local, state, tribal, national, territorial, and international public health partners. PHPR carries out its mission by emphasizing accountability through performance, progress through public health science, and collaboration through partnerships.
In her previous positions as Deputy Director and Acting Director of CDC’s Influenza Coordination Unit, Dr. Rasmussen was actively involved in CDC’s efforts related to pandemic planning and response, including providing direction for pandemic preparedness focus areas (domestic epidemiology/surveillance/laboratory, international, vaccine planning and delivery, medical care and countermeasures, community and border protection measures, state and local support/coordination, at-risk and vulnerable populations, communications, and response readiness). She also coordinated CDC’s pandemic response activities with other HHS agencies, including Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, National Vaccine Program Office, Food and Drug Administration, and National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Rasmussen joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1998 and has since provided significant scientific expertise and leadership. She led CDC’s pandemic planning efforts for pregnant women prior to the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, including convening planning meetings of experts and public health partners focused on weighing the risks and benefits of treating pregnant women with antiviral medications and using pandemic influenza vaccine during pregnancy. Outcomes from this meeting guided CDC’s recommendations during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic related to pregnant women.
Dr. Rasmussen served as deputy incident manager when CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated for the 2013 H7N9 influenza outbreak response. In this role, she was responsible for situational awareness, establishing incident priorities, and briefing the CDC Director and key staff. When CDC’s EOC was activated following confirmation of the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United States in May 2014, Dr. Rasmussen was again tapped to serve as deputy incident manager.
Dr. Rasmussen received her BS in Biology and Mathematics with magna cum laude honors from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, her MS degree in Medical Genetics from the University of Wisconsin, and her MD degree with honors from University of Florida. She completed her pediatrics residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and her fellowship in clinical genetics at Johns Hopkins Hospital and University of Florida. She is board certified in pediatrics, clinical genetics, and genetic counseling and has authored or coauthored over 180 peer-reviewed papers.
Bob Ruiz joined CDC as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2000 after an extensive 23 year career with the United States Coast Guard. As a PMF, he served as project officer in the National Center for Infectious Diseases overseeing several contracts and the Epidemiology and Laboratory Services Cooperative Agreement. His project officer experiences prepared him to manage and oversee the PHEP cooperative agreement in 2003. He served in several CDC National Centers with distinction prior to his selection for the Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program.
Bob received his Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1998 and a Masters in Health Care Administration from Southeastern University in Washington, DC.
Joanne Andreadis, Ph.D.
Deputy Director* and Senior Advisor for Laboratory Preparedness
Dr. Joanne Andreadis serves as PHPR’s Deputy Director* and Senior Advisor for Laboratory Preparedness. She is responsible for providing leadership and scientific advice to the PHPR Director on matters related to laboratory preparedness and emergency diagnostics.
In 2002, Dr. Andreadis joined CDC as chief of the Botulism Public Health Research and Preparedness Unit in the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases. While there, she worked to address gaps in national botulism laboratory preparedness and emergency response capacity. She also worked with cross-sector partners to develop innovative laboratory solutions and transition novel capabilities to local, state, federal, and international public health laboratories. Prior to coming to PHPR, Dr. Andreadis was the Innovation Team Lead for the Office of the Associate Director for Science.
Before coming to CDC, Dr. Andreadis served as a principal investigator at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington D.C. Her work entailed developing methods to support the production of artificial biological polymers, tissue-based biological sensors and high-throughput, multivariate tests for identification, subtyping, and profiling biothreat agents. Dr. Andreadis received her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Maryland. She has more than 26 years of experience as a bench scientist and has authored over 20 publications.