ORR Strategy

The Office of Readiness and Response’s (ORR) FY2024 Strategic Plan [PDF – 95 KB] proposes bold and ambitious new paths to advance our work and to meet the challenges of tomorrow. A strategic plan is essential to the long-term growth and success of our organization. We are committed to progress and innovation – and this is key to our success and to our ability to meet the challenges of tomorrow. The four strategies laid out in this plan, intended to advance the Office and CDC’s capabilities, inform the initiatives we will undertake in the next year – called Key Annual Focus Areas (KAFAs). By addressing the focus areas laid out in the Strategic Plan, we demonstrate our Office’s value to key stakeholders, customers, and partners.


To lead, promote, and integrate programs, science, data, communications, and policies that enable the CDC to respond to public health threats at home and abroad.


A prepared and resilient Nation able to prevent, mitigate, and respond to all public health threats.


We aspire to prepare CDC, the nation, and our partners to be ready to respond to all public health threats – whether such threats arise at home or abroad; to detect public health threats and immediately put readiness and response capabilities to action; to respond with vigor and protect the nation’s health, safety, and security.

Our Values


We are responsible, reliable public stewards dedicated to openness with each other and those we serve.


We strive to apply science, technical expertise, and creative thought to improve the practice of preparedness and response.


We strive to uphold the highest standards of morals and ethical principles, acting with honesty, respect, and self-awareness.


We aspire to be responsive, efficient, effective, and accurate in all we do.

Health Equity

We are committed to reducing health disparities and achieving equitable health outcomes to improve the nation’s preparedness and response capabilities.

Our Competencies

Planning and Response

We dedicate resources to work ahead of emergencies, apply our knowledge and expertise to help guide emergency response, and learn from past experiences for a better tomorrow.


We endeavor to prevent and mitigate negative impacts from emergencies and threats through strong primary, secondary, and tertiary preparedness efforts.


We collaborate across the public health enterprise to promote strong coordination, cooperation, and communication internally and externally to build a robust and reliable preparedness and response network.

Scientific Research

We collaborate to apply emergency management science analytical and assessment skills across all aspects of preparedness and response to develop strong, evidence-based guidance, provide technical assistance, guide program implementation, and make critical decisions.

Technical Assistance

We share research, knowledge, expertise, training, and resources to help partners make the greatest impact.

Strategy 1:

Modernize and integrate data and systems across multidisciplinary public health entities to support data readiness and interoperability.

  • Stand up a Common Operating Platform and Picture and define and implement data readiness requirements for management of response situational awareness.
  • Build capacity to effectively leverage data during emergencies for rapid decision-making.
  1. Advance readiness and response related Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) principles with STLT partners.
  2. Advance CDC’s Common Operating Platform and Picture to improve readiness and data-informed recommendations and decisions.
  3. Prioritize development and enhancement of information technology strategies and tools at the office level required to support ORR’s mission functions, innovation, and data management.
  4. Support CDC efforts to transform infectious disease forecasting, advanced analytics, and communication by engaging public, academic, and private sector performers.
  5. Deliver improved technology capabilities to DRSC programs.
Strategy 2:

Advance readiness and response science to improve public health practice.

  • Mature the readiness and response science agenda to include community mitigation practices, behavioral science, and non-medical countermeasures to increase public health safety.
  • Implement readiness and response science that informs policy, guides programs, and maximizes public health impact.
  1. Advance the science agenda to describe and begin to answer the most critical questions in readiness and response science.
  2. Update biosafety/biosecurity regulations to be responsive to Congressionally mandated authority to biennially review the list of select agents and toxins.
  3. Advance laboratory readiness to support timely surveillance, detection, and response to public health incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, and emerging threats.
  4. Develop and manage regulatory mechanisms to facilitate safe and effective use of U.S. government-procured medical countermeasures (MCMs) for all populations for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) preparedness and response.
  5. Promote standards and recommended practices for scientific integrity and quality.
  6. Initiate data readiness working groups to support GRF and ongoing data readiness and data modernization work in every CIO.
  7. Foster transformational innovation and response science to advance CDC scientific capabilities and increase the evidence-base for STLT implementation.
  8. Amplify CFA actionable analysis and response modeling tools for urgent response needs.
Strategy 3:

Build and enhance both CDC and State, Tribal Local, and Territorial (STLT) health departments’ response capability and drive collaboration among partners to enable rapid and effective response to public health emergencies.

  • Detect and characterize public health threats, enhance laboratory readiness, and maintain the highest level of biosecurity and biosafety.
  • Strengthen interagency, CDC, non-governmental organization (NGO), and STLT partnerships to advance readiness and response capabilities for all.
  • Coordinate and scale policies, systems, and funding mechanisms to support emergency response functions.
  1. Strengthen personnel accountability to improve DRSC effectiveness to maintain the highest level of biosafety and biosecurity.
  2. Further implement and evaluate a polio containment program.
  3. Solidify and expand the implementation of the CDC Ready Responder program to ready the workforce for emergency response initiation and sustainment.
  4. Identify and/or develop tools, resources, and trainings for STLTs related to the response readiness framework and a way to share this information.
  5. Work across CIOs and in collaboration with CDC IOD to drive inclusion of public health priorities within interagency readiness and response strategies.
  6. Support design, development, execution, and evaluation of critical, response-related exercises.
  7. Strengthen partnerships and public-facing communication to increase implementation, translation and dissemination of evidence-based strategies and interventions.
  8. Promote qualitative risk assessments, technical reports, and similar products containing actionable insights for decision makers.
  9. Advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility and Belonging (DEIAB) efforts within ORR and build health equity capabilities externally via CDC responses.
  10. Support Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) recipients to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging (DEIAB) principles, health equity, and community resilience via sharing of best and promising practices across networks, evaluation of existing program requirements and measures, and development of implementable recommendations for workplans.
Strategy 4:

Conduct rapid and ongoing readiness and response evaluation to inform continuous improvements across detection of public health threats, readiness science, and emergency operations.

  • Implement data-driven, risk-based approaches for detection and evaluation of public health threats.
  • Develop a response readiness framework that establishes standards and evaluation criteria for CDC.
  1. Implement measures to increase acceptance of transparent in-progress and after-actions reviews of emergency response operations as part of a Continuous Improvement Program.
  2. Develop and deploy an STLT response readiness evaluation in coordination with the next Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
  3. Evaluate data driven information to promote risk-based oversight through inspections and permits/registrations.
  4. Develop a response readiness framework for ORR and CDC that defines ORR/CDC response readiness and includes an evaluation strategy.