Headshot of Rochelle WalenskyCAMBRIDGE, Mass — The Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) is delighted to welcome Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the former director of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as a Senior Fellow for the Fall 2023 semester. During her time at WAPPP, Walensky will focus her research on women’s leadership in the healthcare field.

Marcella Alsan, Professor of Public Policy at HKS, will serve as Dr. Walensky’s faculty advisor and spoke highly of her leadership to advance health equity: "Rochelle is an impactful scholar who is committed to advancing gender and racial equity in public health, from her work addressing vaccine inequities during the Mpox outbreak to advocating for gender parity in clinical trials. The HKS community will benefit greatly from her research and thought leadership, and we are thrilled to welcome her as a fellow for the upcoming semester.” 

WAPPP works to advance women and gender equity by creating knowledge, training leaders, and informing public policy and organizational practices, and WAPPP fellows provide vital contributions to the community by conducting research and engaging with faculty and students at Harvard Kennedy School and beyond. 

Dr. Walensky served as the 19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021-23), Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (2012-2021) and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital (2017-2021). She is an infectious disease clinician whose research has focused on HIV/AIDS policy, including cost-effective strategies for HIV screening, treatment and prevention, both in the U.S. and around the globe. She received her Master of Public Heath from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2001. 
Along with her WAPPP fellowship, Dr. Walensky will join the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School as a Senior Academic Fellow, and she will lead a reading group at Harvard Law School titled “At the Intersection: Health, Public Health Policy and the Law.” Dr. Walensky will also have an Executive Fellow affiliation at Harvard Business School, where she will work with Professor Robert Huckman and the HBS Health Care Initiative.