Keynote Session

Dr. Frieden 021F - 09062PHigh Res

Global Health Security: Our Unique Window of Opportunity and Critical Responsibility

Monday, February 8 | 5:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH

Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The world is better prepared to find and stop emerging health threats than at any time in history, yet paradoxically is also at greater risk for rapid  spread of infectious diseases. The West Africa Ebola epidemic showed that we were less prepared than we thought we were and needed to be. This wake-up call highlights the importance of strengthening global health security so that every country has sustainable capacity to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks. One of our greatest risks comes from antimicrobial resistance, where antibiotics are no longer effective and simple infections once again become as deadly as they were a century ago. New technologies such as advanced molecular detection allow us to work faster and smarter, and are a critical supplement to a continued focus on fundamental public health principles.

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, is director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our nation’s health protection agency. Since 2009, Dr. Frieden has intensified CDC’s 24/7 work to protect people from health threats – preventing foodborne and healthcare-associated infections, helping Americans quit smoking, combating anti-microbial resistance, and extending life-saving treatment and disease prevention in more than 50 countries.

As New York City Health Commissioner  from 2002-2009, Dr. Frieden helped reduce smoking, eliminate artificial trans fats from restaurants, eliminate colon cancer screening disparities, and initiate the country’s largest community-based electronic health records project.  

From 1992-1996, he led New York City’s tuberculosis control program that reduced multidrug-resistant cases by 80 percent. Dr. Frieden then worked in India helping build a tuberculosis control program that has saved three million lives.

Dr. Frieden received medical and public health degrees from Columbia University and infectious diseases training at Yale University. He started his CDC career as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and has written more than 200 scientific publications. Learn more at and follow Dr. Frieden on Twitter (@DrFriedenCDC).