Dr. Williamson is an accomplished scientific leader/advisor and executive director. He currently is the Associate Director for Science, National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this role, he serves as the primary scientific advisor for environmental public health at CDC, providing direction and leadership in developing and implementing the NCEH/ATSDR scientific research agenda and facilitating high-quality scientific products and achievements. He recently was the Deputy for Science, CDC’s Zika response, with responsibilities to review and approve all scientific/research materials related to Zika that CDC developed and communicated to the public. He directed the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, and helped implement and direct the Analytic Methods Internship Program and Public Health Informatics Program in his years with CDC’s Epidemiology Program Office. He has substantial experience with large-scale scientific programs, and while he was Director, Division of Health Studies, ATSDR, directed development and implementation of the World Trade Center Health Registry, National Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Registry, National Toxic Substance Incidents Program, and Libby (Montana) Asbestos Research and Screening Program. He has been Chief Science Officer/Associate Director for Science for CDC’s Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and Epidemiology Program Office. In those roles, he was responsible for developing and guiding those groups’ scientific research agendas and ensuring the integrity of their science. Dr. Williamson helped develop and implement the CDC’s Statistical Advisory Group in the late 1980s to oversee agency-wide statistical activities and act in an advisory capacity to CDC’s Office of Director on analytic methods issues. He is an experienced communicator and scientific speaker, representing the CDC, ATSDR, and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in testifying before Congress, in press conferences and other interactions with the media, and as the leading Federal official in community meetings and meetings with other Federal, state, and local agencies. He was selected by the CDC Director to be the Executive Lead overseeing the transition at CDC from International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-9 to ICD-10 coding and use, and was a member of the DHHS Data Council, as well as multiple DHHS task force/working groups. Before joining CDC, Dr. Williamson was a researcher on the Bogalusa Heart Study with the Louisiana State University Medical Center, and had responsibility for developing effluent guidelines for U.S. waters while with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Other of his professional activities include that he is currently a candidate for President, the American Statistical Association (ASA), and is the recent past Vice President and is an elected Fellow, ASA. He has held numerous other leadership positions in ASA and in the American Public Health Association. Dr. Williamson serves on the Federal Committee for Statistical Methodology, and in this capacity advises the Office of Management and Budget on data collection, access, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination matters for U.S. data. He currently serves on advisory boards for the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia Southern University, and is an adjunct professor at Emory and Georgia Southern Universities. He was educated at the Georgia Institute of Technology (B.S. Biology), Georgia Southern University (M.S. Biology), Virginia Tech (M.S. Statistics), and Emory University (Ph.D. Biostatistics).
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