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Karen Hacker, MD, MPH

Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC

Karen Hacker, MD, MPH, is the Director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, where she oversees more than 1,000 staff dedicated to preventing chronic diseases and promoting health across the life span. She leads agency efforts to address the social determinants of health (SDOH), including new initiatives to accelerate the growth of SDOH work and expand the role of community health workers.

Dr. Hacker has a long history of public health practice at the local level, having served as the Director of the Allegheny County Health Department in Pennsylvania for 6 years. She also held a variety of leadership roles at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts, including that of Senior Medical Director for Public and Community Health.

An expert in community-based participatory research (CBPR), Dr. Hacker directed the CBPR program of the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Award Initiative. She has published extensively, and wrote Community-Based Participatory Action Research, a widely used academic text.

Dr. Hacker received her MD from Northwestern University School of Medicine and her MPH with honors from Boston University School of Public Health. She continues to see patients as a primary care physician in adolescent medicine.