Alumnus Richards takes new position at CDC, will give keynote at School’s informatics conference

Aug. 27, 2013
Chesley Richards, MD, MPH, alumnus of the Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been appointed director of the Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Richards, who earned a Master of Public Health in health policy and administration from the School in 1997, has had a long career in public health, health-care systems, clinical and academic medicine, and prevention leadership.

One of his first presentations in the new position will be the keynote address at the School’s upcoming Public Health Informatics workshop on Sept. 24. Learn more about that event, “Public Health Informatics: Science to Practice with Transdiciplinary Collaboration,” on the School’s website.

Prior to the new appointment, Richards served, beginning in August 2012, as director of CDC’s Immunization Services Division, part of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). From 2010 to 2012, he was founding director of the CDC’s Office of Prevention through Health Care. From 1992 to 1996, he was chief of the General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics section at the Medical College of Georgia.
Richards was a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services team that developed the National Quality Strategy. He has worked extensively with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Food and Drug Administration, National Quality Forum, Agency for Health-care Research and Quality, and is well known for his insights into implementation of health care reform and interagency and public-private partnerships on quality improvement.
Richards received a medical degree from Medical University of South Carolina in 1987, and was resident and fellow, respectively, at the Medical College of Georgia and Emory University. He completed undergraduate studies at Presbyterian College in South Carolina.

Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or