Jennifer Layden, MD, PhD is the Acting Director for the Office of Public Health Data, Surveillance, and Technology. In this position, she is responsible for leading, coordinating, and executing a comprehensive public health data strategy and improving the availability and use of public health data to inform decision-making and action. A primary focus of Dr. Layden’s role is to provide leadership for CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative and serve as an advisor to the CDC Director.
Prior to this position, she served as Deputy Director in CDC’s Office of Science (OS), where she provided strategic leadership in the release of the expanded COVID public use dataset and led strategic efforts to expand and support open data efforts across the agency. She also established and led the strategic science unit within the COVID-19 Response and served as co-lead for the Vaccine Task Force on the response. Dr. Layden is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including CDC’s Charles C. Shepard Science Award.
Before coming to CDC, Dr. Layden served as the Deputy Commissioner and Chief Medical Officer for the Chicago Department of Public Health and as the State Epidemiologist and Chief Medical Officer for the Illinois Department of Public Health. Dr. Layden played key roles in public health responses to COVID-19, EVALI, Hepatitis A, and synthetic cannabinoid contamination at the state and local level. While at the Chicago Department of Public Health, she helped establish the agency’s first cloud-based data hub to improve electronic health record data reporting and provided strategic vision in developing the agency’s first advanced molecular detection lab through an academic-health department partnership. Additionally, she served on CSTE task forces during both the COVID-19 and EVALI responses, and she has presented at both national and international conferences.
In 2005, Dr. Layden received both her MD and her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also completed her internal medicine and infectious disease clinical training. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to transitioning to public health, Dr. Layden held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Loyola University Chicago. During that time, she conducted numerous studies on Hepatitis C virus disease progression, burden, and treatment response, as well as population-based studies of HCV burden in West Africa. Dr. Layden has authored more than 70 scientific publications.