Dr. Mandy Cohen, a distinguished former North Carolina official, has been appointed as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to an announcement by the White House on Friday, Your Content has learned.
In a departure from the previous leadership, Dr. Cohen brings extensive experience in running government agencies, having served as the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services from 2017 until last year.
Her impressive background includes significant health-related roles at federal agencies, making her one of the nation’s top physicians and health leaders.
President Joe Biden expressed his confidence in Dr. Cohen, stating, “Dr. Cohen is known for her exceptional leadership skills in managing large and complex organizations, with a proven track record of safeguarding the health and safety of Americans.”
Dr. Cohen’s appointment follows the departure of Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the previous CDC director. Dr. Walensky, a former infectious disease expert at Harvard Medical School, assumed the position in 2021 amid the ongoing pandemic.
In her tenure, Dr. Walensky initiated a reorganization effort to enhance the agency’s responsiveness and improve communication.
The CDC, responsible for protecting the American population from disease outbreaks and other public health threats, has faced challenges and a decline in public trust in recent years.
Factors contributing to this erosion include missteps in handling the COVID-19 crisis, political attacks, and the spread of misinformation.
Dr. Cohen, 44, has a compelling background that led to her selection. Raised in Long Island, New York, with her mother working as a nurse practitioner, she earned her medical degree from Yale and a master’s in public health from Harvard.
She has also been an advocate for healthcare, co-founding Doctors for America, an organization focused on expanding health insurance coverage and addressing racial and ethnic disparities.
Her journey in public service began in 2008 at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where she held the role of deputy director for women’s health services.
Over the years, she progressed through various federal positions, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where she served as the chief operating officer.
In 2017, Dr. Cohen took on the crucial health and human services job in North Carolina, becoming a prominent advisor to Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she assumed a pivotal role in the state’s response, effectively communicating risks and precautions while advocating for mask-wearing, hand hygiene, and maintaining physical distance.
Her efforts earned her the nickname “3 W’s lady” among residents.
Dr. Cohen’s decision not to support President Donald Trump’s call for a full-capacity Republican convention without mask requirements further demonstrated her commitment to public health.
Although her office accommodated the event by adjusting the indoor gathering limit, adherence to mask-wearing and social distancing remained non-negotiable.
Ultimately, Trump relocated the main convention events from Charlotte.
Having resigned from her state post in late 2021 to prioritize family time and explore new opportunities, Dr. Cohen assumed a leadership role at Aledade Inc., a reputable Maryland-based consulting company.
As the incoming CDC director, Dr. Mandy Cohen brings a wealth of expertise and a strong dedication to public health.
Her appointment marks a significant milestone for the CDC and holds promise for restoring public trust and bolstering the agency’s efforts in protecting Americans’ well-being, according AP News.