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 Caitlin  Rivers, PhD, MPH Image

Caitlin Rivers, PhD, MPH

Infectious Disease Epidemiologist

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Dr. Caitlin Rivers uses outbreak science to improve public health preparedness and response, using infectious disease analytics and modeling to support public health decisions. She has experience in areas such as school reopening, testing policy, and balancing control of the pandemic with economic recovery, amongst several other major contributions to the U.S. COVID-19 response.

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Dr. Rivers Responds to New CDC Guidelines for Vaccine R ...

Dr. Rivers Addresses Covid-19 Variants from a Public He ...

Dr. Rivers Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020


Caitlin Rivers is an infectious disease epidemiologist and faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Rivers’ work focuses on pandemic preparedness, response, and health security policy.

Dr. Rivers is a proponent of advancing our national capabilities for outbreak data, analytics and modeling. Notably, she advocates for the creation of a national infectious disease forecasting center, akin to the National Weather Service. She has written related op-eds and articles on improving use of outbreak data and analytics, and is a leading researcher in this area.

Dr. Rivers has helped to guide the US response to COVID-19, including through the publication of influential reports and op-eds, including "National Coronavirus Response: A Roadmap to Reopening," which was referenced on FAQ embedded in every New York Times story on coronavirus during spring of 2020. She is the lead author on the report Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors, which was used by the National Governors Association, the state of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to guide reopening plans.

In May 2020, Dr. Rivers testified in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on the COVID-19 response. She testified again in August 2020 in front of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on school reopening. She regularly advises senior leaders at the state and local level, as well as Congressional committees and offices.

Speech Topics

In this comprehensive speech, Dr. Rivers describes lessons learned from the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides educated predictions on the virus itself and its impact on Americans.

Dr. Rivers discusses the nation’s missteps in identifying and controlling the pandemic form a public health standpoint, citing other countries’ response efforts that were more successful, i.e., “who got it right.”

This dynamic speech also proposes a reimagined pandemic preparedness response, describing the need for a National Center for Epidemic Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics and how that programming can help ensure we are not caught in this position again.

Public health has changed the course of history, saving the lives of many millions. Dr. Rivers uses her expert knowledge to answer the questions:

– What lessons can we take from those achievements?

– What were the steps that lead to these accomplishments?

– What is the next frontier of achievement in public health?