Leadership Team

Director
Rebecca Bunnell

Rebecca Bunnell, PhD, MEd

Rebecca Bunnell, PhD, MEd, is the Director of CDC’s Office of Science. Dr. Bunnell is responsible for providing the overarching vision, strategic direction, science leadership, and management for the Office of Science.

Since joining CDC in 1996 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Division of STD Prevention, Dr. Bunnell has held key CDC positions in Atlanta, California, Uganda, and Kenya. Most recently, she has served as the Deputy Director for Science, Policy, and Communications in the Division of Global Health Protection. Her other positions include Associate Director for Science in the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH), Associate Director for Public Health Practice at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, acting Director of the Division of Community Health, Director of CDC-Kenya’s Global AIDS Program, Associate Director for Science for CDC-Uganda, and CDC Epidemiologist State Assignee to California. Prior to her CDC career, Dr. Bunnell worked with the United Kingdom Medical Research Council, The AIDS Support Organization/Action Aid Uganda, and Médecins Sans Frontières. She was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras.

Dr. Bunnell earned a doctorate degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, and an undergraduate degree from Yale University. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards at CDC, including the Charles C. Shepard Science Award, CDC Honor Awards for Excellence in Emergency Response and for the Community Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, and CGH Excellence Awards in both Policy and Communications. Dr. Bunnell has conducted numerous epidemiologic, surveillance, behavioral, and economic studies and has authored over 120 scientific publications.

Deputy Director
Jennifer E. Layden, MD, PhD

Jennifer E. Layden, MD, PhD

Jennifer E. Layden, MD, PhD, is the incoming Deputy Director of CDC’s Office of Science. Prior to joining CDC, Dr. Layden most recently served as the Deputy Commissioner and Chief Medical Officer for the Chicago Department of Public Health. Before her work at CDPH, Dr. Layden was the State Epidemiologist and Chief Medical Officer for the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Dr. Layden has played key roles in public health responses to COVID-19, EVALI, Hepatitis A, and synthetic cannabinoid contamination at the state and local level. Additionally, she has served on CSTE task forces during both the COVID-19 and EVALI responses, and she has presented at both national and international conferences.

In 2005, Dr. Layden received both her MD and her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also completed her internal medicine and infectious disease clinical training. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to transitioning to public health, Dr. Layden held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Loyola University Chicago. During that time, she conducted numerous studies on Hepatitis C virus disease progression, burden, and treatment response, as well as population-based studies of HCV burden in West Africa. Dr. Layden has authored more than 70 scientific publications.

Management Official
Locola Hayes

Locola Hayes, MBA

Locola Hayes, MBA, is the Management Official within CDC’s Office of Science. In this role, Hayes is responsible for spearheading budget and personnel efforts, as well as supporting strategic planning, training, staff engagement, and cross-cutting office initiatives.

During her tenure at CDC, Hayes has worked in various aspects of program management including strategy, management and operations, policy, and performance. Most recently, she served as the Deputy Director for the Program Performance and Evaluation Office in CDC’s Office of the Associate Director for Policy and Strategy. She has also worked in a number of key roles including Risk Management Lead, Senior Public Health Advisor for Health Systems Reconstruction, and Deputy Director for the Ebola Affected Country Office in the CDC Center for Global Health’s Division of Global Health Protection. Hayes also served as the International Task Force Deputy during the 2014 Ebola response and as Special Projects Lead and Performance Management Lead in the Office of the Associate Director for Program (now PPEO).

Hayes began her career in the CDC Office of the Director as fellow in the Emerging Leader program. During her fellowship, she worked in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), the National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and the HHS Region 4 Office of Minority Health. Prior to joining CDC, Hayes worked as a contractor in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report office.

Hayes holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in program management.

OS Chief Science and Medical Advisor, CDC Scientific Integrity Officer
Joanne Cono, MD, ScD

Joanne Cono, MD, ScM

From 2013-2018, Dr. Cono was the Director of the Office of Science Quality, an organizational unit within the Office of Science (then called the Office of the Associate Director for Science). Prior to serving in OS, Dr. Cono was the Special Advisor for Science Integration in the Office of Infectious Diseases, facilitating scientific activities and planning across CDC’s three infectious disease centers. Previously at CDC, Dr. Cono served as an Associate Director for Science in the former National Immunization Program, Division of Epidemiology and Surveillance, and in the former Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. As Senior Medical Officer in the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program, National Center for Infectious Diseases, she helped lead CDC’s smallpox preparedness and vaccination activities and co-led the epidemiological team for CDC’s response to the 2003 US Monkeypox outbreak. Dr. Cono was the director of CDC’s Clinician Communication Program, served as Senior Advisor for Science and Senior Advisor for Global Health in the Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases, and has completed numerous international assignments and consultancies. During the emergency response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, she served as Chief Medical Officer overseeing CDC’s public health response teams in Atlanta and Haiti. Her scientific interests include global health, emerging infectious diseases, immunization, and public health preparedness.

