Dr. Julie Gerberding Named Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

North Bethesda, MD, March 1, 2022 – The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) today announced the appointment of Dr. Julie Louise Gerberding, the 15th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an executive at Merck & Co., Inc., as its next Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Gerberding joins the FNIH Board of Directors on March 1 before assuming the chief executive role on May 16.

“The Board sought a visionary, trailblazing leader, and I am tremendously excited we have found that person in Julie Gerberding,” said Steven M. Paul, M.D., Chairman of the FNIH Board of Directors. “The FNIH has generated terrific momentum collaborating with the NIH, other government agencies, and the private sector to deliver breakthrough biomedical research discoveries. Julie’s incredible accomplishments and mix of biomedical and health sciences acumen, strategic outlook, and executive management ability make her the ideal person to lead the Foundation as we urgently seek new ways to prevent and treat disease and improve the quality of people’s lives.”

“It is hard to imagine a more accomplished and respected public health leader than Julie Gerberding at the helm of FNIH,” said Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., Acting Director of the National Institutes of Health. “The Foundation has been a critical partner to NIH in addressing some of the most vexing health challenges of our times. I am excited to work closely with Julie to make even more progress to achieve our shared mission to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness.”

Dr. Gerberding currently serves as Chief Patient Officer and Executive Vice President, Population Health & Sustainability at Merck, where she is responsible for patient engagement, corporate social responsibility, and other functions. She previously headed Merck’s Vaccines division from 2010-2014.

Dr. Gerberding served as CDC Director from 2002-2009 and was the first woman to hold the position. She is credited with expanding the agency’s scientific agenda and maintaining its reputation as America’s most trusted government agency while managing the response to dozens of public health emergencies including avian influenza and SARS-CoV-1. A leading voice for patient safety and empowerment, Dr. Gerberding has created programs addressing antimicrobial resistance, infection prevention, and medical error reduction in healthcare settings. Her distinguished career has earned her global recognition: she has been included in Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the World, Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year, and was the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s Woman of the Year in 2018. She has also received the Department of Health and Human Services Distinguished Service Award and the United States Public Health Service Surgeon General’s Leadership Medal, among others.

Prior to joining the CDC, Dr. Gerberding was a tenured member of the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she completed her residency and fellowship in infectious disease and clinical pharmacology, and then established the UCSF Prevention Epicenter, a multi-disciplinary research, teaching, and clinical care center at San Francisco General Hospital.

Dr. Gerberding received her undergraduate and M.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University and a Masters of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.  She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Public Administrators and serves on several corporate boards of directors.

I am delighted and privileged to be the next CEO of the FNIH and appreciate the confidence of the Board and of NIH leadership. I was drawn to the opportunity to lead the Foundation because of its pioneering work to bring together the public and private sectors to improve health outcomes. As we work to emerge from the pandemic, America needs a fully empowered NIH, and NIH needs a fully energized FNIH as its partner. From countering the ongoing threat of SARS-CoV-2 to advancing our knowledge of biomedical science to accelerating the development of better treatments for many serious diseases there is great work to be done. I am excited to begin this journey with colleagues new and old.”

David Wholley, who has served as Interim President and Executive Director of FNIH since September 2021, will continue to lead the Foundation until May 16. “The Board is extremely grateful for David’s leadership during this transition,” said Dr. Paul.


Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Gerberding is currently Chief Patient Officer and Executive Vice President, Population Health & Sustainability at Merck & Co., Inc. She is responsible for patient engagement, corporate social responsibility, Environmental/Social/Governance issues, and other functions. Formerly, Dr. Gerberding oversaw Global Public Policy and Strategic Communications for the company. She joined Merck in 2010 as President of Merck Vaccines and was instrumental in increasing access to the company’s vaccines to people around the world.

Previously, Dr. Gerberding was Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she led the agency through 40 emergency responses to public health crises, including the SARS-CoV-1 outbreak.  She serves on the boards of Cerner Corporation, Case Western Reserve University, AfterNext HealthTech, and HilleVax. She also co-chairs the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

Dr. Gerberding received her undergraduate and M.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University and a Masters of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology and Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, where she is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine.

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
The FNIH creates and manages alliances with public and private institutions in support of the mission of the NIH. The FNIH works with its partners to accelerate biomedical research and strategies against diseases and health concerns in the United States and across the globe. Established by Congress in 1990, the FNIH is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For additional information about the FNIH, please visit https://fnih.org.

Back To News