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Barbara Mahon

Deputy Director, Surveillance and Epidemiology

Barbara Mahon is a pediatrician and infectious disease epidemiologist who focuses on public health surveillance, outbreak detection and response, and vaccines. She first came to the foundation at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, spending a year contributing to the foundation’s surveillance strategy before returning to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she had worked since 2009.

Back at the CDC, Barbara led the incident response during the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and then launched a new permanent CDC division, the Coronavirus and Other Respiratory Viruses Division, with more than 200 staff working on laboratory, epidemiology, surveillance, and global issues.

She rejoined the foundation in 2023 in her current role.

Trained in the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, Barbara has worked on respiratory, vaccine-preventable, and enteric infectious diseases and on multiple public health emergencies, including the 2014–2016 West Africa Ebola epidemic and the 2010 introduction of cholera to Haiti. She served as director of the CDC’s Division of Bacterial Diseases in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, principal investigator for the Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine against Ebola (STRIVE), associate director for antimicrobial resistance in the foodborne disease division, and deputy chief of the Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch.

Barbara has also worked in academic pediatrics, academic epidemiology, and the vaccine industry.

She earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard University; an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco, where she also did her internship and residency in pediatrics; and an MPH in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.

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