Rochelle Walensky, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Rochelle Walensky

Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Rochelle Paula Walensky (nee Bersoff) was born in April 1959 in Peabody, Massachusetts. She earned an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She received an M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She earned an M.P.H. from Harvard School of Public Health.

She has been on the faculty at Harvard Medicinal School and served as the chief of the division of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was the chair of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health and served as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents.

Dr. Walensky was nominated by President Biden to be the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was confirmed by the Senate and began her tenure on January 20, 2021.

She is married to Loren S. Walensky and they have three sons. She is Jewish.

In the News…

Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has announced plans for an overhaul of the agency, citing its failure to meet expectations in its response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

She told staff at the agency that she had adopted recommendations from an internal review that will result in scientific findings being turned into health recommendations faster and improved communication with the public. 

“For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for COVID-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” Director Walensky stated. “My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness.” 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Dr. Walensky today? You can let her know at:

The Honorable Rochelle Walensky, Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329


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