Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, became Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in June 2009. Previously, he served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since January 2002. One of the world′s oldest and largest public health agencies, the department has an annual budget of $1.7 billion and more than 6,000 staff. During his tenure, the number of smokers declined by 350,000, teen smoking decreased by half, and New York City became the first place in the United States to eliminate trans-fats from restaurants, rigorously monitor the diabetes epidemic, and require certain restaurants to post calorie information prominently. Under Dr. Frieden′s leadership, the department established the largest community electronic health records project in the country. Dr. Frieden also chairs the New York City Board of Health.
A physician with training in internal medicine, infectious diseases, public health, and epidemiology, Dr. Frieden is especially known for his expertise in tuberculosis control. Dr. Frieden worked for CDC from 1990 until 2002. He began his career at CDC as an Epidemiologic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the New York City Health Department. In that role, he led a program that rapidly reduced tuberculosis, including reducing cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, by 80 percent. He then worked in India for five years where he assisted with national tuberculosis control efforts. The program in India has now treated more than 10 million patients and has saved more than one million lives. Dr. Frieden also served as Director of the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control and Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Health Department from 1992 to 1996.
Dr. Frieden speaks Spanish and graduated from Oberlin College. He received both his medical degree and master′s of public health degree from Columbia University and completed infectious disease training at Yale University. He has received numerous awards and honors and has published about 200 scientific articles.