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Caitlin Rivers, PhD, MPH
Senior Scholar, Assistant Professor

Epidemiology outbreak science disease modeling

Caitlin Rivers, PhD, MPH
Caitlin Rivers, PhD, MPH

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Professional Profile

Dr. Rivers is currently seconded to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she is serving as the Associate Director of the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics.  She will return to her role at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in July 2022. 

Dr. Rivers is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on improving public health preparedness and response, particularly by improving capabilities for “outbreak science” and infectious disease modeling to support public health decision making.

Dr. Rivers participated as author or contributor in influential reports that are guiding the US response to COVID-19, including National Coronavirus Response: A Roadmap to Reopening; A National COVID-19 Surveillance System: Achieving Containment; Filling in the Blanks: National Research Needs to Guide Decisions about Reopening Schools in the United States; and A National Plan to Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing in the US. She is the lead author on the report Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors, which is being used by the National Governors Association, the state of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to guide reopening plans. In May 2020, Dr. Rivers testified in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on the COVID-19 response.

Prior to joining the Center in 2017, Dr. Rivers worked as an epidemiologist for the US Army Public Health Center as a Department of Defense Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation Scholar. She also participated in a National Science and Technology Council Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science and Technology working group. Dr. Rivers serves as an Associate Editor of the journal Health Security.

Dr. Rivers has been awarded the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Faculty Award for Excellence in US Public Health Practice; the Department of the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service; and a Department of Defense Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Research Transformation Scholarship. In 2015, she received a PhD in genetics, bioinformatics, and computational biology from Virginia Tech. Her doctoral research focused on computational epidemiology, specifically modeling emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza A (H7N9), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and Ebola virus disease for public health support using nontraditional, publicly available sources of data. She also received an MPH with a concentration in infectious disease from Virginia Tech in 2013 and a BA in anthropology from the University of New Hampshire in 2011.


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