Director, Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections

Margaret (Peggy) Honein, PhD, MPH

This is a portrait of DPEI Director, Peggy Honein

Margaret (Peggy) Honein, PhD, MPH, is the director of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections (DPEI) in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. DPEI works to build and strengthen public health capacity by enhancing the ability of CDC and its public health partners to prepare for, prevent, and respond to infectious diseases, including outbreaks, bioterrorism, and other public health emergencies. Prior to joining DPEI, Dr. Honein was the director of the Division of Birth Defects and Infant Disorders within the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Dr. Honein has served in crucial leadership roles in numerous public health emergency responses, including those for H1N1 influenza, Zika, COVID-19, and mpox. During the COVID-19 Response, she led creation of a scientific unit to support collaboration and rapid data collection that directly informed public health action and updates to CDC guidance throughout the pandemic. She also spearheaded the establishment of a task force dedicated to supporting public health departments across the nation, including establishing dedicated points of contact for each jurisdiction.

Dr. Honein has co-authored more than 200 publications on emerging infectious diseases as well as maternal and child health. She has led or contributed to the development of public health science agendas in multiple emergency responses to focus public health efforts on the most pressing questions needed to inform action. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Science and Environment) in 2018 and the CDC Director’s Award for Public Health Impact in 2021.

Dr. Honein joined CDC in 1997 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of California, Riverside in 1986, a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1992, and a PhD in epidemiology from UCLA in 1995.