About the Global Health Center

Key points

CDC aspires to create a world where people in the United States and around the globe live healthier, safer, and longer lives. CDC is the lead U.S. government agency for public health and infectious disease outbreak preparedness and response activities.

A health worker with a vaccine carrier en route to a community outreach session to vaccinate children.

Our mission

CDC's global health mission is to improve the health, safety, and security of Americans while reducing morbidity and mortality worldwide.


As the lead U.S. government agency dedicated to the health and safety of the American people, and the lead technical global public health agency for the U.S., CDC works 24/7 worldwide to reduce morbidity and mortality and safeguard communities by addressing global health threats.

  • Health Impact: Save lives, improve health outcomes, and foster healthy populations.
  • Health Security: Strengthen global health prevention, detection, and response to protect Americans and populations worldwide.
  • Public Health Science Leadership: Lead and influence the advancement of global health science and practice.
Keep Reading: Our Impact

Why it's important

CDC detects and controls outbreaks at their source, saving lives and reducing healthcare costs. CDC helps other countries build capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to their health threats through our work. The knowledge and lessons learned from CDC’s work abroad are critical to our public health efforts.

Translating knowledge and experience across domestic and global health efforts is critical to strengthening health systems. It is also important for effectively detecting, responding to, and stopping epidemic threats. The goal of CDC's global health work is to improve health outcomes and strengthen global health security by building the capacity of partner countries to detect diseases and stop health threats.

How we do it

CDC provides unique, critical services that no other agency provides.

Our global programs are run by world experts in epidemiology, surveillance, informatics, laboratory systems, and other essential disciplines. CDC experts provide strong global health leadership capacity to strengthen critical public health services around the world. CDC's Global Health Center is a key implementer of the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and co-implementer of the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI).

CDC also oversees the implementation of programs to address leading causes of death worldwide. Through leveraging CDC's longstanding partnerships and the agency's unique scientific and technical capacities, CDC's Center for Global Health works closely with ministries of health and other partners to implement programs and tackle profound health threats, including COVID-19.

Our global programs address more than 400 diseases, health threats, and conditions that are major causes of death, disease, and disability—building upon our U.S. public health program expertise and knowledge of these diseases to help protect the U.S. from major health threats, wherever they arise.


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Global Health Center
Kayla Laserson, ScD, SM, FASTMH, CDR, USPHS (ret), Director

Dr. Laserson leads CDC’s global work to protect and improve health through science, policy, partnership, and evidence-based public health action.