Robert Redfield, M.D., was named earlier this week as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Redfield was appointed to replace Brenda Fitzgerald, who resigned in January after only six months on the job due to conflicts over financial interests.
Redfield is a medical school professor at the University of Maryland where he co-founded the Institute of Human Virology. He is a longtime AIDS researcher and has extensive experience treating AIDS patients, as well as heroin addicts. In the 1990s Redfield withstood heavy criticism for his stance on mandatory HIV testing for patients and came under scrutiny for overstating the effectiveness of an experimental AIDS vaccine.
The CDC, which is under the direction of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, is based in Atlanta, Georgia. It is the only federal agency located outside of Washington, D.C. The CDC, with 12,000 employees and 10,000 contractors worldwide, researches the cause and frequency of health problems and promotes prevention.