The CLEAR VOICE AWARD honors an individual who has effectively communicated important health and science information to the public to contribute to the fight against COVID-19.
Anne Schuchat, MD, is currently the CDC principal deputy director, a role she has held since 2015. She served as acting CDC director from January-July 2017 and again from January – March 2018. She was the first director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases from 2006-2015.
Dr. Schuchat has played key roles in several CDC emergency responses including providing national and CDC leadership for both the U.S. outbreak of E-cigarette or Vaping Product Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) in 2019 and the COVID-19 global pandemic during 2020. She was CDC’s lead spokesperson on EVALI and conducted multiple media briefings and interviews, led public health partner calls and testified at several congressional briefings. For the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Schuchat served as CDC’s Incident Manager full time from March 20 – May 1, and, sporadically, served as Global Migration Task Force Lead including during the evacuation of the Diamond Princess passengers for repatriation in February. She served as Chief Health Officer for CDC’s 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza response; led the CDC team responding to the SARS outbreak in Beijing in 2003; and supported the Washington D.C. field team during the 2001 bioterrorist anthrax response.
Globally, Dr. Schuchat has worked in West Africa on meningitis, pneumonia, and Ebola vaccine trials; in South Africa on surveillance and prevention projects and represented technical and health research institutes as a member of the GAVI Alliance board. Other CDC leadership posts include acting director of the Center for Global Health (2012-13) and the National Center for Infectious Diseases (2005) as well as Chief of the Respiratory Diseases Branch (1998-2005). Dr. Schuchat was the initial medical director of ABCs – the Active Bacterial Core surveillance of the Emerging Infections Program Network and spearheaded the prevention of newborn infection from group B streptococcal disease in the 1990s. She was promoted to Rear Admiral in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service in 2006 and earned a second star in 2010 before retiring in 2018. Dr. Schuchat was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) in 2008.
She has authored or co-authored more than 230 scientific articles, book chapters, and reviews. Her contributions have been recognized by receipt of USPHS Distinguished Service Medal and Meritorious Service Medals, the Council on State and Territorial Epidemiologists Pump Handle Award, the USPHS Health Leader of the Year, the American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Section Landmark Award, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases John P. Utz Leadership Award and an Honorary Doctorate in Science from Swarthmore College. Dr. Schuchat graduated with highest honors from Swarthmore College and with honors from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She completed her residency and chief residency in internal medicine at NYU’s Manhattan VA Hospital.
She joined CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer in 1988. Dr. Schuchat played key roles in CDC emergency responses including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza response, the 2003 SARS outbreak in Beijing, and the 2001 bioterrorist anthrax response. Globally, she has worked on meningitis, pneumonia and Ebola vaccine trials in West Africa, and conducted surveillance and prevention projects in South Africa.
Dr. Schuchat graduated from Swarthmore College and Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine and completed her residency and chief residency in internal medicine at NYU’s Manhattan VA Hospital. Upon completing 30 years of service in 2018, Dr. Schuchat retired from the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service at the rank of Rear Admiral.
Dr. Anne Schuchat recently joined an alliance member webinar in which she provided a clear-eyed and cogent overview of the CDC’s all-consuming efforts against COVID-19. Watch it here.