Leadership in Unprecedented Times
When Dr. Rochelle Walensky joined the Centers for Disease Control as Director in 2021, she took on the intense challenge of leading the nation – and the world – through one of the direst public health crises in recent memory. With unparalleled tenacity, resilience, and commitment, Dr. Walensky shaped the nation’s response to the pandemic, and shares her vision for leadership in this compelling and inspiration talk.
The Future of Public Health
In this talk, former CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky discusses the domestic and global challenges facing governments, health officials, and leaders working to protect the public health. Having led the CDC during one of the most intense public health crises in recent memory, Dr. Walensky delivers a high-level assessment of the possibility of future pandemics, disease surveillance, environmental health, and more.
The Health Threats of Our Changing Climate
In this compelling talk, Dr. Rochelle Walensky reveals how our changing climate represents one of the greatest challenges to health for the 21st century. While changing weather patterns and rising temperatures will result in increased risks of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, food insecurity, and threats to mental health and wellbeing, there is much we can do to prepare. Dr. Walensky shares leading edge ideas for the urgent steps needed to develop effective, long-term, and sustainable climate health action.
Disruptive Innovation in Health Systems
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, former CDC director, expands on the internal improvements to the CDC’s structures, systems, and processes during her tenure. She delivers insights into healthcare management innovation as well as the implementation of new data collection and reporting processes at scale.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the former chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, was named the 19th director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). She graduated high school from Winston Churchill High School in 1987 and in 1991, she received a B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Washington University in St. Louis.
In 1995, Walensky received an M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and also trained in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1995 to 1998.
She later became a fellow in the Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program.
In 2001, Walensky earned an MPH in clinical effectiveness from the Harvard School of Public Health.
She has worked to improve HIV screening and care in South Africa, led health policy initiatives, and researched clinical trial design and evaluation in a variety of settings
Walensky had been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School since 2001, first as an instructor and later worked as a professor.
She was a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2012 to 2020 and served as chief of the division of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2017 to 2020.
Walensky was chair of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health from 2014 to 2015.
She has also been a member of the US Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents since 2011.
Walensky was co-director of the Medical Practice Evaluation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2011-2020.
On December 7, 2020, during the presidential transition, President-elect Joe Biden announced Walensky’s presumptive appointment as CDC director.
As the position of director of the CDC does not require Senate confirmation to take office, Walensky’s tenure at the CDC began on January 20, 2021.
Walensky became the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.