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Donald A. Henderson

HendersonDonaldDONALD A. HENDERSON, MD, MPH 1960, LHD 1994 is presently a distinguished scholar at the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The Center for Biosecurity was originally founded in 1998 as the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at the Johns Hopkins medical institutions. The center was established to increase national and international awareness of the medical and public health threats posed by biological weapons. Immediately after the 9/11 attack, Dr. Henderson was appointed as the government’s first director of the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness. He continues to serve as senior science advisor to the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Henderson is a Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology. He is also Professor of Medicine and Public Health of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He rejoined the Hopkins faculty in June 1995 after five years of federal government service in which he served initially as associate director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President (1991-1993), and later as deputy assistant secretary and senior science advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services.

From 1977 through August 1990, Dr. Henderson was dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He came to Hopkins after directing the World Health Organization’s global smallpox eradication campaign (1966-1977). Dr. Henderson was instrumental in initiating WHO’s global program of immunization, which has vaccinated 80 percent of the world’s children against six major diseases and has as a goal the eradication of poliomyelitis.

In 2002, Dr. Henderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.