Dr. Cynthia Whitney is Professor in the Global Health Department of the Rollins School of Public Health. She is also the Executive Director and Principal Investigator of CHAMPS. In this leadership role, she oversees Program Office functionalities and works to ensure success of the network’s strategic objectives. Whitney joined CHAMPS as a Senior Advisor in 2018 after 25 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she worked as an epidemiologist, team lead, and branch chief, focused on respiratory infections, surveillance, outbreak response, and vaccine policy development and evaluation. She completed her medical degree at the University of Minnesota (1990), as well as her master’s in public health at Harvard University (1996). She completed medical residencies in Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota’s program and in Preventive Medicine through CDC. 


  • Authored more than 250 published scientific articles on topics such as pneumococcal disease epidemiology, drug resistance, respiratory disease, neonatal sepsis and disease outbreaks 
  • Senior Advisor to CHAMPS and an investigator at the Emory Hope Clinic 
  • Frequent consultant to the World Health Organization and other bilateral and multilateral groups 
  • Leader for CDC-wide emergency response task forces for SARS, Ebola in West Africa, and pandemic influenza 
  • Globally recognized as a public health leader and researcher with deep experience in infectious disease research and surveillance 
  • Serves on multiple advisory boards and study committees and is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 


    • Identifying Maternal and child health disparities 
    • Developing vaccine policy 
    • Studying barriers to vaccine uptake 
    • Prioritizing health care strategies to reduce childhood mortality 
    • Pathogens: SARS, Ebola, Influenza, Pneumonia 


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