Report: Obama selects Frieden as CDC director
(AP) -- President Barack Obama on Friday will name Dr. Thomas Frieden as director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, administration officials told The New York Times.
Frieden has served as New York City's health commissioner for the past seven years. In that time, he spearheaded a campaign to ban smoking in restaurants and bars, boosted the number of New Yorkers getting HIV tests and helped to distribute millions of free condoms.
Health experts say the CDC needs to make immediate improvements in employee morale and organization as the Obama administration works to overhaul the national health care system.
"I think the administration selected Tom Frieden because he can take public health to a new place," Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit public health advocacy organization, told The Times. "He's a transformational leader."
Frieden, 48, is expected to take office next month. His appointment does not require Senate confirmation.
He will succeed Dr. Julie Gerberding, who resigned in January. Dr. Richard Besser has served as acting head of the Atlanta-based CDC in recent months.
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.