News Flash

City News

Posted on: February 15, 2022

City of Portland Announces New Public Health Director

Newsflash 2022

The City of Portland’s Health and Human Services Department is pleased to announce it has hired a new Public Health Director. Dr. Alfredo Vergara, PhD, will start in the role on August 15, 2022, after relocating to Maine from Mozambique where he currently serves as the CDC Country Director and Division of Global HIV and TB Program Director.

"Dr. Vergara's extensive public health experience through a global lens is going to greatly enhance the work of our Public Health division and the HHS department as a whole,'' said Kristen Dow, Director of Health & Human Services. "I truly look forward to working with him to improve the health of our city." 

"I am very excited to join a team committed to social inclusion and community participation," said Dr. Vergara. "The City of Portland has a reputation for providing excellent public health services to a growing, diverse community and I look forward to joining the team that makes this happen. I am eager to learn and face the challenges to build a better community through collaborative innovation." 

About Dr. Alfredo Vergara, PhD
Dr. Vergara is the CDC Country Director and Division of Global HIV and TB Program Director for Mozambique. Dr. Vergara is an epidemiologist with 28 years of experience in public health program implementation. He began his service at CDC as an EIS officer in 1993 and has subsequently worked in the areas of Environmental Health, Global Health and Migration, and HIV/AIDS. In 2000, Alfredo opened and established CDC’s first office in Mozambique, focusing on implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), serving as the CDC Country Director and Public Health Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique. 

Alfredo also served as Associate Director for Program Implementation at the Vanderbilt’s Institute for Global Health (VIGH), leading the development of multidisciplinary Global Health programs, and teaching Public Health. During his tenure at VIGH, he established multidisciplinary collaborations across Vanderbilt’s schools of Medicine, Education, and Business linking various departments and Institutes with the aim of building applied programs addressing Health and Development. He taught environmental health in the MPH program and helped develop the Global Health track of the MPH program. 

In 2013, he returned to Mozambique serving as Branch Chief for public health system strengthening at the CDC Mozambique, and was named a second time Director for CDC Mozambique in 2016, overseeing a budget of over 180 million USD and a staff of 90+ epidemiologist, clinicians and other scientists implementing programs to achieve epidemic control of HIV in Mozambique. Dr. Vergara was awarded a B.S. in biomedical engineering by the University of Iowa, a M.S. in environmental science and a PhD in epidemiology by University of Iowa’s Department of Preventive Medicine.

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