News Release: Woodruff Health Sciences

Nov. 14,  2008

Jeffrey Koplan Appointed Vice President for Global Health at Emory University

Emory University has named former CDC director Jeffrey P. Koplan, MD, MPH, as Vice President for Global Health, effective March 1. Dr. Koplan will continue to serve as director of the Emory Global Health Institute, a position he has held since the Institute was established in 2006.

"I am extremely pleased that Jeff Koplan will continue to direct Emory's global health programs in this new position," says James W. Wagner, president of Emory University. "As our students, faculty and staff work collaboratively for positive transformation in the world, we could not find a more inspiring and effective global health leader."

Emory's Global Health Institute supports Emory faculty, students and alumni and their global partners in their quest to find innovative solutions to critical global health problems. It builds on Emory's long history of successful global health partnerships through its schools of medicine, public health and nursing, including the Hubert Department of Global Health in the Rollins School of Public Health and the Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

The Institute identifies opportunities for faculty growth and supports the hiring of world-class scholars; supports Emory faculty in their efforts to conduct innovative global health work; and expands opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students committed to helping solve problems in global health.

"Jeff Koplan's extraordinary international public health experience as a leader, a collaborator, a visionary and an on-the-ground practitioner exemplifies Emory University's dedication to transforming health and healing not only in our own country but throughout the global community," says Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD, executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

"Through his continued global health leadership we look forward to partnerships that can extend Emory's programs in discovery, healthcare and training to our many international partners in the quest to help solve the most challenging healthcare problems."

The Global Health Institute also extends Emory's successful partnerships with neighboring institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CARE, the Task Force for Child Survival and The Carter Center.

"Jeff Koplan is a true global citizen and an international public health practitioner of the highest order," says Earl Lewis, PhD, Emory provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. "He has a passionate commitment to improving the health of individuals and populations and a belief that Emory and its students and faculty possess the best tools and the ability to carry out our vision. This makes him the ideal individual to lead global health programs throughout the University -- a significant aspect of Emory's strategic plan."

Current projects supported by the Global Health Institute include a joint diabetes research center in Chennai, India; a joint vaccine center in New Delhi, India; a collaboration in Bangladesh to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity; a research project in Zambia focused on improving the global control of tuberculosis; a consortium in China aimed at developing a universal vaccine against different avian influenza strains; a drug discovery training program in South Africa; and a public health partnership in Mexico.

Other high-priority programs for the Global Health Institute will focus on public health research and training in developing nations, healthcare workforce shortages, international bioethics, and the health impact of global migration. A new undergraduate minor in Global Health, Culture and Society is available through Emory College.

In addition to leading Emory's Global Health Institute, Dr. Koplan is president and a co-founder of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) and leads its sub-secretariat, which is housed at Emory. IANPHI is a 60-country public health advocacy and peer-assistance group that works collaboratively to strengthen national public health institutes in low-resource countries and to create new ones. The group is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is based at the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, Finland.

A former director (1998-2002) and 26-year veteran of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Koplan began his public health career in the early 1970s as a member of the CDC?s Epidemic Intelligence Service. He has worked on virtually every major public health issue, including infectious diseases such as smallpox and HIV/AIDS, environmental issues such as the Bhopal chemical disaster, and the health toll of tobacco and chronic diseases around the globe. He came to Emory in 2002 as vice president for academic health affairs.

A graduate of Yale College, Dr. Koplan received his medical degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and his public health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is a Master of the American College of Physicians, a member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine?s Governing Council and a member of its Global Advisory Board. He has served on many advisory groups and consultancies in the U.S. and overseas, and has had several international academic appointments. He has written more than 200 scientific papers. He is a trustee of Yale University, the Marcus Family Foundation, the Carlos Museum, Health MPowers, Kaiser Health Plan of Georgia and the China Medical Board.

For more information about the Emory Global Health Institute and specific programs and partnerships visit


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

File Options

  • Print Icon Print