Office of Health Equity (OHE)
Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA, is the Acting Director for CDC’s Office of Health Equity (OHE). She served as the Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Equity for CDC/ATSDR since 2011. In this capacity, she leads and supports a wide range of critical functions in the agency’s work in minority health, health equity, and women’s health. She plays a critical leadership role in determining the agency’s vision for health equity, ensuring a rigorous and evidence-based approach to the practice of health equity, and promoting the ethical practice of public health in communities vulnerable to health inequities. Dr. Liburd has been instrumental in building capacity across CDC and in public health agencies to address the social determinants of health, and in identifying and widely disseminating intervention strategies that reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. She has skillfully executed innovative models of collaboration that have greatly expanded the reach, influence, and impact of the Office of Health Equity including the successful implementation of the Lewis Scholars Program (formerly the CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Program) and the James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Graduate Fellowship.
In May 2020, she assumed the role of Chief Health Equity Officer for CDC’s COVID-19 Response which was the first time in the agency’s history that this role and function was added to the leadership of the Incident Management Structure during the activation of CDC’s Emergency Operations Center. These and other accomplishments represent her tireless commitment to improve minority health and achieve health equity for all people.
Dr. Liburd has received honors for her leadership and management accomplishments. She was the 2021 recipient of the Harriet Hylton Barr Distinguished Alumni Award, one of the highest honors of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health. She also received the CDC Honor Award for Health Equity (Group Award) in recognition of her role as Chief Health Equity Officer and contributions of the entire unit in the COVID-19 Response. Among her other awards, Jackson State University presented her with the John Ruffin Award of Excellence in Minority Health and Health Disparities (2016), and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions and BlackDoctor.org named her one of the Top Blacks in Healthcare in 2014 for her outstanding and noteworthy achievements in the healthcare field. In 2010, the National REACH Coalition honored her with their Distinguished Service and Leadership Award, and in 2002, CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation presented her with their Excellence in Collaboration Award for her seminal role in developing local, national, and international partnerships.
Dr. Liburd holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a Master of Public Health in health education/health behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Arts in cultural anthropology and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in medical anthropology from Emory University.