Director of the Centers for Disease Control
Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Rochelle Walensky

Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Manages the CDC’s mission to monitor and respond to threats to public health and safety, including from international sources.

Dr. Walensky taught at Harvard Medical School and was the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been influential in advancing international health policy toward the promotion of HIV treatment as prevention, conducting research on HIV/AIDs with an emphasis on equity and access to treatment. Dr. Walensky’s work has been recognized internationally for advancing effective and efficient strategies of HIV care in South Africa. She has conducted additional research on gender parity in clinical trials, COVID-19 and vaccine accessibility, SARS, and the cost-effectiveness of vaccines. Dr. Walensky has also served as an advisor to the WHO and UNAIDS.

Past statements on global health and development

On the global fight against HIV and AIDs: Dr. Walensky spoke to the incredible cooperation the global community has demonstrated in fighting HIV/AIDs and reiterated the importance of continuing this invaluable work, saying, “HIV has inspired tremendous global solidarity among governments, scientists, and community activists… The progress we’ve made in 20 years is unprecedented, but we cannot stop now.”

On the International Affairs Budget: In 2017, Dr. Walensky pushed back against a U.S. budget proposal that suggested reducing foreign aid by one-third, which would have affected the more than $6.7 billion earmarked for HIV/AIDs research, prevention and treatment, stating: “[HIV/AIDs] is not an epidemic we can kick down the road and think it will go away. Loss of investment now will mean bigger problems and price tags later.”