Dawn O’Connell Sworn in as New ASPR

Jun 30, 2021 | Beth Hess

Dawn O’Connell was sworn in June 28 as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ fourth Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

O’Connell takes the helm at ASPR as the agency continues its critical role in the global COVID-19 response efforts and prepares for another busy hurricane season.

Prior to being sworn in as the ASPR, most recently O’Connell was the Senior Counselor for COVID-19 to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. O’Connell formerly worked as the Director of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations’ (CEPI) US office. As director she was responsible for managing the broad spectrum of CEPI’s US and North American interests including its relationships with US and North American-based stakeholders, government entities, and industry partners. She also served as the executive director for CEPI’s Joint Coordination Group—a roundtable of institutional partners who all have a vested interest in the successful development and deployment of epidemic vaccines. Prior to joining CEPI in June 2017, O’Connell was a Senior Counselor to Secretary Sylvia Burwell at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama Administration where she tackled the public health emergencies of the Zika and Ebola crises.


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