A board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Cono earned her medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and completed her residency training at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She has also completed a community pediatrics and child advocacy fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a genetic epidemiology fellowship at CDC. She has a master’s degree in vaccine science and international health from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, and advanced training in facilitation, negotiation, global diplomacy, and public engagement. Dr. Cono has practiced pediatrics in the homeless shelter system in New York City (The New York Children’s Health Project) and at Egleston Hospital (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta). She has served as a visiting faculty member at the University of Tartu in Estonia, where she taught pediatrics and epidemiology.

Associate Director for Communication Science
Rosa Herrera

Rosa Herrera

Prior to this role, Herrera served as the acting Associate Director for Communications Science in CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. During that time, the DHQP team developed and released two award-winning multimedia campaigns, fostered partnerships with numerous consumer and professional organizations, collaborated closely with colleagues in policy and other areas, and streamlined processes to ensure maximized operations.

Herrera joined CDC in 2007 as a CDC Foundation Fellow managing the National MRSA Education Initiative, in collaboration with DHQP. After her fellowship, Herrera continued with her work at CDC, helping build a comprehensive communications organization covering high visibility topics such as health care safety, antibiotic resistance, and public reporting of health care safety data. In 2014, Herrera was awarded CDC Employee of the Month and her team earned CDC’s 2014 Honor Award for Excellence in Communications for producing CDC’s landmark report, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013. She has led and provided counsel on numerous Vital Signs issues, developed communications strategy for a variety of reports and efforts highlighting patient safety data, and orchestrated communications for several health care outbreak responses.

Prior to her tenure at CDC, Herrera worked for global and regional public relations agencies representing clients in the public health, medical, biotechnology, and consumer product sectors. Clients included CDC, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Ford Motor Company, Wendy’s, Sprint, and many other household brand names.

Herrera has earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations, with a business minor, from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications.

Associate Director for Policy
Kiana Morris MBA, CMCP

Kiana Morris, MBA, CMCP

Kiana Morris, MBA, CMCP is the Associate Director for Policy of CDC’s Office of Science.

Morris previously served as the Senior Program Specialist in the Office of Safety, Security, and Asset Management (OSSAM), Office of Policy, Performance and Communication responsible for leading communication, programmatic initiatives and special projects. She was responsible for developing key partnerships, leading business process improvements, and managing communication, policy, and performance needs. Morris was also the Crisis Management Communications Lead in OSSAM responsible for advising the CDC Chief Operating Officer, Incident Commander/OSSAM Director, and OSSAM Associate Director on how to communicate urgent messages to staff during agency wide emergencies. She executed strategic planning, performance, and policy communications across OSSAM. Morris also provided strategy and oversight as Chair of several workgroups to include the Diversity and Inclusion Council, Communications Connections workgroup, and the Crisis Management Communications workgroup. She was recognized and awarded for her efforts to increase efficiency and innovation within OSSAM. Prior to serving in OSSAM, she was the Special Assistant to the CFO. Morris managed highly-visible special projects, conducted issues management, assisted in the development of OCFO’s (now OFR) first strategic plan, led its succession planning initiative, and played an integral role in several key initiatives that are still utilized in OFR.

Morris is a graduate of the Federal Executive Board’s (FEB) Leadership Government (LG) program. She earned a certification in Meta-Leadership from Harvard University and was the first CDC Chief Operating Officer Long Term Education recipient where she earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia. After doing a practicum in China, Morris later became a certified Crisis Management Communications Professional (CMCP) through the International Consortium for Organizational Resilience, and holds a bachelor’s degree in mass media arts-public relations management from Clark Atlanta University. She holds certifications in Lean Six Sigma, crisis management communications, and project management.

Director of the Office of Scientific Integrity
Maryam Daneshvar

Maryam Daneshvar, PhD

Maryam Daneshvar, PhD, is the Director of the Office of Scientific Integrity (OSI) within CDC’s Office of Science (OS). She is responsible for planning, managing, and evaluating the programs of OSI. Her office ensures that CDC science and research activities comply with scientific regulatory and ethical processes.

Dr. Daneshvar previously served as both the Deputy Director of OSI and the Associate Director for Science of the Division of Laboratory Programs, Standards, and Services, in the Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services. Other key leadership positions she has held include CDC Reports Clearance Officer and Chief of the Information Collection Review Office in OS.

Dr. Daneshvar joined CDC in 1982 as a research chemist in the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID). Over her 24-year tenure as a laboratory scientist, Dr. Daneshvar continued to specialize in advanced techniques for the identification of unusual and emerging bacterial pathogens. She authored or coauthored more than 100 publications including peer-reviewed scientific papers, CDC publications, book, book chapters, and scientific meeting abstracts.

Dr. Daneshvar has received multiple CDC awards and the HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service. She has also received one of the most distinguished honors in the community of microbiologists: Kaistella daneshvariae, a novel bacterial organism, was named in honor of Maryam Daneshvar, for her many contributions to the description and characterization of strains from CDC’s collection of clinical bacterial isolates.

