Thomas R. Frieden
President and CEO
Resolve to Save Lives, an Initiative of Vital Strategies
United States of America
A physician trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases, public health, and epidemiology, Dr. Tom Frieden is considered to be one of the world’s leading public health experts. He began his public health career in New York City as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer of the US Centers for Disease Control, confronting the largest outbreak of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis to occur in the United States. From 1992-1996, he led New York City’s tuberculosis control program that reduced multidrug-resistant cases by 80 percent. Dr. Frieden was then assigned to India, on loan from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he helped scale up a program for effective tuberculosis diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. The tuberculosis control program that he helped to build has saved more than three million lives to date. Asked to return to New York City to become Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Frieden directed efforts that led to a rapid increase in life expectancy. As New York City Health Commissioner from 2002-2009, he helped reduce smoking, eliminate artificial trans fat from restaurants, eliminate colon cancer screening disparities, and initiate the country’s largest community-based electronic health records project. During his time as Commissioner, life expectancy in New York City increased by three years, a faster increase than in the United States as a whole. As Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2009 to 2017, Dr. Frieden oversaw the work that helped end the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic. Because of his leadership at CDC, Americans are safer from antibiotic resistance, foodborne and healthcare-associated infections, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and exposure to dangerous pathogens. Dr. Frieden also established and strengthened training programs that have diversified the public health workforce and strengthened the skills of thousands of public health experts in the United States and around the world. Dr. Frieden now leads Resolve to Save Lives, a $225 million, 5-year initiative housed at the global health non-profit organization Vital Strategies which aims to partner with countries to save millions of lives from cardiovascular disease and make the world safer from epidemics. In just the first year, Resolve to Save Lives made rapid progress, including a global call to eliminate artificial trans fat, a toxic chemical estimated to cause more than 500,000 deaths a year, increasing the number of people treated for hypertension, and accelerating work to reduce the risk of epidemics. In each of his positions, he has transformed the organizations he has led, creating global models of increased employee morale, engaged communities, rigorous accountability, and impact. In addition, he has written more than 250 scientific articles, publishing cutting-edge, widely cited research on a broad range of topics. Dr. Frieden received his medical and public health degrees from Columbia University, and completed his infectious diseases training at Yale University. Follow Dr. Frieden on Twitter (@DrFrieden).