Deputy Director for Policy, Communications, and Legislative Affairs/Chief Strategy Officer

Sherri A. Berger, MSPH
Sherri A. Berger, MSPH

Sherri A. Berger, MSPH, is acting Deputy Director for Policy, Communications, and Legislative Affairs. Berger served as the CDC Chief of Staff from 2021-2023. In this role, she was the principal advisor to the CDC Director, providing strategic advice and ensuring proactive coordination of agency-wide priorities and policies in direct support of CDC’s public health mission. Berger convened leadership for resolution of issues and initiatives affecting CDC’s priorities and goals, provided strategic leadership in resolving cross-organizational issues, and served as one of the Director’s primary liaisons with staff, partners, and other federal agencies.

From 2011-2021, Berger served as CDC’s Chief Operating Officer, where she provided executive leadership over facilities, safety, and security operations and provided substantial strategic direction for CDC’s workforce and budget. At the same time, she served as the agency’s first Chief Risk Officer, implementing an enterprise risk management strategy, and CDC’s Chief Strategy Officer, leading the development and deployment of CDC’s strategic framework and priorities. Berger has provided operational management during some of the greatest public health events of the 21st century, including H1N1, Ebola, Zika, and the COVID-19 pandemic. During CDC’s responses to these threats, she led resource planning and the execution of billions of dollars of supplemental funding and implemented procedures to increase efficiency and meet the increased demands of an emergency response. During her tenure, she also secured resources for major construction projects across CDC facilities, including a new high-containment laboratory.

Berger began her federal career in 1996 as one of four graduate students selected nationwide to participate in the CDC/Association of Schools of Public Health Experiential Learning Program. She worked as an epidemiologist at the community level until moving to CDC headquarters in Atlanta to serve as a principal epidemiologic investigator. While leading the agency’s Congressional appropriations activities, she was nominated to participate in the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program, where she expanded her career into business management. She has extensive experience at both the program and senior leadership levels and has held several executive positions at CDC, including associate director for formulation, evaluation, and analysis in CDC’s Financial Management Office, deputy director of one of CDC’s national centers, and director of the agency’s Recovery Act Coordination Unit.

Berger received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida and a Master of Science degree in public health with a concentration in epidemiology from the University of South Florida.