Leadership - Office of Minority Health & Health Equity (OMHHE)

Minority Health Determines the Health of the Nation

CDC’s Office of Minority Health & Health Equity (OMHHE) is comprised of an experienced leadership team and knowledgeable staff, all dedicated to increasing CDC’s impact on health equity.

Associate Director for Minority Health & Health Equity, CDC

Dr. Leandris Lilburd

Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA

Dr. Leandris Liburd is the Director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this role, she oversees the work of CDC’s Offices of Minority Health & Health Equity and Women’s Health, and of Diversity & Inclusion Management. In addition, she provides agency leadership, direction, and accountability for CDC’s policies and programs to ensure they are effective in improving women’s and minority health. She also serves as the agency’s principal advisor on health equity issues with the Department of Health and Human Services, other federal agencies, national organizations, academic institutions, and the public.

Dr. Liburd is a respected public health leader who has over the course of her career championed community health promotion, chronic disease prevention, community engagement, eliminating health disparities, and addressing the social determinants of health. She has worked in public health at the local, state, and federal levels, and has held a variety of leadership positions at CDC since joining the agency in 1987. Dr. Liburd has published extensively on community-based public health approaches to chronic disease prevention and control, the influence of culture and gender on health beliefs and behaviors, and racial and ethnic health disparities. In 2010, she published her first edited volume Diabetes and Health Disparities: Community-Based Approaches for Racial and Ethnic PopulationsExternal which serves as a key resource for those interested in socio-ecological approaches to reducing diabetes disparities.

Dr. Liburd holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a Master of Public Health in health education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master of Arts in cultural anthropology and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in medical anthropology from Emory University.

Organizational Structure

OMHHE is housed within CDC’s Office of the Director (OD).

CDC is an Agency/Operating Division of the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

History of the Office

CDC’s Office of Minority Health was established by the CDC Director on August 8, 1988 as a small coordination office, set up in response to Secretary Heckler’s 1985 landmark report on minority health. To view the full report, see the links below:

2004 OMH Staff Photo (LtoR Back:WalterWilliams;YvonneLewis;SarahBerry;BenitaHarris;DexterCooper;CharmenCrawford;CarolGrant;GladysReynolds;TheresaPotts;BenTruman;CorlisVoltz. Middle:BellaLee;NitinKapur;ChristineMontgomery;MikeSnesrud;CharlesWilliams;JamillaRahsid. Front:JudithWellen;KesiHowell;MichelleCaldwell;SonsiereCobb-Souza)The Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black & Minority HealthExternal
Margaret M. Heckler, HHS Secretary
October 16, 1985.

Ten years later, the office went through the first of many strategic redirections, and continued to transform over the next 7 years to become CDC’s Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD) in September of 2005, with established programs now serving a broader focus of expanded populations.

OMHD was later strategically aligned within the Office of Strategy and Innovation (OSI) to establish the CDC Goals and ensure health disparities were being addressed and incorporated into all CDC work and agency goals.

In 2008, OMHD was moved to the Office of the Chief of Public Health Practice (OCPHP), to be best positioned to accelerate health impact for vulnerable populations in the US, with a focus to develop CDC-wide health disparity elimination strategies, policies, and programs.

In 2010, the CDC restructure initially partnered OMHD with the Office of the Associate Director for Program (OADPG), with whom it shares a close collaborative relationship today, working to ensure all CDC Programs address health disparities at all levels, through planning, performance, accountability, and program evaluation.

At the beginning of 2011, the office transforms once again, to emerge as the new Office of Minority Health & Health Equity (OMHHE), placed in the CDC Office of the Director (OD), and led by Dr. Leandris Liburd.

Page last reviewed: November 14, 2016