Thanking Dr. Gail Bolan for a Career in Leading STI Prevention

Content From: Dr. Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, (RADM, USPHS), Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPublished: January 08, 20212 min read


Gail Bolan
Dr. Gail Bolan
Credit: CDC

Announced in December 2020

Dear Colleagues,

On December 30th, we bid a fond farewell to our colleague, Dr. Gail Bolan. Dr. Bolan retired as the Director of the Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) in the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Bolan’s public health career began in 1982 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer, followed by an infectious disease fellowship. In 1987, she was named the Director of the STD Prevention and Control Program at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and ten years later she became the Chief of the STD Control Branch at the California Department of Public Health as well as the Director of the California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center.

Since joining CDC, Dr. Bolan has consistently pushed an agenda of prioritizing the integration of policy, science and program. Under her leadership, we have seen the conception and beginning of several important programs and investments in the field of STD prevention, including the Syphilis Call to Action, Strengthening the US Response to Resistant Gonorrhea (SURRG); scaling up HIV prevention services in STD specialty clinics as a component of Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE); continuation of the Community Approaches to Reducing STDs (CARS); and increased investments and support to program evaluation, special research projects and outbreak response. A true champion of the needs of STD prevention programs, Dr. Bolan has led the Division through annual STD Surveillance Report releases, periodic updates to CDC’s STD treatment guidelines, and led the reprioritization and reallocation of DSTDP’s flagship prevention funding program. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Bolan held numerous scientific leadership positions on national committees related to STD prevention and control, and published hundreds of articles that have appeared in many high-profile journals. This fall she received the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association’s Distinguished Career Award.

While it is bittersweet to say goodbye to our colleague, we wish her the very best in her next chapter and journey!

I would like to thank Raul Romaguera, DMD, MPH, Deputy Division Director and Director of the Office of Policy, Planning & External Relations, who will serve as the Acting DSTDP Director until a permanent one is selected.


/Jonathan Mermin/

Jonathan H. Mermin, M.D., MPH
Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention