Carter Center's Foege named
professor of international health

William H. Foege has been named a professor in the Department of International Health in the Rollins School of Public Health.

Foege served as director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1977-83 and was executive director of The Carter Center from 1987-92. Since 1992 he has been a Fellow for Health Policy at The Carter Center; he will continue in that capacity and as senior health adviser to the Center.

Foege first worked with School of Public Health Dean James Curran at the CDC when Foege was director and Curran headed the agency's AIDS Task Force. "I know firsthand the energy and strength he brings to an institution," said Curran. "With each of his endeavors, Bill Foege has contributed his unique vision and perspective for the betterment of health throughout the world."

"The past decade at The Carter Center has been exceptionally stimulating and rewarding," said Foege. "President Carter has demonstrated that it is possible for a nongovernmental organization to have major impacts on health and agriculture in developing countries, beyond what has been possible through government agencies alone. The challenge is to institutionalize the lessons of these efforts at Emory, to see ways of increasing faculty and student involvement, and to enrich the educational process for all students, even those not directly involved in Carter Center programs."

In addition to holding the top positions in the CDC and The Carter Center, Foege is best known for his work in the global eradication of smallpox in the 1970s. More recently, The Carter Center has been instrumental in an international effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease, which would be only the second disease to be completely vanquished. His eloquent and insistent voice also has brought child survival and development, disease prevention, injury control, tobacco-related diseases and other issues to the forefront of domestic and international health policy.

Michael Johns, executive vice president for Health Affairs, said, "Dr. Foege personifies public health science, moral vision and ability to create change."

President Bill Chace admires "Dr. Foege's ability to see the world as one interconnected citizenry." He noted that Foege was given an honorary doctor of science degree in 1986 (as of 1996, he now holds seven such degrees). More significantly, said Chace, "Dr. Foege was critical in helping The Carter Center give life to President Jimmy Carter's dream of an institution that improves the world through knowledge application. As The Carter Center and Emory grow even closer, Dr. Foege's presence as a full professor cannot help but enhance this relationship."

A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, Foege received his medical degree from the University of Washington Medical School and a master's in public health from Harvard University. For the next decade, his career carried him across the world in the fight against infectious diseases. He was an epidemiologist and program director with the CDC's Smallpox Eradication Program.

After working as a World Health Organization medical officer in New Delhi, he was asked to become assistant director of the CDC before being named director in 1977.

In 1987, he became executive director of The Carter Center.

Foege will continue working with The Task Force for Child Survival, an organization formed by him and several colleagues in 1984. The Task Force's first success was in accelerating childhood immunization throughout the world. Today, sponsored by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, The Rockefeller Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund, the Task Force focuses on global polio eradication and a broad range of other issues to improve the quality of life for children worldwide.

"Bill Foege is a true visionary who has inspired me and all of us at The Carter Center to reach beyond what we believe is possible," said former President Jimmy Carter. "He has a rare ability to imagine a more benevolent world and to make it happen. His expanded role at Emory will enable him to share his vision and vast knowledge with the next generation of dreamers and doers."

Currently an adviser to the American Cancer Society, BASICS Partnership for Health, CARE International, the UNICEF Executive Board and many other national and international public health organizations, Foege is also the author of more than 110 scientific publications and is the recipient of numerous awards.

-Lorri Preston

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