Dr David Heymann is the Assistant Director-General for Health Security and Environment and Representative of the Director-General for Polio Eradication. Prior to this, from July 1998 until July 2003, Dr Heymann was Executive Director of the WHO Communicable Diseases Cluster. From October 1995 to July 1998, Dr Heymann was Director of the WHO Programme on Emerging and other Communicable Diseases, and prior to that he was the chief of research activities in the WHO Global Programme on AIDS. Before joining WHO, Dr Heymann worked for 13 years as a medical epidemiologist in sub-Saharan Africa on assignment from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr Heymann also worked for two years in India as a medical epidemiologist in the WHO Smallpox Eradication Programme.
Dr Heymann holds a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.D. from Wake Forest University, a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and has completed practical epidemiology training in the two-year Epidemic Intelligence Service of CDC. In 2004 he received the American Public Health Association Award for Excellence and was named to the United States Institute of Medicine. In 2005 he was awarded a Welling Professorship at the George Washington University School of Public Health and the 2005 Donald Mackay medal by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In 2007 he received the Heinz Award in the Human Condition category.