Dr. Scott F. Dowell, a pediatric infectious disease specialist by training, focuses on tracking the causes of global childhood mortality. He joined the foundation in 2014 after 21 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he studied viral and bacterial pneumonia, responded to outbreaks of Ebola and other pathogens, and established global disease surveillance and outbreak response programs.
From 2001 to 2005, Scott established and directed the International Emerging Infections Program in Thailand, a collaboration between the CDC and the Thai Ministry of Public Health. The program received accolades from both the Thai and U.S. governments for its prominent role in responding to the SARS crisis, and for its leadership in defining the response to avian influenza A (H5N1) in Southeast Asia. Building on the success of the Thailand work on emerging infections, he returned to Atlanta to help develop the Global Disease Detection program, which became CDC’s principal means of identifying and containing emerging infections around the world, with GDD Regional Centers in 10 countries. In 2009 the program was formally recognized by the World Health Organization as a Collaborating Center and Scott was named as its first director. He led CDC’s response to the earthquake and cholera epidemic in Haiti during 2010-2011, helping to rebuild the public health infrastructure and contributing to the saving of an estimated 7,000 lives.
Scott served as the director of the Division of Global Disease Detection and Emergency Response from 2009-12, and led the agency’s Global Health Security Agenda from 2012-14. In 2014, he retired from the U.S. Public Health Service at the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General. He has co-authored more than 170 publications and has a special interest in targeted reductions in childhood mortality.