Sara Patterson, MA, Director

Sara Patterson

Sara Patterson is the Director of CDC’s Program Performance and Evaluation Office (PPEO), which helps CDC programs and external partners achieve the greatest possible health impact. PPEO works across CDC to help programs with strategy, development of funding announcements, performance improvement, and program evaluation. PPEO serves as a liaison for the Director and Deputy Director to guide and advance the work of programs, connecting programs with Office of the Director resources and relationships.

Prior to this role, Sara served as Deputy Chief of Staff for CDC on an interim basis, where she provided strategic advice to the Director and ensured proactive coordination of agency-wide priorities and policies in support of CDC’s mission. The Office of the Chief of Staff strengthens linkages and collaboration across the agency and with external stakeholders, enhances the management of information within the agency, and proactively identifies and resolves key issues.

Sara served as the Associate Director for Policy at CDC’s Injury Center where she oversaw policy and partnership activities to increase the visibility of injury as a critical public health issue and to reduce the burden of injuries and violence. She was with the Injury Center from 2007-2018, having originally joined the organization as the Deputy Director of the Office of Policy and Partnerships. Sara’s primary roles included overseeing congressional relations, managing cross cutting and strategic partnerships, and leading health policy efforts for the center.

Sara began her career at CDC in 2002 as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Financial Management Office (now Office of Financial Resources), focusing on congressional relations, budget and policy development, and performance management. She also served as a Presidential Management Fellow at CDC. Prior to her arrival at CDC, she worked on state-level policy with Kids PEPP (Public Education and Policy Project) for the Ounce of Prevention Fund in Chicago, a state-level organization specializing in legislative and policy issues related to children ages 0-3. Sara also worked for the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, providing trauma counseling and case management services for refugees in Amman, Jordan.

Sara acquired her master’s in social work from the University of Chicago with a concentration in public policy and management. She holds a bachelor’s from Nebraska Wesleyan University in psychology and religion.