DFWED Leadership

Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH

Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH

Director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases

Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH, is director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases (DFWED) in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID). A recognized authority on food safety, he has overseen responses to hundreds of foodborne and other disease outbreaks, working with colleagues to apply ever-improving laboratory and epidemiologic methods to detect, characterize, and contain the spread of an array of foodborne and enteric pathogens.

Dr. Tauxe graduated cum laude from Yale University and received his medical degree from Vanderbilt Medical School. In addition, he holds a master’s in public health from Yale. He completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Washington and is certified in internal medicine. He joined CDC as an EIS officer in 1983 and has since held several leadership positions at the branch and division levels. Most recently, before becoming director, he served as deputy director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases and its predecessor, the Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases.

Dr. Tauxe has participated in a number of CDC’s responses to disease outbreaks. For example, during the response to the 2010 cholera epidemic in Haiti, he led a CDC team in developing a comprehensive clinical education course on cholera for healthcare providers there. During CDC’s 2014 Ebola response, he led the development of a 3-day experiential training course for more than 600 nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers planning to work in Ebola treatment units in Africa. In 2021, he served for several months as deputy incident manager in the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Dr. Tauxe’s memberships include the American Epidemiology Society, American College of Physicians, American Society for Microbiology, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America; he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbial Criteria for Foods. He has investigated outbreaks in Belgium, Mali, Rwanda, Peru, and Guatemala, and has supervised numerous domestic and overseas epidemiologic investigations. He is on the faculty of the Rollins School of Public Health’s Division of International Health at Emory University. Dr. Tauxe has authored or co-authored more than 314 scientific journal articles, letters, and book chapters.