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Craig Thomas, PhD

Photo: Craig Thomas, PhD

Director, Division of Public Health Performance Improvement

Current Role

As director of the Division of Public Health Performance Improvement within CDC’s Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, Craig Thomas, PhD, develops and leads a division focused on providing guidance and strategic direction on a system of performance and accountability to improve state, tribal, local, and territorial public health performance and health outcomes.


Dr. Thomas joined CDC in 1998, where he has supported the planning, development, and management of public health programs and evaluation projects at the national, state, and local levels. For the past four years, Dr. Thomas served as the chief of the Outcome Monitoring and Evaluation Branch in the Division of State and Local Readiness (DSLR), Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR). In this role, he was responsible for planning and directing program measurement and evaluation activities in support of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program. During this time, he also served as acting associate director for science for OPHPR, as well as acting director for DSLR.

Prior to his work in emergency preparedness, Dr. Thomas served as lead for developing and implementing the Program Evaluation and Monitoring System to support CDC-funded HIV prevention programs in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. He also worked in the Epidemiology Program Office, where he was responsible for developing and managing evaluation and health services research projects to support the implementation of published findings from the Guide to Community Preventive Services.


Dr. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of California Irvine, his master’s degree in experimental psychology from California State University Fullerton, and his doctor of philosophy degree in social psychology from the Claremont Graduate University with an emphasis in applied research methods, performance measurement, and program evaluation. He has more than 15 years of professional experience in the planning, design, and implementation of public health research projects and program evaluation initiatives, resulting in publications and abstracts in the areas of mental health, tobacco prevention and control, public health emergency preparedness, and the prevention of HIV, STDs, and unintended pregnancy.