Judith R. Qualters, PhD, MPH
Director, Division of Injury Prevention
Areas of Expertise
- Public health surveillance, research, and practice
Dr. Qualters is the director of the Division of Injury Prevention (DIP) in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) at CDC. In this role, Dr. Qualters provides leadership to bridge science and practice in an effort to move the field of violence and injury prevention forward. She also leads a diverse portfolio of work that includes surveillance, data and economic analysis, information technology, policy research, evaluation, and technical assistance to state health departments.
Prior to this role, Dr. Qualters was the director of the Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, where she provided leadership and strategic guidance to the National Asthma Control Program, the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, the Clean Water for Health Program and the Climate and Health Program. Additionally, she oversaw surveillance, research, response, and prevention activities related to radiation, chemical and natural disasters, air pollution, carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as the division’s response to domestic and international requests for assistance on topics such as extreme heat, synthetic cannabinoids, and pesticide poisonings.
Dr. Qualters has been a scientist at CDC since 1989 where she’s investigated cancer among Vietnam veterans as part of the Agent Orange Projects, analyzed cancer and non-cancer health risks among communities exposed contaminants from nuclear weapons production and testing, and worked on the conceptualization and implementation of two large national chronic disease programs: CDC’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and the National Program of Cancer Registries. From 2002 through 2010, she led the development and implementation of NCEH’s flagship surveillance program, the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. Under her leadership, the program and its cornerstone product, the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, went from concept to reality.
Dr. Qualters is an internationally recognized expert on surveillance and the linkage of health effects, exposures, and hazard data. She represented NCEH on the CDC Surveillance Leadership Board, chaired the International Network on Public Health and Environmental Tracking, and served as principal investigator for CDC’s World Health Organization (WHO) Coordinating Center for Environmental Epidemiology. Dr. Qualters co-chaired the 2009 Consultation on CDC Surveillance in the 21st Century and led or served on numerous surveillance and research committees within CDC, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. She is the recipient of several awards, including the American Public Health Association Health Informatics & Information Technology Leadership Award.
Dr. Qualters received her MPH degree in epidemiology from the University of Michigan and her PhD degree in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.