Walter A. Orenstein, MD

Professor and Associate Director
Emory Vaccine Center
Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Emory University School of Medicine

Walter A. Orenstein, MD, DSc (Hon) is Associate Director of the Emory Vaccine Center and Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Global Health at Emory University.  Dr. Orenstein has had a long and distinguished career at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).  Dr. Orenstein began his career in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) of the CDC, focusing on immunization, particularly on smallpox eradication and measles elimination.

Between 1988 and 2004, he was Director of the United States Immunization Program rising to become an Assistant Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service.  During Dr. Orenstein’s tenure at the CDC, record high levels of immunization coverage among children were reached and indigenous transmission of measles and rubella was eliminated.  Multiple new vaccines were introduced into the childhood immunization schedule.

From 2004-2008, Dr. Orenstein was Associate Director of the Emory Vaccine Program with a major focus on policy issues related to influenza vaccination in the United States.  In 2008, he left Emory University to become the Deputy Director for Immunization Programs at the BMGF, in charge of a large portfolio ranging from implementation of polio eradication activities to basic research on improved vaccines and diagnostics.  Polio eradication was the number one priority of the BMGF.