Dr. Julie Gerberding, president of vaccines at Merck, was named executive vice president for strategic communications, global public policy and population health at the health care company on Wednesday.
"Julie has been instrumental in making Merck’s vaccines more accessible and affordable, particularly in emerging markets and many of the world’s most resource-limited countries,” Kenneth Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck, said. “Julie’s leadership of our vaccines business and her exceptional track record in both the public and private sectors make her ideally suited to lead these areas and to advance our engagement with organizations around the world that, like Merck, are working to advance population health.”
In the newly created position, Gerberding will be responsible for the Merck Foundation and Merck for Mothers program, as well as the company's public policy and communications functions.
She joined Merck Vaccines as president of vaccines in January 2010.
Before that, Gerberding served as director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2002 to 2009. She previously worked as a tenured member in the Infectious Diseases Department at the University of California at San Francisco.
Gerberding said no one organization can solve the challenges the world faces in the health care world.
“Whether containing the current Ebola outbreak, increasing vaccination rates or improving the overall health of people in communities, partnerships between public and private sector organizations are essential,” Gerberding said. “Merck has a unique role and a responsibility to contribute, and I welcome this opportunity to lead teams of experts who will help us achieve our mission of saving lives and improving health around the world.”