Deputy Director for Public Health Science and Surveillance (DDPHSS)

Chesley Richards, MD, MPH, FACP

Deputy Director, Office of Public Health Scientific Services (OPHSS)

Chesley Richards, MD, MPH, FACP, is the Deputy Director for Public Health Science and Surveillance. In this position, he is responsible for strengthening CDC’s scientific foundation by working across the Office of Science, the Office of Laboratory Science and Safety, the Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services, and the National Center for Health Statistics. A primary focus of his role is to advance an agency-wide public health data strategy and serve as an advisor to the CDC Director.

Prior to this position, Dr. Richards served as CDC Deputy Director for Public Health Scientific Services and Director of the Office of Public Health Scientific Services, where he oversaw a broad range of epidemiology, public health surveillance, laboratory services, and health statistics initiatives aimed at improving population health. During his tenure, he developed and implemented CDC’s Surveillance Strategy to improve the agency’s public health data surveillance capabilities from 2014-2018.

Dr. Richards works at the intersection of public health, healthcare, and health IT. He began his public health career as a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Hospital Infections Program. Since then, he has held a range of positions, serving as the Director of the Immunization Services Division; the Director of the Office of Prevention through Healthcare; and as the Deputy Director for the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, where he led the expansion of the National Healthcare Safety Network – the nation’s most widely used healthcare-associated infection tracking system.

Dr. Richards earned his M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina, and his MPH in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is board certified in Internal Medicine (Medical College of Georgia), Geriatric Medicine (Emory University) and General Preventive Medicine and Public Health (UNC Chapel Hill). He completed the Cancer Control Education Fellowship at UNC Lineberger Cancer Center, and the Program on Clinical Effectiveness at Harvard School of Public Health.

Page last reviewed: April 1, 2019