Playing the role of CDC Director
Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer,
Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy, and Population Health
Merck & Co., Inc.
Former CDC Director
Dr. Julie Gerberding is Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy, and Population Health at Merck & Co., Inc., where she also has responsibility for the Merck for Mothers program and the Merck Foundation. As Chief Patient Officer, Dr. Gerberding leads efforts to engage with patients and patient organizations to bring their perspectives into Merck and MSD to help inform company decisions, and she represents Merck globally on patient-related matters. In addition, she is building new initiatives designed to accelerate Merck’s ability to contribute to improved population health, a measure increasingly valued by consumers, health organizations, and communities.
As a world-renowned infectious disease and public health expert, Dr. Gerberding is a leader well-versed in and passionate about acting with purpose and urgency to meet patient needs. She joined Merck in January 2010 as president of Merck Vaccines and, during her leadership of that business, helped make the company’s vaccines increasingly more available and affordable to people in emerging markets and some of the most resource-limited countries in the world. Dr. Gerberding also helped lead the successful launch in India of the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, a not-for-profit joint venture for vaccine development. In 1998, she left her tenured academic faculty appointment at the University of California, San Francisco, to lead the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion and then served as the CDC Director from 2002 to 2009.
As director, Dr. Gerberding led the CDC through more than 40 emergency responses to public health crises, including anthrax bioterrorism, SARS, and natural disasters. She also advised governments around the world on urgent issues such as pandemic preparedness, AIDS, antimicrobial resistance, tobacco, and cancer. At the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. Gerberding directed the Prevention Epicenter, a multidisciplinary research, training, and clinical service program that focused on the prevention of infections in patients and their healthcare providers.
Dr. Gerberding received her undergraduate and MD degrees from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine and fellowship in clinical pharmacology and infectious diseases at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she is currently an Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine in Infectious Diseases. Dr. Gerberding received a master’s of public health degree at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American College of Physicians, and is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases.
Dr. Gerberding currently serves on the boards of Cerner Corporation, CWRU, MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, and the BIO Executive Committee. She has received more than 50 awards and honors, including the US Department of Health and Human Services Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in responses to anthrax bioterrorism and the September 11, 2001, attacks. She was named to Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the World from 2005 through 2008 and to TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2004.