Dr. Daneshvar holds a doctorate degree in analytical chemistry and a Master of Science degree in clinical chemistry from Georgia State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from University of Georgia.

Director of the Office of Technology and Innovation

Juliana Cyril

Juliana Cyril, MPH, PhD

Juliana Cyril, MPH, PhD, is the Director of the Office of Technology and Innovation within CDC’s Office of Science. Dr. Cyril is responsible for planning, managing, and evaluating the programs of the Office of Technology and Innovation. As a senior member of the Office of Science (OS) management team, Dr. Cyril participates in developing OS program policy and objectives, short and long-term goals, program strategies, and operating policies. Her office is responsible for providing leadership and expertise to promote and optimize the timely transfer of knowledge, innovation, and technology into products, devices and procedures that improve public health.

Dr. Cyril joined CDC in 2000 as a Health Scientist in the Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center for Environmental Health. In 2004, she joined the newly formed Office of Public Health Research (OPHR) in OS. Two years later, she became Associate Director Policy and Peer Review responsible for developing and promoting extramural research policies and practices across CDC. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing $20 million in research awards and was critical to CDC’s successful institutionalization of the Extramural Research Program Offices. In 2010, Dr. Cyril became the Deputy Director of the Office of Science Quality in OS responsible for managing office operations and acting as an advisor for extramural research throughout the agency. Two years later, Dr. Cyril assumed the role of Director of the Office of Technology and Innovation.

Dr. Cyril earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, she worked for two years as a Research Associate in the Institute for Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Cyril earned her master’s degree from the University of Washington in 1996 and a doctoral degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in 2001.

Director of the Office of Genomics and Precision Public Health
Khoury

Muin J. Khoury, MD, PhD

Dr. Khoury is the founding director of the CDC’s Office of Genomics and Precision Public Health. The Office was formed in 1997 to assess the impact of advances in human genetics and the Human Genome Project on public health and disease prevention. In 2019, the Office was renamed to the Office of Genomics and Precision Public Health.  Dr. Khoury has developed several successful ongoing national and international initiatives to translate advances in genomics and precision health technologies to recommendations and actions that improve health and prevent disease throughout the life stages.

Dr. Khoury received his B.S. degree in Biology/Chemistry from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and his medical degree and Pediatrics training from the same institution. He received a Ph.D. in Human Genetics/Genetic Epidemiology and training in Medical Genetics from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Khoury is board certified in Medical Genetics.

Dr. Khoury received the Public Health Service Special Recognition Award in 1990 for his outstanding contribution to the scientific literature in the areas of birth defects and genetic epidemiology. In 1994, he received the Arthur Fleming Award for outstanding government service. In 1998, Dr. Khoury was credentialed for the Senior Biomedical Research Service for outstanding contributions to public health. In 2000, he received the CDC Research Honor Award for outstanding national leadership in genetics and public health.

Dr. Khoury has published extensively in the fields of genetic epidemiology, public health genomics and precision public health. He has over 500 scientific publications including articles, books and book chapters. In 1993, he published a textbook entitled: “Fundamentals of Genetic Epidemiology”. In 2000, he was the lead editor for the book entitled: “Genetics and Public Health in the 21st Century: Using Genetic Information to Improve Health and Prevent Disease”. His 2004 book entitled “Human Genome Epidemiology” illustrates the applications of epidemiologic methods and approaches to the continuum of genomic information from research to practice. In 2010, he published a completely updated second edition of “Human Genome Epidemiology”.

Dr. Khoury is a member of many professional societies and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He is a frequent keynote speaker at many academic institutions, professional organization meetings, as well as state, regional, national and international conferences. He also serves on several scientific, public health, and health policy national and international committees. He is an adjunct professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and an associate in the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Director of the Office of Library Science
Julie Fishman

Julie Fishman, MPH

Julie Fishman, MPH, is the Director of the Office of Library Science within the Office of Science. Julie has over 26 years of experience at CDC across multiple programmatic areas including chronic disease, environmental health, and global health.

Julie came to CDC in 1993 as a health policy analyst in the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) and later became Associate Director for Policy.  At OSH she co-authored several publications on state tobacco control legislation and prepared the first State Tobacco Control Highlights, a state-by-state summary of tobacco-related data. She served in a detail position in the CDC Office of the Director in 2001 immediately following the 9/11 and anthrax attacks.  She also has worked in policy and strategy director positions at the National Center for Environmental Health’s Division of Laboratory Sciences (DLS) and the Center for Global Health’s Division of Global Health Protection.  Her prior CDC positions also included serving as Deputy Branch Chief of the DLS Emergency Response and Air Toxicants Branch and Associate Director for Program Development at the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, where she led several projects to enhance environmental health workforce capacity including developing the Collegiate Leaders in Environmental Health summer internship.

Julie received a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley in Health Policy and Administration. Before joining CDC, she held several positions including health policy analyst in the University of California’s Office of Health Affairs, education assistant at the NYC Commission on Human Rights AIDS Discrimination Division, and project associate at the AIDS Treatment Registry.

*Acting

Page last reviewed: February 20, 2020
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