NCEZID Director

Staff Bio

Daniel Jernigan, MD, MPH

National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

Daniel Jernigan, MD, MPH is the director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

Portrait of Daniel Jernigan

Role at CDC

Dr. Jernigan is the director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. Before becoming the NCEZID director, Dr. Jernigan was CDC's deputy director for public health science and surveillance. He worked at the intersection of public health, healthcare, and health IT.

Dr. Jernigan also previously served as the director of the Influenza Division in CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). Prior to his appointment as director, he was the Influenza Division's deputy director from 2006 to 2014.

Dr. Jernigan joined the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service in 1994 and worked in the Respiratory Diseases Branch on the prevention and control of bacterial respiratory pathogens. In 1996, he began serving on assignment from CDC to the Washington State Health Department as a medical epidemiologist and coordinator of national initiatives to improve surveillance for emerging infectious diseases. Dr. Jernigan became the chief of the Epidemiology Section in CDC's Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) in 2001. In that role, he supervised numerous investigations and initiatives to characterize various hospital-acquired, device-associated, and antimicrobial-resistant pathogen issues.


Dr. Jernigan has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on various emerging infectious diseases topics. He has supervised outbreak investigations of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections associated with emerging and antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. He has also led epidemiology and surveillance teams for national and international responses, including the 2001 bioterrorism-related anthrax; the 2002 emergence of West Nile virus; the 2003 SARS epidemic; the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic; Ebola; and the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, Dr. Jernigan retired from the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service as a Captain after completing 23 years of service.


Dr. Jernigan received an undergraduate degree from Duke University, a Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and has completed an additional residency in Preventive Medicine.