Rear Admiral Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Surgeon General and began leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) in August 2010. Most recently, he was the Deputy Director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) at CDC. Dr. Khan joined CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1991 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer. Over the past decade, he has responded to and led numerous high profile domestic and international public health emergencies including hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Ebola hemorrhagic fever, monkeypox, avian influenza, Rift Valley fever, severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS], the Asian Tsunami, and the initial public health response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.   

Dr. Khan’s professional career has focused on bioterrorism, global health, and emerging infectious diseases. He served as one of the main architects of CDC’s public health bioterrorism preparedness program which upgraded local, state, and national public health systems to detect and rapidly respond to bioterrorism. He designed CDC’s joint global field epidemiology and laboratory training program. Dr. Khan was an integral part of the design and implementation of the President’s Malaria Initiative and has been engaged in guinea worm and polio eradication. He also proposed BioPHusion as a new public health initiative to improve knowledge exchange for all public health practitioners.   

Khan (left) on site in Zaire during monkeypox outbreak, surrounded by liquid nitrogen.
Khan (left) on site in Zaire during monkeypox outbreak, surrounded by liquid nitrogen.


Dr. Khan received his M.D. from Downstate Medical Center in his hometown of Brooklyn, NY, and completed a joint residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor before joining CDC. He has a Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Emory University where he is an adjunct professor. He has over 150 peer-reviewed publications, textbook chapters, editorials, and brief communiques. He has consulted intensively for multiple U.S. organizations including NASA, Ministries of Health, and the World Health Organization. 

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