Thomas Frieden

Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., became Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June 2009. He has worked to control communicable and non-communicable diseases in the United States and globally. From 1992-1996, he led New York City’s program that rapidly controlled tuberculosis and reduced multidrug-resistant cases by 80 percent. Frieden then worked in India for five years helping establish a tuberculosis control program that has saved more than 2.5 million lives. While he was Commissioner of the New York City Health Department (2002-2009), adult and teen smoking declined dramatically and New York City became first in the United States to eliminate trans-fats from restaurants, rigorously monitor the diabetes epidemic, and require certain restaurants to prominently post calorie information. The Department eliminated racial/ethnic disparities in colon cancer screening and established the country’s largest community-based electronic health records project. As CDC Director, Frieden emphasizes maximizing health impact by enhancing the CDC’s capacities in epidemiology, surveillance, and laboratory science; supporting state and local public health; improving global health; and using public health science to inform policies. Among other efforts, he champions key “winnable battles” in tobacco control, nutrition and food safety, health-care associated infections, HIV prevention, motor vehicle injury prevention, and teen pregnancy prevention. A graduate of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Mailman School of Public Health, Frieden completed infectious diseases training at Yale University and the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Frieden speaks Spanish and has published over 200 scientific articles.