ATLANTA – Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price announced Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald as the 17th director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

Brenda Fitzgerald, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and has practiced medicine for 30 years. Most recently, Fitzgerald has served as the commissioner of the Georgia Dept. of Public Health (DPH) and state health officer for the past six years. During her tenure at DPH, she oversaw various state public health programs and directed the state’s 18 public health districts and 159 county health departments.

Before joining DPH, Fitzgerald held numerous leadership positions including as president and a board member of the Georgia OB-GYN Society. She also worked as a health care policy advisor with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Sen. Paul Coverdell. Additionally, she was a Senior Fellow and chairman of the board for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. 

“Today, I am extremely proud and excited to announce Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald as the new Director of the CDC,” Price said in a statement. “Having known Dr. Fitzgerald for many years, I know that she has a deep appreciation and understanding of medicine, public health, policy and leadership — all qualities that will prove vital as she leads the CDC in its work to protect America’s health 24/7. We look forward to working with Dr. Fitzgerald to achieve President Trump’s goal of strengthening public health surveillance and ensuring global health security at home and abroad. Congratulations to Dr. Fitzgerald and her family.”

Fitzgerald earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Georgia State Univ. and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory Univ. School of Medicine. She completed post-graduate training at the Emory-Grady Hospitals in Atlanta and held an assistant clinical professorship at Emory Medical Center. As a Major in the US Air Force, Fitzgerald served at the Wurtsmith Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) Base in Michigan and at the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, DC.

Fitzgerald succeeds Dr. Thomas Frieden, and replaces Dr. Anne Schuchat, who has been the acting CDC director and acting ATSDR administrator since Jan. 20. Dr. Schuchat is returning to her role as CDC’s principal deputy director.