Becky Bunnell

After completing her masters at CIE in 1989, Becky worked in Uganda with Médecins Sans Frontières and then with TASO, Africa’s first indigenous HIV/AIDS NGO. This work led her to get her doctorate in Public Health at Harvard. In 1996 she joined the Centers for Disease Control as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS/Disease Detective) as a post-doc. At CDC, she has served in Atlanta and California, and then ten years in Uganda and Kenya. Becky has also worked on numerous epidemic responses, including in the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.   Before coming to CIE she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras.


Currently Becky is the Director of CDC’s Office of Science in Atlanta and helps to oversee and support CDC’s scientific work agency-wide—a challenging mandate especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Becky has conducted numerous epidemiologic, surveillance, behavioral, and economic studies and has authored over 120 scientific publications.


Although my career veered into public health, CIE prepared me well.  At CIE, I learned how to organize a process that leads to effective outcomes, even when you have a lot of different stakeholders. Getting people to agree on a rapid response by utilizing a participatory approach based on the principles of adult learning has been essential to my work in outbreak response, community-based health care and health equity. I also learned from CIE leaders like David Evans that life-long passion and dedication can result in global impact. Wonderful to read these pages see the great and far-ranging work that CIE Alumni are doing to make the world a more equitable place.[8-20]




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