CDC's Gerberding Named 24th Most Powerful Woman

It will come as no surprise to safety and health professionals that Dr. Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a powerful woman -- the 24th most powerful woman in the world, in fact, according to an Aug. 27 special report by Forbes magazine that ranked the 100 most powerful women worldwide. CDC posted a release Tuesday about the honor, which was the fourth consecutive year for Gerberding to make this list. She is believed to be the person who decided not to reappoint the highly popular Dr. John Howard as NIOSH director in July of this year, despite lobbying by safety and health associations and others on his behalf.

Forbes bases its rankings on public profile, title, past accomplishments, and finances the women control. CDC has about 15,000 employees and a $9 billion budget. Forbes in its report mentioned progress CDC is making on smoking cessation, heart disease and stroke screening, and increased physical education in U.S. elementary schools, according to CDC, which said it is "ramping up efforts to address these issues and many others that impact health through the establishment of the Healthiest Nation Alliance," which the agency described as "a collaboration of people and organizations committed to making sure investments prioritize health promotion, prevention of poor health, and preparedness of new threats."

"I am once again humbled by this recognition," Gerberding said in the statement. "It's really a testament of the extraordinary efforts by the greatest workforce in the world who day in and day out go to great lengths to protect our health." Fifty-three other American women made this year's list. They include FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, WellPoint CEO Angela Braly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, philanthropist Melinda Gates, and DuPont Executive VP Ellen Kullman. Gerberding has been CDC's director since July 3, 2002.

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