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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


TB Notes Newsletter

No. 2, 2005

DTBE Helps the U.S. Government Delegation Prepare for the 2005 WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva: A Rotation in the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program

Background and Purpose
Each year, the Secretary of HHS – as a member of the World Health Organization Executive Board (WHO/EB) – makes an informed, evidence-based U.S. government (USG) policy and technical response to the varied health positions posed on global health by the WHO Secretariat. These varied global public health issues range from childhood immunization to prevention and control of infectious diseases (e.g., TB, HIV/AIDS, malaria), to aspects of bioterrorism and epidemic response (e.g., International Health Regulations), to infant and young child nutrition.

One of the many challenges in international health policy development is the requirement to cover a wide range of complex scientific and technical areas. This challenge brings together a diverse group of as many as 30 to 40 experts from across HHS and other USG agencies. These individuals may approach a given health issue with different viewpoints, but collectively must find consensus in order to develop a comprehensive USG policy position. To gather and craft the responses involves a dynamic, coalition-building process across HHS and sister agencies. These policy positions must then be integrated within the wider range of important elements: policy, public health import, scientific merit, and public health research. Finally, these positions must be cleared and receive proper approvals within the USG. The process produces a result that, while detailed and complex, also must be capable of being effectively communicated to high-level decision makers of developing and developed countries. The most recent WHO/EB meeting occurred in Geneva, Switzerland, in January 2005.   

Dr. Scott McNabb of DTBE’S Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch is one of five CDC staff in the 26-member 2004 Health and Human Services (HHS) Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program (CDP) (see photo below). Program participants were competitively chosen from among 325 applicants across all HHS agencies. As one element of his 18-month executive formation, Scott performed two rotations. The first occurred under the mentorship of Ms. Mary Lou Valdez from December 2004 through March 2005 in Washington, DC, in the Office of Global Health Affairs, Office of the Secretary, HHS. It was during this rotation that Scott led the effort to gather, craft, and clear the varied public health positions for the USG delegation to the WHO/EB (headed by Dr. William Steiger). His second rotation, occurring May through June 2005, is in the Office of Strategy and Innovation (OSI), Office of the Director, CDC, under the mentorships of Drs. Janet Collins and Brad Perkins. Through the various elements of the SES CDP such as briefings on departmental priorities and initiatives and two executive-level departmental assignments, candidates gain high-level skills that can be applied to the accomplishment of program goals.

Members of the 2004 HHS SES CDP

While the SES candidates are the primary beneficiaries of this program, the SES CDP is also beneficial to the participants’ agencies; thus CDC and DTBE will undoubtedly gain from Scott’s experience.

Submitted by Scott McNabb, PhD, MS
Div of TB Elimination


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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