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Caitlin Rivers

Caitlin Rivers, PhD

Infectious disease epidemiologist. Senior Scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Professor of Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

“A national strategy isn’t about the packet of papers. It’s about setting a vision for where we want to be in three, six, twelve months and laying out how we’re going to get there. That’s how we set up public health — and the economy — for success.”

Caitlin Rivers, Ph.D., is an infectious disease epidemiologist, Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (JHCHS), and Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). Her research focuses on improving public health preparedness and response, particularly by improving capabilities for “outbreak science” and infectious disease modeling to support public health decision making.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Rivers worked as a civilian epidemiologist for the U.S. Army. She served as acting Branch Chief in the Disease Epidemiology Division, Chief Epidemiologist of the Health of the Force surveillance report product line, and manager of the Acute Respiratory Surveillance Program, which has run continuously for 50 years. As a Department of Defense Science, Mathematics, and Research Transformation (SMART) Scholar, she served as the senior epidemiologist on several outbreak investigations, including with the Special Operations community.

Dr. Rivers additionally participated in a National Science and Technology Council interagency working group aimed at bringing pandemic prediction and forecasting in capabilities into the federal government. She has been honored with the Department of the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, JHCHS Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Fellowship, and JHSPH Faculty Award for Excellence in U.S. Public Health Practice.

Dr. Rivers received her B.A. in anthropology from the University of New Hampshire and her M.P.H. in infectious diseases and Ph.D. in genetics, bioinformatics and computational biology from Virginia Tech, where she focused on computational epidemiology, particularly modeling emerging infectious diseases to support public health decision making. Her research concentrated on data related to outbreaks of avian influenza, MERS, and Ebola.

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