From her days as a young scientist at the University of California, San Francisco while AIDS unfolded to her 6.5 years as the first woman director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Julie Gerberding has provided effective leadership and a calming voice to the public during more than 40 public health emergencies—including the anthrax attacks of 2001, SARS, and avian influenza. As Director of the CDC, she successfully faced the challenge of balancing the need to address urgent realities—like obesity, tobacco use, and diabetes—with preparedness for new urgent threats. She is internationally recognized as a consistent champion for the science, policies, and practices that protect health—through promotion of healthy lifestyles, prevention of diseases and injuries, and preparedness for emergencies. Her own experiences, in committing CDC to be the “exemplar” of a healthy, safe, and sustainable work environment, while at the same time managing a dramatic expansion in its mission, resources, and global reach in more than 40 countries, is a great resource for organizations undergoing similar complex changes in the small world of global threats to health and economic success.
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