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CDC Foundation names Judith Monroe as its new CEO

Charlie Stokes Judith Monroe CDC Foundation CEO Charlie Stokes with his successor - Judith Monroe (Special: CDC Foundation)

By Maria Saporta

The board of the Atlanta-based CDC Foundation has named a new president and CEO – Judith A. Monroe – someone who is no stranger to global health.

Monroe currently works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she leads the federal agency’s Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.

She will join the CDC Foundation Feb. 1, 2016 – succeeding Charlie Stokes, is founding president and CEO, who will retire at the end of January.

“We are incredibly pleased that Judy is joining the CDC Foundation as its new leader,” said Douglas W. Nelson, CDC Foundation board chair and retired president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in a statement. “She has an extraordinary background, bringing a deep personal knowledge about CDC, public health and public-private partnerships to her role as leader of the CDC Foundation.

Dr. Judith Monroe

Dr. Judith Monroe

Monroe has served in her current role at CDC since 2010 – overseeing key activities and technical assistance that support the nation’s health departments and the public health system. Before joining the CDC, Monroe served as the state health commissioner for Indiana from 2005 to 2010.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to work with the board and staff of the CDC Foundation and with partners as we all strive to help CDC do more, faster,” Monroe said in a release. “I also thank Charlie Stokes for his outstanding efforts in starting and leading the CDC Foundation for more than 20 years. Today, public-private partnerships between the government, private and philanthropic sectors are crucial to improving health outcomes for people in America and around the globe. Together, we can do so much more than any of us can do alone.”
The CDC Foundation advances the mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through philanthropy and public-private partnerships that protect the health, safety and security of America and the world.

Since it was established by Congress more than two decades ago, the CDC Foundation has launched 800 programs and raised more than $620 million through partnerships with philanthropies, corporations, organizations and individuals. The CDC Foundation currently manages nearly 300 CDC-led programs in the United States and in 75 countries.

“We look forward to working with Judy as she implements her vision and moves the CDC Foundation forward to help CDC save and improve lives,” Nelson said.

In its search for a new CEO, the CDC Foundation board was looking for someone with passion and experience in public health and public-private partnerships. It also wanted someone who could build relationships and continue to grow private support. It also looked for someone who would be a visionary and inspiring leader who could elevate the role of the Foundation.

Charlie Stokes Judith Monroe

CDC Foundation CEO Charlie Stokes with his successor – Judith Monroe (Special: CDC Foundation)

Monroe began her clinical career as a member of the National Health Service Corps at the Morgan County Medical Center in rural Tennessee from 1986–1990. As a clinician educator, she joined the faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at Indiana University and led the department’s work in rural communities from 1990–1992.

She then joined St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis in a dual administrative role as director of the Family Medicine Residency Program and the Primary Care Center from 1992–2005.

Monroe received her medical degree from the University of Maryland and bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University. She completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Cincinnati, a rural faculty development fellowship through East Tennessee State University, and a fellowship in obstetrics through the University of Wisconsin.

She also participated in the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s State Health Leadership Initiative.

She has served on many national advisory committees and boards, including as president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials from 2008–2009.

Other areas of service include CDC’s Surveillance Leadership Board, Global Health Leadership Council, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Public Health Leadership Forum, deBeaumont Foundation-sponsored National Advisory Committee for the Practical Playbook, Medicaid-Public Health Expert Committee and the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Population Health.

Nelson also thanked Stokes for his two decades with the CDC Foundation.

“He has been a true visionary around forging public-private partnerships that have advanced CDC’s vital life-saving work in this country and around the world,” Nelson said. “We are all indebted to Charlie and wish him the very best in his retirement.”

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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