175 Makers of History: Virginia Bales Harris

Virginia Bales Harris 71C 77PH
Public Health Advocate

Virginia Bales Harris

Virginia Bales Harris held various leadership positions at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she worked for more than thirty-five years.

Early in her tenure she worked on programs in tuberculosis control, environmental health, and epidemiology. She was instrumental in creating the national breast and cervical cancer early detection programs, along with smoking cessation programs for youth, and national stroke and heart disease prevention initiatives. As deputy director for program management under former CDC director Jeffrey Koplan, Harris helped update the agency's master building plan and secure funding for new facilities.

She retired in 2005 as director of the Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.