Dr. Rochelle Walensky
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In September 2021, CDC advisers bypassed healthcare workers in their endorsement of boosters for adults. Walensky, who many tasked with restoring trust in science following the Trump administration’s record for disregard for it, reversed the move. As director of the CDC, Walensky has stayed on the front lines of the pandemic through research on vaccine delivery and strategies to reach the underserved.
Previously, she was chief of the infectious diseases division at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Walensky conducted research on HIV/AIDS, emerging as an expert in virus testing, infection prevention and treatment. She received her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Dr. Walensky speaks: “Masks are for now, they're not forever. We have to find a way to be done with them. Science is hard in a two-minute soundbite. Know that every single decision -- as hard as they are -- have been grounded in science.”