Africa CDC, Ethiopia
Jay K. Varma, MD is the Senior Advisor at Africa CDC. He develops strategy and supports implementation of programs in surveillance, emergency preparedness and response, information systems, laboratory systems, and workforce development.
After graduating magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard, Dr. Varma completed medical school, internal medicine residency, and chief residency at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. In 2001, he joined CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, working on foodborne diseases. From 2003 – 2008, he served in Bangkok, Thailand, directing CDC’s TB programs and research in Southeast Asia. From 2008 – 2011, he served in Beijing, China, directing CDC’s International Emerging Infections Program which assisted the Chinese government on infectious diseases.
From 2011-2017, Dr. Varma served as the Deputy Commissioner for Disease Control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Varma directed the public health laboratory and all infectious disease control programs for New York City, including HIV, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections, immunizations, and general communicable diseases. His Division was one of the largest in the Department, employing more than 1100 staff, managing >$350 million, and operating 17 clinical facilities. He led New York City to achieve record lows in HIV and TB incidence and record highs in childhood immunization coverage, built new programs for hepatitis C, STDs, HIV, Legionnaires’ Disease, advanced molecular diagnosis, and data management, and served as incident commander for nine city-wide emergencies.
Dr. Varma has authored 126 scientific manuscripts, six essays, and one book.