Contagious Conversations: Nine Lessons for the Next Generation


As we look toward the future, are there no more important goals than solving global health challenges as well as creating positive change for future generations? In the latest episode of our Contagious Conversations podcast, we focus on how we can achieve these goals and regain a unified vision of public health.

For this episode, I was pleased to be joined by Dr. Bill Foege and Dr. Mark Rosenberg. Dr. Foege is a renowned physician and epidemiologist well known for his contributions to the eradication of smallpox in the late 1970s. A former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Foege has spent his career championing the science and management of vaccines and vaccination. 

Dr. Rosenberg is a physician-scientist trained in infectious diseases, psychiatry and public health who served as the founding director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and as the U.S. assistant surgeon general. From 2000–2016, he was also president and CEO of The Task Force for Global Health, which has been instrumental in providing people in the developing world with greater access to vaccines and critical medicines.
Through The Center for Global Health Innovation, Drs. Foege and Rosenberg co-developed a project called Becoming Better Ancestors™, dedicated to solving global health concerns and creating positive change for future generations. This effort is premiering a free, original virtual series and curriculum called “9 Lessons to Change the World.” Based on lessons learned from the successful effort to eradicate smallpox, the curriculum focuses on nine simple, proven and reliable ways to approach global health threats, and features interviews with key global health leaders and changemakers. The complete virtual learning series and curriculum are now live at

In this podcast episode, I discuss these nine lessons with these two public health legends. We explore how the lessons were applied (or not) to the COVID-19 response; what it will take for global public health to stay ahead of future public health threats; and what it means to become a better ancestor. 

I encourage everyone to tune in to this episode and learn more about the role these lessons can play in helping public health professionals address future health threats to humanity. 

Judy Monroe
Judy Monroe, MD, is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.