- David L. Heymann, M.D.
Dr David L. Heymann is currently Chair of the Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom, and Head of the Global Centre on Health Security at Chatham House, London. Until April 2009 he was Assistant Director-General for Health Security Environment and Representative of the Director-General for Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization (WHO). Prior to that, from July 1998 until July 2003, he was Executive Director of the WHO Communicable Diseases Cluster which included WHO’s programmes on infectious and tropical diseases, and from which the public health response to SARS was mounted in 2003. From October 1995 to July 1998, he was Director of the WHO Programme on Emerging and other Communicable Diseases, and prior to that was the Chief of research activities in the WHO Global Programme on AIDS. Dr Heymann has worked in the area of public health for the past 35 years, 25 of which were on various assignments from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 10 of which have been with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Before joining WHO, Dr Heymann worked for thirteen years as a medical epidemiologist in sub-Saharan Africa (Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo – formerly Zaire) on assignment from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in CDC-supported activities. These activities aimed at strengthening capacity in surveillance of infectious diseases and their control, with special emphasis on the childhood immunizable diseases including measles and polio, African haemorrhagic fevers, poxviruses and malaria. While based in Africa, Dr Heymann participated in the investigation of the first outbreak of Ebola in Yambuku (former Zaire) in 1976, then again investigated the second outbreak of Ebola in 1977 in Tandala, and in 1995 directed the international response to the Ebola outbreak in Kikwit for WHO. Prior to assignments in Africa he was assigned for two years to India as a medical epidemiologist in the WHO Smallpox Eradication Programme.
Dr Heymann's educational qualifications include a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.D. from Wake Forest University, a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and practical epidemiology training in the two year Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) of CDC. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the United States National Academies; and has been awarded the 2004 Award for Excellence of American Public Health Association, the 2005 Donald Mackay Award from the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the 2007 Heinz Award on the Human Condition. Dr Heymann has been visiting professor at Stanford University, the University of Southern California and the George Washington University School of Public Health; has published over 145 scientific articles on infectious diseases and related issues in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals; and has authored several chapters on infectious diseases in medical textbooks. He is currently the editor of the 19th edition of the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, a joint publication of the American Public Health Association and WHO.