Anne Schuchat

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Anne Schuchat
Anne Schuchat, 2018.jpg
Official portrait, 2018
Principal Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In office
September 2015 – May 2021
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Joe Biden
Preceded byIleana Arias
Succeeded byDebra Houry (acting)
Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In office
January 31, 2018 – March 26, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byBrenda Fitzgerald
Succeeded byRobert R. Redfield
In office
January 20, 2017 – July 7, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byTom Frieden
Succeeded byBrenda Fitzgerald
Personal details
Born1960 (age 62–63)
EducationSwarthmore College (BS)
Dartmouth College (MD)
WebsiteGovernment website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service U.S. Public Health Service
Years of service1999–2018
RankUSPHSCC O8 infobox.svg Rear admiral
Unit PHS Commissioned Corps
CommandsAnthrax Emergency Response Team[1]
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
Interim Deputy Director for Science and Public Health
Battles/wars2001 anthrax attacks
SARS outbreak
2009 flu pandemic[2]

Anne Schuchat (born 1960) is an American medical doctor. She is a former rear admiral and assistant surgeon general in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. She also served as the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[3][4] In May 2021, Schuchat stepped down from her post.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Schuchat grew up in a Jewish family in Washington, D.C., the fourth of five children.[6][7] Her grandfather was a kosher butcher from West Virginia.[7] Schuchat graduated with highest honors from Swarthmore College in 1980 and graduated with honors from Dartmouth Medical School in 1984.[1][2][8]


Schuchat at work in the mid-1990s.

Schuchat served as resident and chief resident in internal medicine at New York University′s Manhattan V.A. Hospital before beginning her public health career at CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer in NCID[clarification needed].[9]

Having worked with the CDC on immunization, respiratory, and other infectious diseases since 1988, she served as the Interim Deputy Director for Science and Public Health at the CDC from February 2009 to June 2009. She has also held other posts in the CDC.[9]

During the 2001 anthrax attacks, Schuchat served on CDC's Anthrax Emergency Response Team, which was tasked with investigating the attacks.[1]

From February 2009 to June 2009, Schuchat was the Interim Deputy Director for Science and Public Health Program at the CDC, where she focused on ensuring strong science and programmatic approaches were effectively integrated into planning across the agency. She has emphasized prevention of infectious diseases in children. Her emphasis on perinatal group B streptococcal disease prevention has led to an 80 percent reduction in newborn infections and a 75 percent narrowing of racial disparities among sufferers of this infectious disease. She has been instrumental in pre- and post-licensure evaluations of conjugate vaccines for bacterial meningitis and pneumonia and in accelerating availability of these new vaccines in resource-poor countries through WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.[9]

From January 20, 2017 through July 7, 2017, Schuchat served as Acting Director of the CDC (and as acting Administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) and again from January 31, 2018 through March 26, 2018, when she was succeeded by Robert R. Redfield as Director.[10][11][12]

Schuchat has been active in the CDC's efforts to combat the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak in the United States. In a February 25, 2020 HHS briefing on the "China coronavirus" she famously stated "It’s very important to say that our efforts at containment so far have worked, and the virus is actually contained here in the United States."[13] A May 1, 2020 CDC report authored by Schuchat noted that based on this containment belief federal and local jurisdictions did not recommend restrictions on gatherings, and that several large events consequently held at the end of February played a notable role in the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.[14]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The fictional character of Erin Mears in the 2011 film Contagion is partially based on Schuchat and her career. British actress Kate Winslet, who portrays the character, consulted with Schuchat in the process of preparing for the role.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Schuchat is married and has no children; she has three brothers and one sister.[6][7] In May 2005, Schuchat received an honorary doctorate in science from Swarthmore College, from which she graduated in 1980.[1][8][9]

Awards and decorations[edit]

United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps[edit]

Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
1st row Public Health Service Meritorious Service Medal Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medal[16]
2nd row Public Health Service Commendation Medal Public Health Service Achievement Medal Public Health Service Outstanding Unit Citation[17]
3rd row Public Health Service Unit Commendation Public Health Service Bicentennial Unit Commendation Award Public Health Service Foreign Duty Service Award
4th row Public Health Service Crisis Response Service Award Public Health Service Regular Corps Ribbon Commissioned Officers Association

Selected works and publications[edit]

