Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, Appointed CDC Director
Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, is the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School; has conducted influential research on HIV/AIDS, making her one of the nation’s leading experts on virus testing, prevention and treatment, and has served on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts, conducting research on vaccine delivery and strategies to reach underserved communities.
Dr. Walensky has been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic response and has conducted influential research on HIV/AIDS. Read her transition team biography.
Dr. Walensky will be part of a qualified, diverse team. Find out who has been selected to help contain the COVID pandemic and address other health threats facing the nation.
Dr. Walensky Feels "Honored" to Serve
President-elect Joe Biden held a press conference announcing picks for his health team, and Dr. Walensky took to the podium to address the public.
Tips for Navigating COVID-19 in the Winter: Stay Vigilant. Stay Safe.
Dr. Walensky addresses common questions about COVID-19 during the winter months, and shares expert advice for keeping yourself—and those around you—healthy.
Mass General Physicians Answer Questions about COVID-19
Dr. Walensky and Paul Biddinger, MD, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Disease Medicine, answer questions about COVID-19 to shed more light on the nature of the virus and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
Dr. Walensky's Biography
Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, is the chief of the Infectious Diseases Division at Massachusetts General Hospital, Steve and Deborah Gorlin MGH Research Scholar 2015-2020, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Walensky’s research has focused on infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS policy, including cost-effective strategies for HIV care in the U.S. and in resource-limited settings. She has also advocated for routine HIV screening both here and around the globe. She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians and the DHHS Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents, and she is past chair of the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. She has also been an advisor to the WHO and UNAIDS. Dr. Walensky received her MD from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and her MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. She trained in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and in infectious diseases at the MGH/BWH combined fellowship program. She is married to a physician scientist, Loren Walensky, MD, PhD, and is the mother of 3 boys: ages 15, 17 and 19.
Dr. Walensky has been quoted extensively in local and national publications. Here are just some of those recent articles.
- 3 million new COVID-19 infections were reported in November, as hospitalizations reach a record high – CNN (November 22)
- Health experts clash over use of certain drugs for COVID-19 – Associated Press (November 20)
- Thanksgiving 2020: How to celebrate safely and smoothly – Washington Post (November 19)
- America's health depends on how fast and well we distribute the COVID vaccine: Researchers – USA Today opinion co-authored by Dr. Walensky (November 19)
- Don't rely on a negative test result to see your family for Thanksgiving – CNN (November 16)
- Boston infectious disease specialists: Baker’s COVID-19 guidelines can get Mass. back to work and school – Boston Globe opinion co-authored by Dr. Walensky (November 12)
- 'We can do this better,' say doctors critical of administration's COVID-19 antibody treatment rollout – CNN coverage of editorial co-authored by Mass General physicians Robert Goldstein and Rochelle Walensky (November 11)
- There may be a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, but 'normality' may not come until end of 2021 – USA Today (November 10)
- Is a Coronavirus Test Always Accurate? – Spark Health MD (November 4)
- Don't get a false sense of security with COVID-19 testing. Here's why you can test negative but still be infected and contagious – CNN.com (November 3)
- Should college students go home for Thanksgiving this year? Here’s what experts say. – Washington Post (October 29)
- Gilead secures FDA approval for remdesivir – Financial Times (October 23)
- Trump’s den of dissent: Inside the White House task force as coronavirus surges – Washington Post (October 19)
- Even 'mild' COVID-19 can be a lengthy, challenging illness – CNN (October 8)
- White House COVID outbreak grows as Midwest hospital cases surge – CIDRAP News (October 7)
- VP debate to feature plexiglass barriers to increase safety – Washington Post (October 5)
- Trump is taking dexamethasone for his COVID-19. That could be serious, doctors say – CNN (October 5)
- Trump Drives By Well-Wishers, Raising Concerns About Health of Secret Service Agents in His Car – New York Times (October 4)
- Doctors: Trump not out of the woods, hospitalization could last for days – CNN/Inside Politics (October 4)
- Prospect of Trump’s early hospital discharge mystifies doctors – Washington Post (October 4)
- Cam Newton tests positive for COVID-19, prompting NFL to postpone Patriots-Chiefs game – Boston Globe (October 3)
- Rose Garden event suspected of virus outbreak alarms D.C. officials – Washington Post (October 3)
- US health experts say AstraZeneca pause on COVID-19 vaccine trial is proof of due process – CNN/New Day (September 9)
- Fauci urges colleges to remain open and to keep students there – NBC News (September 3)
- Colleges and universities report more than 20,000 COVID-19 cases across 36 states – CNN (September 1)