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Dr. Tom Frieden

President and CEO, Resolve to Save Lives


  • Infectious diseases and prevention of outbreaks 
  • Noncommunicable diseases 
  • Large-scale public health programs
  • Epidemiology

Dr. Tom Frieden is President and Chief Executive Officer of Resolve to Save Lives, a $225 million, 5-year initiative housed at Vital Strategies, that aims to save millions of lives from cardiovascular disease and make the world safer from epidemics. Resolve to Save Lives is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

 One of the world’s leading public health experts, Dr. Frieden is a physician trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases, public health, and epidemiology, with extensive experience in public health management. His achievements include leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) work that helped end the Ebola epidemic, controlling the largest outbreak of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis ever to occur in the United States, and helping to establish the largest tuberculosis control program in the world in India, that is estimated to have saved more than three million lives. Because of his leadership at CDC, Americans are safer from antibiotic resistance, foodborne and healthcare-associated infections, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and exposure to dangerous pathogens. As New York City Health Commissioner from 2002-2009, Dr. Frieden led efforts to reduce smoking, eliminate artificial trans fats from restaurants, initiate the country’s largest community-based electronic health records project, and eliminate colon cancer screening disparities, among other critical initiatives.  During his time as Commissioner, life expectancy in New York City increased by three years, a faster increase than in the United States as a whole. Dr. Frieden also designed and launched Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, a program that has so far supported policies which have saved 30 million. From 1992-1996, he led New York City’s tuberculosis control program that reduced multidrug-resistant cases by 80 percent. He has transformed the organizations he has led, creating global models of scientific rigor, maximum accountability, measurable impact, community engagement and increased staff morale. He brings this wealth of experience to leading the Resolve to Save Lives initiative. 

Prior to joining Vital Strategies, Dr. Frieden was Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2009 to 2017. Dr. Frieden earned his medical and public health degrees from Columbia University, completed an infectious disease Fellowship at Yale University, and was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at CDC.  He has published cutting-edge, widely cited research on a broad range of topics and is the author of over 200 scientific publications.