  • Schuchat, Anne; Robinson, Katherine; Wenger, Jay D.; Harrison, Lee H.; Farley, Monica; Reingold, Arthur L.; Lefkowitz, Lewis; Perkins, Bradley A. (October 2, 1997). "Bacterial Meningitis in the United States in 1995". New England Journal of Medicine. 337 (14): 970–976. doi:10.1056/NEJM199710023371404. ISSN 0028-4793. PMID 9395430. Wikidata ()
  • Jernigan, Daniel B.; Raghunathan, Pratima L.; Bell, Beth P.; Brechner, Ross; Bresnitz, Eddy A.; Butler, Jay C.; Cetron, Marty; Cohen, Mitch; Doyle, Timothy; Fischer, Marc; Greene, Carolyn; Griffith, Kevin S.; Guarner, Jeannette; Hadler, James L.; Hayslett, James A.; Meyer, Richard; Petersen, Lyle R.; Phillips, Michael; Pinner, Robert; Popovic, Tanja; Quinn, Conrad P.; Reefhuis, Jennita; Reissman, Dori; Rosenstein, Nancy; Schuchat, Anne; Shieh, Wun-Ju; Siegal, Larry; Swerdlow, David L.; Tenover, Fred C.; Traeger, Marc; Ward, John W.; Weisfuse, Isaac; Wiersma, Steven; Yeskey, Kevin; Zaki, Sherif; Ashford, David A.; Perkins, Bradley A.; Ostroff, Steve; Hughes, James; Fleming, David; Koplan, Jeffrey P.; Gerberding, Julie L. (October 2002). "Investigation of Bioterrorism-Related Anthrax, United States, 2001: Epidemiologic Findings". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 8 (10): 1019–1028. doi:10.3201/EID0810.020353. PMC 2730292. PMID 12396909. Wikidata ()
  • Whitney, Cynthia G.; Farley, Monica M.; Hadler, James; Harrison, Lee H.; Bennett, Nancy M.; Lynfield, Ruth; Reingold, Arthur; Cieslak, Paul R.; Pilishvili, Tamara; Jackson, Delois; Facklam, Richard R.; Jorgensen, James H.; Schuchat, Anne (May 2003). "Decline in Invasive Pneumococcal Disease after the Introduction of Protein–Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine". New England Journal of Medicine. 348 (18): 1737–1746. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa022823. ISSN 0028-4793. PMID 12724479. Wikidata ()


  1. ^ a b c d e Swarthmore College (2005). "Anne Schuchat, Class of 1980 Honorary Degree Citation". Commencement 2005. Swarthmore, Pennsylvania: Swarthmore College. Archived from the original on September 8, 2005. Retrieved September 8, 2005.
  2. ^ a b Relman, Eliza (October 30, 2009). "DMS alum. leads H1N1 response". The Dartmouth. The Dartmouth, Inc. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "Principal Deputy Director of CDC/ATSDR". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 23, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Edney, Anna (January 31, 2018). "Trump's CDC Director Steps Down After Tobacco Stock Scandal". Bloomberg.
  5. ^ "The CDC's No. 2 Official Says The U.S. Isn't Ready For Another Pandemic". Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Hadassah (August 2011). "Profile: Anne Schuchat". Hadassah. The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Cantor, Danielle (2010). "Dr. Anne Schuchat – Live". Jewish Woman Magazine. Washington, D.C.: Jewish Women International. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Schuchat, Anne (May 29, 2005). "Anne Schuchat, Class of 1980 Commencement Address". Commencement 2005. Swarthmore, Pennsylvania: Swarthmore College. Archived from the original on September 8, 2005. Retrieved September 8, 2005.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (March 20, 2013). "CDC Leaders, Anne Schuchat, MD (RADM, USPHS): Assistant Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service; Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  10. ^ Kaplan, Sheila (March 17, 2018). "AIDS Researcher Top Candidate to Lead the C.D.C." The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  11. ^ Sun, Lena H. (March 29, 2018). "In emotional speech, CDC's new leader vows to uphold science". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  12. ^ Hensley, Ellie (January 19, 2017). "CDC appoints acting director". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  13. ^ "Transcript: U.S. Health Officials on Response to Coronavirus February 25, 2020". Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  14. ^ Schuchat, Anne; CDC COVID-19 Response Team (2020). "Public Health Response to the Initiation and Spread of Pandemic COVID-19 in the United States, February 24 – April 21, 2020". MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 69 (18): 551–556. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6918e2. PMC 7737947. PMID 32379733. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  15. ^ Barclay, Eliza (September 14, 2011). "'Contagion': CDC Basks In Hollywood's Admiring Take On Disease Detectives". Shots: NPR's Health Blog. National Public Radio. Archived from the original on September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  16. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (September 2006). "CCID boasts numerous winners at 54th Honor Awards Ceremony". Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved April 5, 2014. The 54th Annual CDC & ATSDR Honor Awards Ceremony was held July 13, 2006, in the Tom Harkin Global Communications Center on the Roybal Campus. To report the awards won by CCID employees, in this summary we are using the then existing, not the proposed, names of the CCID national centers: National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), National Immunization Program (NIP), and National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHSTP).
  17. ^ Commissioned Corps Management Information System (December 2006). "Commissioned Corps Awards Oct–Dec 06" (PDF). Commissioned Corps Management Information System. United States Department of Health and Human Services. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2014.

External links[edit]