January 23, 1997

Media Contacts: Sarah Goodwin, 404/727-3366 - sgoodwi@emory.edu
Lorri Preston, 404/727-5686, lpresto@emory.edu
Kathi Ovnic, 404/727-9371 - covnic@emory.edu

William H. Foege, M.D., M.P.H., will become a professor in the Department of International Health in Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health beginning February 1997. In his new position at Emory, Dr. Foege will write and teach in the rapidly growing Rollins School.

Dr. Foege served as director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1977-1983 and was executive director of The Carter Center from 1987-1992. Since 1992 he has been a Fellow for Health Policy at The Carter Center. He will continue as a Fellow and as senior health advisor to The Carter Center.

James W. Curran, M.D., M.P.H., dean of the Rollins School, says "Bill and I first worked together when he was director of the CDC and I was head of the CDC's AIDS Task Force. I know first hand the energy and strength he brings to an institution. With each of his endeavors he has contributed his unique vision and perspective for the betterment of health throughout the world.

"We are excited he is bringing his unique gifts to the Rollins School of Public Health, and by the possiblities his new position offers to Emory's rapidly expanding programs in health policy and international health."

Michael M. E. Johns, M.D., executive vice president for Health Affairs and director of The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, says "Dr. Foege personifies public health science, moral vision and ability to create change. We expect his work to further enhance the relationships between Emory, The Carter Center and the CDC. The inter-relatedness of the great public health resources at Emory and in this city are helping make Atlanta the public health capital of the world."

William M. Chace, Ph.D., president of Emory University, speaks of his admiration of "Dr. Foege's ability to see the world as one interconnected citizenry." Dr. Chace notes that Dr. Foege was given an honorary doctor of science degree in 1986 (as of 1996, he now holds seven such degrees). More significantly, says Dr. 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 University grow even closer, Dr. Foege's presence as a full professor cannot help but enhance this relationship."

President Jimmy Carter says, "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. 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."

Dr. Foege said "The past decade at The Carter Center has been exceptionally stimulating and rewarding. President Carter has demonstrated that it is possible for a non-governmental 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."

Dr. Foege adds, "I am excited by the vision at Emory which desires to improve global health through research, training and application. When combined with the field experience of The Carter Center and the missions of CDC, CARE, the American Cancer Society and Morehouse, the potential for Atlanta leadership is inspiring."

In addition to holding the top positions in the CDC and The Carter Center, Dr. 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.

A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, Dr. Foege received his M.D. from the University of Washington Medical School and his M.P.H. from Harvard University. For the next decade, Dr. Foege's 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.

Dr. Foege also will continue working with The Task Force for Child Survival, an organization formed by Dr. Foege 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.

Dr. Foege is currently an advisor to the American Cancer Society, BASICS Partnership for Health, CARE International, the UNICEF Executive Board and many other national and international public health organizations.

He is the author of more than 110 scientific publications and is the recipient of numerous awards.

For more general information on The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, call Health Sciences News and Information at 404-727-5686, or send e-mail to hsnews@emory.edu.

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