CDC Foundation Announces New Tom Frieden Future Leaders Fund

The CDC Foundation today announced a new Tom Frieden Future Leaders Fund that aims to strengthen and enhance programs focused on developing future public health leaders. The fund honors CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., for his long career of dedicated service to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and recognizes his profound impact on the health, safety and security of America and communities worldwide.  The CDC Foundation is providing an initial lead gift of $20,000 to encourage additional support from individuals, philanthropies and the private sector.

"Tom Frieden has led CDC through some of the world’s most complex public health crises, including the recent response to Ebola and Zika, as well as health threats from smoking to cardiovascular disease to birth defects. His commitment to rigorous science and willingness to confront dangerous threats on many fronts inspires public health professionals everywhere,” said CDC Foundation Board Chair Doug Nelson. “We are pleased to honor Dr. Frieden’s remarkable public health leadership and vision through this fund that will help future leaders protect the health of America and the world."

The Tom Frieden Future Leaders Fund will build on Dr. Frieden’s life-saving legacy by enhancing and amplifying the impact of three programs that represent some of Dr. Frieden’s passions: the Public Health Associate Program (PHAP), the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) and the Laboratory Leadership Service (LLS) fellowship program. The fund will help fill existing gaps, increase impact and facilitate innovative opportunities in areas including enhancing program curricula and recruitment efforts; enabling involvement in emerging outbreaks for EIS teams; engaging additional expert faculty; and increasing partnerships to connect graduates with public health job needs.

  • PHAP is a competitive, two-year, paid training program that assigns associates to public health agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the United States and U.S. territories to work alongside other professionals across a variety of public health settings.
  • EIS officers are boots-on-the-ground disease detectives who support more than 100 public health investigations each year in the United States and worldwide.
  • The LLS fellowship program prepares early-career laboratory scientists to become future public health laboratory leaders. Formed under Dr. Frieden’s leadership, the inaugural class of seven LLS fellows began in July 2015.

Notably, the United States is experiencing a public health workforce crisis. Some estimates indicate that 250,000 more public health workers are needed to maintain current capacity.

During his nearly eight-year tenure as CDC director, Dr. Frieden has worked to control health threats from infectious diseases, respond to emergencies and battle the leading causes of suffering and death in our nation and around the world. Among his many achievements, Dr. Frieden served as a CDC EIS officer from 1990 to 1992, conducting many epidemiologic investigations, including outbreaks of measles, typhoid, cryptosporidium and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. From 1992 to 1996, as a CDC assignee, he led New York City’s program that rapidly controlled tuberculosis, including reducing cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis by 80 percent.  While working in India for five years as a CDC assignee to the World Health Organization, he assisted with national tuberculosis control efforts. The program in India has treated more than 10 million patients and has saved more than three million lives. Also, as Commissioner of the New York City Health Department from 2002 to 2009, prior to his role as CDC director, Dr. Frieden directed the city’s effort that reduced the number of smokers by 350,000, and reduced teen smoking by half.