CDC Global Health Strategy

At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic substantially affects all Americans, CDC’s commitment to our vision to create a world where all people – in the United States and around the globe – live healthier, safer and longer lives is more essential than ever. CDC’s mission to protect the American people from health threats, through direct response and partnering with countries around the world to strengthen their ability to respond to infectious disease threats, is unwavering.  As the lead U.S. Government (USG) agency dedicated to the health and safety of the American people, and the lead technical global public health agency for the US, CDC works 24/7 worldwide to reduce morbidity and mortality and safeguard communities by addressing global health threats.  Achieving this vision requires that CDC draw upon its superior scientific and technical expertise, innovation, and research to address known infectious disease threats, new and emerging threats such as SARS-CoV-2, and prepare for the inevitable next  global public health threat, whether naturally occurring or man-made.

CDC understands the importance of the trust placed in the science and technical leadership of the agency to keep Americans safe from public health threats both domestically and abroad. The COVID-19 pandemic has far-reaching social and economic impacts, including disruption of essential healthcare services and interruption of life-saving public health programs such as those focused on preventing death and disability from measles, polio, malaria, HIV, TB, and other high burden diseases.  CDC recognizes the need to remain focused on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a critical partner in a whole of government approach, while mitigating the long-term impacts on public health systems by planning for recovery and resiliency now.  CDC has a critical leadership role as the global public health enterprise focuses on transformational shifts in how we protect the population from public health threats.  This effort requires innovation, expansion of strong partnerships, and the timely application of lessons learned from our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(See appendix for CDC’s Strategy for Global Response to COVID-19.)

CDC Core Technical Strengths

CDC’s global health strategy is built around the agency’s core strengths:  scientific leadership and expertise, development of a public health workforce, laboratory capacity and innovation, and data analytics to drive impact.  CDC’s unique expertise in using public health data to inform decisions and establishing systems for emergency operations and response provides collaborations that strengthen global health security.  In addition, CDC has deep technical expertise in disease-specific areas, operational research, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, building public health infrastructure, and provision of technical assistance through partnerships with Ministries of Health (MOHs), other public health institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private sector industries. As the lead agency for domestic public health, CDC is uniquely positioned to facilitate and leverage scientific knowledge and expertise across domestic and global public health programs and emergency responses.  CDC experts and international CDC-trained public health specialists provide the critical, well-trained workforce needed to respond to existing disease outbreaks and to prepare for future threats. CDC’s forward-deployed staff are America’s first line of defense to protect Americans’ health when infectious disease outbreaks erupt around the world and respond to disease threats wherever they occur.


The CDC aspires to create a world where people – in the United States and around the globe – live healthier, safer, and longer lives.


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

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1 – Health Security: Protect Americans and populations across the globe by strengthening global public health prevention, detection, and response

Objective 1.1: Strengthen the capacity to prevent and detect disease outbreaks and other public health threats

Objective 1.2: Strengthen the capacity for timely and effective response to disease outbreaks and other public health threats

Objective 1.3: Strengthen the capacity to build resilient public health systems to protect and secure essential healthcare services

Goal 2 - Health Impact: Save lives, improve health outcomes, and foster healthy populations globally

Objective 2.1: Reduce the morbidity and mortality of high burden diseases and conditions

Objective 2.2: Eliminate and eradicate priority diseases and other public health threats

Goal 3 - Public Health Science Leadership: Lead the advancement of global public health science and practice and serve as a leading source of credible scientific information

Objective 3.1: Develop and apply global public health scientific, laboratory, and programmatic expertise

Objective 3.2: Translate and disseminate evidence-based research and data into global health guidance, policy, and programs

Objective 3.3: Drive innovation to accelerate new, more effective tools, products, strategies, and technologies

Objective 3.4 Promote and ensure health equity as a central tenet across public health science, program and policy

Pillars of CDC’s Global Health Strategy

Scientific Expertise

CDC serves as a leading source of credible scientific information, demonstrated record of trailblazing science, evidence-based decision-making and action, global reference laboratories for emerging and diseases of pandemic potential, and an experienced workforce that is comprised of experts in their fields. Our workforce is available to address the most urgent global public health threats.

Diverse Partnerships

CDC fosters health diplomacy in coordination with other U.S. Government agencies through its longstanding bilateral and multilateral partnerships, engagement with the private sector, and ongoing collaborations with academic institutions and foundations. CDC maximizes the agency’s unique role while leveraging these diverse partnerships to achieve measurable health impact around the world.


CDC takes seriously its responsibility to be a good steward of resources by demonstrating impact on leading public health priorities, establishing and strengthening sustainable country, regional and international public health systems, reducing the economic impact of disease outbreaks globally, and building lasting capacity for countries to address current and future health needs.


CDC leverages the latest technologies and advanced analytics to accelerate public health impact. CDC develops new medical countermeasures, diagnostics, laboratory and data platforms, and explores new ways to innovate across its global health portfolio by identifying unique models of collaboration and partnerships.

Health Equity

CDC helps to eliminate health disparities and achieve optimal health for all. CDC addresses health equity and reaches those in greatest need through its global programs, research, tools and resources, and leadership.