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Biden Expected to Nominate Mandy Cohen MD, MPH as CDC Director
President Biden is expected to nominate longtime federal and state health official Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, departs at the end of June. For the past year, Dr. Cohen, an internal medicine physician, has been CEO of Maryland-based Aledade Health Solutions. Dr. Cohen spent five years as North Carolina’s health secretary, helping the state pass Medicaid expansion and leading it through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Cohen also served in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the Obama administration, helping to set up the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges.

If appointed, Dr. Cohen would inherit an agency in the midst of assessing its COVID-19 response, including criticisms of testing and masking guidance.
Unlike the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration or the director of the National Institutes of Health, the position of CDC director previously did not require Senate confirmation. However, the omnibus Prevent Pandemics Act that passed Congress in December 2022 requires, effective 2024, that CDC directors now be confirmed by the Senate. This requirement will not apply to nominee Dr. Cohen if she takes office before 2024.

“As the CDC plays a crucial role in fighting respiratory diseases and funding cutting-edge research that is of vital importance to the ATS, we look forward to the possibility of collaborating with Dr. Cohen on addressing ongoing public health issues important to our community,” says Indu Ayappa, PhD, vice chair of the ATS Research Advocacy Committee.
Last Reviewed: June 2023