Office of Science (OS)

Sam Posner, PhD
Sam Posner, PhD

Sam Posner, PhD is the Director for the Office of Science (OS). In this capacity, Dr. Posner is critical to helping ensure OS advances its strategic and programmatic priorities to support the agency’s science.

Dr. Posner previously served as the acting director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control where he led CDC’s innovative research and science-based programs to prevent injuries and violence and to reduce their consequences. He has also served in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) as the Principal Deputy Director. In this role, he oversaw the center’s surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory, and data science programs to expand and refine CDC’s capacity to detect, prevent, and respond to vaccine-preventable and respiratory infectious disease threats. Dr. Posner also served as the acting NCIRD director where he initiated significant strategic changes to prepare for the transition of COVID-19 emergency response activities back to their home programs.

In the COVID-19 response, Dr. Posner co-led the development of a Scientific Agenda as a guide for the implementation of scientific activities to better understand COVID transmission dynamics, risk factors for mortality, and prevention strategies. He also worked closely on the data and informatics architecture for the COVID-19 national vaccine program.

Dr. Posner joined NCIRD in 2016 as the Associate Director for Epidemiological Science and Director of the Office of Science and Integrated Programs and led the scientific review of several NCIRD programs, including the review and reframing of the Legionella program. Under his guidance, the Legionella program has grown significantly in scope and reach and now funds jurisdictions for both prevention and outbreak response.

Dr. Posner came to CDC in 1998 from the University of California, San Francisco after completing doctoral work in quantitative psychology at the University of Southern California in 1996. He first worked in the Division of Reproductive Health and then moved to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, Office of the Director in 2008, where he served as Editor in Chief for the journal Preventing Chronic Disease and later Associate Director for Science. Dr. Posner is the author of more than 100 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and has written more than 15 book chapters, invited editorials, and other non–peer-reviewed contributions to the scientific literature. He is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of preconception care and multiple chronic conditions.