Former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden Joins CFR as Senior Fellow for Global Health

March 3, 2020
1:10 pm (EST)

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The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) welcomes physician and thought leader Dr. Tom Frieden to its David Rockefeller Studies Program as a senior fellow for global health.

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A recognized global health expert, Frieden served as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2009–2017 and commissioner of the New York City Health Department from 2002–2009. Frieden is a physician with advanced training in internal medicine, infectious disease, public health, and epidemiology.

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At CFR, Frieden will contribute to the work of the Global Health program and CFR’s new website, Think Global Health.

Frieden is also president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies. Resolve focuses on preventing epidemics and cardiovascular disease, launched with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

At CDC, Frieden led the work that helped to end the Ebola epidemic and launched a global initiative to prevent heart attacks and strokes. He also accelerated progress to address the epidemic of opioid use. As New York City health commissioner, he helped to increase life expectancy in the city by three years and prevent more than one hundred thousand deaths from smoking, and spurred action on public health problems including HIV, tobacco control, and nutrition, as well as the integration of health care and public health. 

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He also served as the first director of international health programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies, where he designed and launched the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, a program that has prevented more than thirty-five million deaths around the world.

Frieden earned his medical and public health degrees from Columbia University and completed an infectious disease fellowship at Yale University.

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Follow Frieden on Twitter at

To request an interview with Frieden, please contact the Global Communications and Media Relations team at 212.434.9888 or [email protected].

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