President Obama Appoints Dr. Thomas Frieden as CDC Director
Applauds Acting Director Besser’s leadership on H1N1 flu response; Dr. Besser will continue to lead CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response
WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced that he has appointed Dr. Thomas Frieden, currently Commissioner of the New York City Health Department, as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
President Obama also announced that Acting CDC Director Dr. Rich Besser, who has led the CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response for the past four years, will continue in this role.
President Obama said, “America relies on a strong public health system and the work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is critical to our mission to preserve and protect the health and safety of our citizens. Dr. Frieden is an expert in preparedness and response to health emergencies, and has been at the forefront of the fight against heart disease, cancer and obesity, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS, and in the establishment of electronic health records. Dr. Frieden has been a leader in the fight for health care reform, and his experiences confronting public health challenges in our country and abroad will be essential in this new role.”
President Obama added, “Secretary Sebelius and I thank Acting CDC Director Dr. Rich Besser and the women and men throughout the CDC for their superb work, especially over the past weeks. Dr. Besser has led the CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response for the past four years, and those preparations were essential during the recent H1N1 flu detection and response activities. We are very pleased he will continue in that role.”
Frieden will begin his work at the CDC in early June.