Leadership Team

CDC Chief Science Officer and Director of the Office of Science
Rebecca Bunnell

Rebecca Bunnell, PhD, MEd

Dr. Rebecca Bunnell is CDC’s Chief Science Officer and the Director for CDC’s Office of Science. In that capacity she oversees CDC’s scientific portfolio to ensure quality, ethical integrity, and innovation and provides strategic direction, leadership, and training for CDC’s 11,000 scientists.

She co-leads CDC’s work on Health Equity and is working across CDC on transformative changes to advance health equity science. Becky has over 30 years of public health experience, including 17 years stationed internationally in Uganda, Kenya, and Honduras working for CDC as well as for Médecins sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors without Borders), the UK Medical Research Council, Peace Corps (Honduras), USAID, and local NGOs. She has held leadership positions for major infectious and chronic disease prevention initiatives, including the Community Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, and has worked on multiple outbreak investigations, including COVID-19 and the 2014 West African Ebola Outbreak.

Dr. Bunnell completed CDC’s two year Epidemic Intelligence Service and earned a Doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health, a Masters from University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and her B.A. from Yale University. She has conducted numerous epidemiologic, surveillance, behavioral, and economic studies and has authored over 130 scientific publications.

Office of Science Deputy Director for Strategy and Implementation
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.

CDC Scientific Integrity Officer, Research Integrity Officer, and Chief Science and Medical Advisor of the Office of Science
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 of Policy
Maryam Daneshvar

Elizabeth Hoo, PhD, MPH

Elizabeth Hoo, PhD, MPH is the Associate Director for Policy in CDC’s Office of Science. Dr. Hoo previously served as the Special Assistant (SA) to the CDC Principal Deputy Director (PDD) in the Office of the Director where she oversaw the coordination of multiple high-profile events for the PDD including House and Senate briefings, engagement with the Congressional Black Caucus, and press conferences with POTUS and the HHS Secretary. Dr. Hoo was also instrumental in re-establishing the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) and supporting the Diversity and Inclusion Executive Steering Committee (DIESC) launch.

Prior to her role as a Special Assistant, Dr. Hoo served as the Winnable Battles Policy Lead in the Program Performance and Evaluation Office (PPEO) for four years. In this role, Dr. Hoo worked closely with CDC leadership, CIOs, and program subject matter experts (SMEs) to identify and implement Winnable Battle priorities and work with partner organizations such as the National Conference of State Legislators and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials to identify opportunities for policy change to advance winnable battle priorities. Prior to becoming the Winnable Battles Policy Lead, Dr. Hoo served as an Account Manager in PPEO working with CIOs on program performance through processes such as the annual budget submission, Quarterly Program Reviews (QPR), Healthy People, GPRA, and PART.

Dr. Hoo is a graduate of the Public Health Prevention Service, under which she completed a two-year field assignment with the Kentucky Department for Public Health where she led the development and implementation of a lead abatement and healthy homes hazard reduction program for low-income families. Dr. Hoo received her PhD in Public Health from Walden University and her MPH from Armstrong Atlantic State University. Before joining CDC, she served eight years in the United States Army Reserve.

Director of the Office of Science Quality
Maryam Daneshvar

Bao-Ping Zhu, MD, PhD, MS

Bao-Ping Zhu, MD, PhD, MS is the Director of the Office of Science Quality in CDC’s Office of Science.

Dr. Bao-Ping Zhu, MD, PhD, MS (EIS ’96) is a medical epidemiologist with extensive domestic and international experience in public health. He first joined CDC as an EIS officer in 1996 and, since that time, has held multiple scientific leadership positions with CDC, state health departments, and other public health organizations. Prior to his most recent position as Director of Quality Performance Management and Research Programs at the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, Dr. Zhu served as Resident Advisor for CDC’s Advanced Field Epidemiology Training Programs in Uganda, Turkey, and China. He has also served as the Missouri State Epidemiologist, CDC State Assignee in Michigan, and a Principal Research Scientist for the Battelle Memorial Institute.

Dr. Zhu has conducted extensive epidemiologic research on infectious diseases, chronic diseases, cancer, maternal and child health, environmental and occupational health, food intoxication, tobacco use, and neglected tropical diseases. He has authored more than 120 scientific publications, including peer-reviewed articles and several book and monograph chapters.

Dr. Zhu received his medical degree from Anhui Medical University in China, his doctorate in epidemiology from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, a Master of Science degree in biostatistics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and post-doctoral research training in epidemiology and biostatistics at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) in France. He has received numerous awards for his research and service, including the CDC Director’s Award for Excellence in Epidemiology and Public Health Response, the William H. Foege Award, the Jeffrey P. Koplan Award, and the Young Professional of the Year Award by the American Public Health Association/MCH Section.

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

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.


Page last reviewed: February 20, 2020
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