Ellen Whitney joins IANPHI as Program Director

July 28, 2015

whitney ellen

Ellen Whitney will be joining the International Association of National Public Health Institutes’ (IANPHI) Office at Emory University as Director of Programs on July 30. Prior to joining IANPHI, Whitney served as Director of Research Projects for the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research at the Rollins School of Public Health and the Associate Director of the Emory Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center from 2003-2015. Her research focused on strengthening public health systems as well as epidemiology and surveillance for emerging infectious diseases.

An epidemiologist by training, Whitney worked at the National Center for Infectious Diseases, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, Meningitis and Special Pathogens at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2000-2003. She participated in the 2001 anthrax investigation and the one-year follow-up of the anthrax survivors, as well as the 2003 monkeypox outbreak. She, and was the a recipient of the DHHS Secretary’s Award for her distinguished service in the public health emergency response to the 2001 World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks and the anthrax investigation. 

Whitney’s previous experience working in BSL3 laboratories at Emory University, focused on Tuberculosis and atypical mycobacteria, led to her work on Buruli ulcer disease, an area of specialty for which she has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization. Her interests include public health systems, surveillance, epidemiology, emerging infectious diseases, zoonotic diseases, atypical mycobacteria, and public health preparedness. She has authored and coauthored 36 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 5 book chapters.

Whitney earned her BA from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Chemistry and Biochemistry. She earned her MPH in Epidemiology from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory, where she received both the Global Field Experience (GFE) Award and the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Activities Award for her research. In 2002, she was inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health.

As IANPHI’s Director of Programs, Whitney will direct IANPHI’s national public health institute development partnerships, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a cooperative agreement with the U.S. CDC, and other donors.


The International Association of National Public Health Institutes links and strengthens the government agencies responsible for public health. IANPHI improves the world’s health by leveraging the experience and expertise of its member institutes to build robust public health systems. 

As the only organization that strengthens NPHIs using an evidence-based international framework for NPHI development, IANPHI’s unique peer-to-peer model, supported by targeted investments, leads to long-term national self-sufficiency. Since 2006 IANPHI’s investments have measurably improved capacity in 40 countries.

IANPHI’s Secretariat Offices are located in Atlanta, GA, USA; Paris, France; and Cuernavaca, Mexico.