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CSTE announces Janet Hamilton, MPH as new Executive Director

Posted By CSTE Staff, Saturday, March 28, 2020
Updated: Friday, March 27, 2020


The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) is pleased to announce the selection of Janet Hamilton, MPH, as new Executive Director, effective March 29, 2020. As Executive Director, Hamilton will work directly with the Executive Board and senior management team to lead and shape CSTE’s mission of advancing the field of applied public health epidemiology in the U.S.  


She will also oversee CSTE’s strategic objectives, public health partnerships, and operations. Hamilton will replace current Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Engel, who announced his retirement in November 2019.   


“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response, CSTE is fortunate to welcome a new Executive Director who really understands applied epidemiology from the state and national perspective and has hands-on state public health department experience from her previous role in the Florida Department of Health,” said Dr. Sharon Watkins, current CSTE president and Pennsylvania State Epidemiologist. “Janet’s scientific and policy expertise has truly boosted CSTE’s national profile, and I am pleased we’ll have this continuity of leadership at such a crucial juncture.” 


Prior to her selection as Executive Director, Janet served as CSTE’s Senior Director of Science and Policy, leading organizational efforts to strategically combine applied epidemiology science with policy efforts to advance public health and applied epidemiologic public health practice. Hamilton is an epidemiologist with over 15 years of public health work experience at the national, state, and local levels. In 2019, Janet spearheaded the efforts of a coalition of partners to modernize public health surveillance through the Data: Elemental to Health campaign, which secured an initial appropriation of $50 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support this foundational need. She has also helped lead CSTE’s response to EVALI and now COVID-19. Prior to CSTE, Janet worked in the Florida Department of Health, where she oversaw surveillance programs, both the epidemiologic scientific content and the surveillance systems that support them. Hamilton also served as CSTE’s Executive Board President during the 2017-18 term, and as Surveillance and Informatics Steering Committee Chair from 2011 to 2015. 


“It is such an honor to be chosen to serve as CSTE’s next Executive Director,” added Hamilton upon the announcement. “I am grateful for the leadership and guidance of our retiring executive, Dr. Jeffrey Engel. Public health is facing the most intense challenge of our lifetime responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we must do everything we can to support our members who are facing even greater challenges on the ground. Public health is meeting this moment with calm, courage and resilience. I look forward to collaborating with our Board, our federal, state, and local partners, and all of our members to foster growth and the advancement of CSTE and our field.” 


Hamilton replaces outgoing Executive Director Jeffrey Engel, MD, who will retire after eight years of guiding CSTE through a successful period of growth as Executive Director. Engel will remain at CSTE as Senior Advisor for the COVID-19 response, assisting as a subject matter expert in infectious disease epidemiology.  

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