David W. Fleming, M.D., an international leader in public health with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is the new director of Public Health Seattle-King County.
King County Executive Ron Sims announced the appointment this week. Fleming's appointment is subject to confirmation by the King County Council and the Seattle City Council, required under the city county public health structure.
If confirmed, Fleming will direct a department of over 1,400 employees and a budget of about $267 million. He will begin work on Feb. 6.
"As diseases know no borders and public health is increasingly global, Dr. Fleming's leadership will assure that the best research and practices are available right here at home," Sims said.
"King County is already recognized as having one of the best public health departments in the country. Under Dr. Fleming's direction, we are now poised to be the best," Sims added.
The director leads the 10th largest metropolitan health department in the country by population served. He is responsible for assessing and monitoring the health status of the community, maintaining a safe environment, preventing communicable diseases, promoting healthy living conditions and behaviors and assuring access to health care for all citizens.
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels joined Sims in making the appointment.
Fleming currently serves as the director of Global Health Strategies for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he is responsible for the creation, development and oversight of cross-cutting programs and targeting diseases and conditions that disproportionately affect the world's poorest people and countries. Fleming is also clinical associate professor in epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health.
"While it's been wonderful working at the Gates Foundation, I'm very honored to now have this opportunity to lead such a great organization," Fleming said.
Prior to joining the foundation in 2003, Fleming worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he served from 2000 to 2003 as deputy director of Science and Public Health and in 2002 as acting director of the agency. He also served as deputy administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and he oversaw the CDC offices of Minority Health, Global Health and Women's Health.