Ruth Berkelman, M.D.

Ruth Berkelman, M.D., Assistant Surgeon General, US Public Health Service (retired), is a Rollins Professor Emerita of Epidemiology and Preparedness at Emory University. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, she is board certified in pediatrics and internal medicine. She began her public health career in 1980 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in infection control, then led the nation’s surveillance of HIV/AIDS, followed by appointment as Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at CDC. She led CDC’s initiative on emerging infectious diseases, and was recognized internationally in infectious disease surveillance. Following retirement from CDC, she established the Emory Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research with an endowed chair. She hosted numerous city-wide meetings on preparedness, participated in the Nunn Business Roundtable on preparedness, and conducted research and training in the fields of preparedness and infectious diseases. She has served on numerous national and international committees and boards related to infectious diseases and biodefense, including the HHS National Biodefense Science Board, the National Academy of Science (NAS) Board of Life Sciences, the Public and Scientific Affairs Board of the American Society of Microbiology, the National Academies’ Microbial Threats to Health Committee and Forum, and a Department of Homeland Security Committee on biodefense. From 2012-2018, she chaired CDC’s Board of Scientific Counselors for Infectious Diseases. She has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Microbiology and the American Epidemiologic Society. She currently is a member of the external advisory committees for the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida, the Center for Health and Well-being at Princeton University, and the NAS Water, Science and Technology Board.