Director, Injury Center

Staff Bio

Allison Arwady, MD, MPH

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

Dr. Allison Arwady, Director of the CDC Injury Center

CDC role

Allison Arwady, MD, MPH, is the director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, where she leads CDC’s innovative research and science-based programs to prevent injuries and violence and to reduce their consequences.

For over 30 years, the Injury Center has been at the forefront of addressing some of today’s most pressing public health challenges, such as suicide, drug overdose, and adverse childhood experiences. In addition to tracking trends of injury and violence nationally, the Injury Center also directs cross-cutting programs with tribal communities, community partners, and health departments.

Previous experience

Dr. Arwady previously served as the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, leading the health department of the nation's third-largest city, including through the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that, she spent four years as Chicago's chief medical officer, overseeing the department's behavioral health and disease control work.

Under her leadership, Chicago's behavioral health team established dozens of innovative programs and partnerships in substance use and violence prevention, as well as mental health promotion and linkage to care. For the first time, Chicago embedded mental health professionals into 911 response; coordinated and funded a citywide network of no-barrier mental health clinical providers; and launched new behavioral health supports in homeless shelters, libraries, schools, food pantries, clinics, and more, while working to decrease stigma and increase access to mental health supports.

Dr. Arwady has received local and national recognition for her strong leadership and communication skills. Earlier in her career, as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer based at the Illinois Department of Public Health, she responded to disease outbreaks across the state as well as CDC responses in Saudi Arabia (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and Liberia (Ebola).


Dr. Arwady has a bachelor's degree from Harvard University, a master's degree in public health from Columbia University, and she completed medical school and clinical training at Yale University.

Dr. Arwady is a board-certified internal medicine physician and pediatrician and continues to see primary care patients regularly.