Member of:

  • Health IT Policy Committee, Ex Officio
  • Public Health Task Force, Ex Officio

Chesley Richards

Director, Office of Public Health Scientific Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Chesley Richards is the Director of the Office of Public Health Scientific Services (OPHSS). In this role, Dr. Richards is a key advisor to the CDC Director and oversees the National Center for Health Statistics, publication of the MMWR, The Guide to Community Preventive Services, and Vital Signs. He also is responsible for the Epidemic Intelligence Service and other scientific training programs and a broad range of cross cutting epidemiology, public health surveillance, and laboratory services. OPHSS has approximately 1,000 staff and campuses in Atlanta, Georgia; Hyattsville; Maryland; and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Previously, Dr. Richards served CDC in a variety of roles including Director of the Immunization Services Division in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and Deputy Director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion in the National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Richards earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in public health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). He is a graduate of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at CDC, the Cancer Control Education Fellowship at UNC Lineberger Cancer Center, and the Program on Clinical Effectiveness at Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Richards has completed specialized training at the Medical College of Georgia, Emory University, and UNC.

Before coming to CDC, Dr. Richards served as the Chief of General Internal Medicine and Associate Director for Internal Medicine Residency Training at the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Richards has also been a reviewer for several leading medical and public health journals and has published more than fifty journal articles and chapters. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics at Emory University.

Dr. Richards’s professional interests include healthcare quality, preventive services, public health surveillance, health policy, and public health leadership.