Director, Department of Communicable Diseases at WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office
Dr Hajjeh did her undergraduate and medical studies at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Emory University, Atlanta, GA. She is American Board certified in both specialties. In 1993, she joined the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at the U.S. CDC, and has been at CDC ever since. From 2003-2005, Dr Hajjeh was the director of the surveillance program at U.S. Navy Medical Research Unit-3 (NAMRU3) in Cairo, Egypt, where she worked closely with the WHO and countries in the region to set up systems for laboratory-based surveillance and outbreak response. From 2005-2009, Dr Hajjeh was the director of Gavi’s Hib Initiative, a consortium including Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; CDC; and WHO, which resulted in the introduction of Hib vaccines in the 73 poorest countries in the world and, in 2014, Rana won the Federal Employee of the Year Award for her Hib vaccine work. She is a visiting professor at Hopkins School of Public Health and Emory University School of Public Health and Medicine. Between 2008 and 2016, Dr Hajjeh was the director of the Division of Bacterial Diseases at the National Center of Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, CDC, where she led a team of nearly two hundred staff, responsible for bacterial respiratory and vaccine-preventable disease surveillance and response efforts in the US and globally. She has played an important role in the response and control of multiple domestic and global outbreaks that CDC has supported over the last two decades, including epidemic meningitis in Africa and Saudi Arabia; anthrax, SARS and cholera in Haiti; and recently MERS in Saudi Arabia and Ebola in West Africa. Currently, Dr Hajjeh is the director of the Department of Communicable Diseases at WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, responsible for the prevention and control of various priority communicable diseases in the Middle East. Dr. Hajjeh is a fellow of IDSA and has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and serves as a reviewer for multiple journals.
Dr. Hajjeh is the chair of the ISID Research Committee and serves on the ProMED and ICID Program Committees.