CDC's second-in-command to retire

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Anne Schuchat, MD, principal deputy director of the CDC, plans to leave her role later this year, the agency confirmed to Politico May 17.

Dr. Schuchat is retiring after more than 30 years at the CDC. 

"I have had extraordinary experiences, both professional and personal," she said in a statement shared with Becker's. "This summer, I'll be leaving the agency for a retirement that I hope will allow more time for creative passions. I will be leaving with the greatest respect and confidence in CDC's leadership and staff and the important work we do. I could not be more optimistic about the future of our agency and the prospects for our public health system. After a long and fulfilling career in public health, infectious diseases and epidemiology, it is the time for me to smell some roses."

Dr. Schuchat has served as the CDC's principal deputy director since September 2015. She also was acting CDC director twice, and served as director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases from 2006-15. She has worked at the CDC since 1988. 

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, praised Dr. Schuchat's work.

She said in a statement: "I have enormous gratitude for Dr. Schuchat's leadership and contributions over three decades, and during this very challenging period for our country. I am especially thankful for her invaluable counsel, assistance and support in my transition into this role."

Dr. Walensky added that her colleague "embodies selfless public service, the pinnacle of scientific and intellectual standards, and has given her heart to our agency and the public health community. I will remain forever grateful that our paths crossed, even for just a short while."

Dr. Schuchat's news marks the second recently announced CDC leadership departure. Nancy Messonnier, MD, resigned earlier this month as director of the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

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