Primary Navigation for the CDC Website
CDC en EspaƱol

Biography: Dr. Rima Khabbaz, Director
National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases

Rima Khabbaz Rima Khabbaz

"In this highly connected world, microbes continue to challenge us, both here and globally. We must be alert and prepared to detect these threats and respond as quickly and effectively as we can.”

- Dr. Rima Khabbaz

Dr. Rima Khabbaz is the director of CDC’s new National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases (NCPDCID). She became the director of CDC’s National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in December 2005, and provided important leadership to transition NCID to four centers.

Before becoming NCID director, Khabbaz was acting deputy director of NCID, associate director for epidemiologic science of NCID, deputy director of the Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases (DVRD), and associate director for science in DVRD. Her first job at CDC was as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in the Hospital Infections Program. She later served as a medical epidemiologist in the newly formed Retrovirus Diseases Branch and made major contributions to defining the epidemiology of the non-HIV retroviruses, specifically human T lymphotropic viruses (HTLV) I and II, in the United States as well as in developing guidance for counseling HTLV–infected persons. Following the hantavirus pulmonary syndrome outbreak in the southwestern United States in 1993, she led CDC’s efforts to set up national surveillance for this syndrome. Khabbaz is also a clinical assistant professor of medicine (infectious diseases) at Emory University.

Khabbaz is a graduate of the American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, where she obtained both her bachelor's degree in science (biology/chemistry) and her medical doctorate degree. She trained in internal medicine and completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She is board certified in internal medicine.

Khabbaz played a leading role in developing and coordinating CDC’s blood safety programs and CDC’s food safety programs related to viral diseases. She also had a key role in CDC’s responses to outbreaks of new and/or reemerging viral infections including Nipah, Ebola, West Nile, SARS, and monkeypox. She led the CDC field team to the nation’s capital during the public health response to the anthrax attack of 2001.

Khabbaz has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific articles, book chapters, and reviews. She served on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Blood Product Advisory Committee and on FDA’s Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee. She is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), a member of the American Epidemiologic Society, and of the American Society for Microbiology. She is a graduate of the Public Health Leadership Institute at the University of North Carolina and the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. She served on IDSA’s Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee and on the society’s National and Global Public Health Committee. She also is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Microbial Threats.
Content Source: National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases
Page last modified: December 26, 2007