Associate Director for Cross-Agency Preparedness


Joanna M. Prasher, PhD, MPH

Joanna Prasher

Dr. Joanna Prasher, PhD, MPH is the Associate Director for Cross-Agency Preparedness for the Office of Readiness and Response (ORR).

Dr. Prasher has worked in public health emergency preparedness for over 15 years, most recently serving as Senior Advisor for Medical Countermeasures for ORR. In this role she provided strategic coordination of medical countermeasure and intentional/biodefense-related preparedness activities conducted across CDC and with federal interagency partners, in consideration of the needs and capabilities of state, tribal, local and territorial public health partners.

Prior to joining CDC in 2016, Dr. Prasher worked in medical countermeasure preparedness and response for 12 years with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

Dr. Prasher received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Kalamazoo College (Magna Cum Laude), a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, and a doctorate in Experimental Pathology from the University of Utah.  She conducted post-doctoral work at Erasmus University in The Netherlands on the common molecular mechanisms underlying both myeloid leukemia and aging before the anthrax attacks of 2001 motivated her to move into biodefense policy.