Mass General’s Rochelle Walensky Chosen to Lead CDC

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President-elect Joe Biden selected Rochelle Walensky, chief of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, last week to run the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Walensky, who is also a professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an expert on AIDS and HIV, will replace Robert Redfield, who assumed the role of director in March 2018, and take a top role in helping the Biden administration curtail the coronavirus pandemic.

According to her online Mass General profile, Walensky’s research is focused on “model-based analyses of the cost-effectiveness of HIV testing, care, and prevention strategies to inform HIV/AIDS policy internationally and domestically.” She also serves as chairwoman of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council for the National Institutes of Health and as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents.

According to a profile on the Harvard website, Walensky received the Harvard Medical Young Mentor Award in 2010 and the A. Clifford Barger Mentoring Award in 2016. She received her bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1991, her M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1995, and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard School of Public Health in 2001.