The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has named Richard Bresser, MD, as its next President/CEO. Dr. Bresser currently is the chief health and medical editor for ABC News and a former acting director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among the top stories he covered as a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist was the Ebola epidemic, beginning with reporting from Uganda in 2012. At the CDC, he was the director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response.
Dr. Besser received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Williams College and medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency and chief residency in pediatrics at John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. Dr. Besser began his career at the CDC in 1991 in the Epidemic Intelligence Service working on the epidemiology of food-borne diseases. He served for five years on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego as the pediatric residency director, while working for the county health department on the control of pediatric tuberculosis. He returned to CDC in 1998 as an infectious disease epidemiologist working on pneumonia, antibiotic resistance and the control of antibiotic overuse.
He volunteers as a pediatrician with the Children’s Aid Society in New York City, and he is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. Besser will succeed Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, who has led the foundation for the last 14 years. He will assume leadership of the $10 billion foundation this April.