Global Health Workgroup

Objective Status

  • 0 Target met or exceeded
  • 0 Improving
  • 0 Little or no detectable change
  • 0 Getting worse
  • 0 Baseline only
  • 3 Developmental
  • 0 Research

Learn more about objective types

About the Workgroup

Approach and Rationale

Disease threats do not recognize national boundaries in an interconnected world. A deadly pathogen from a remote village can travel to major cities anywhere within 36 hours.1 With the rise of emerging and re-emerging threats and antimicrobial resistance, it is critical for all countries to have adequate capacities to prevent, detect, and respond rapidly to disease outbreaks before they become international public health emergencies. The 2002–2003 SARS outbreak demonstrated how rapidly a pathogen could spread to 26 countries.2

In 2005, the global community adopted the revised International Health Regulations (IHR), a legally binding international agreement addressing preparedness for and response to acute threats to public health.3 All 194 World Health Organization (WHO) member states, including the United States, committed to building and sustaining core capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to potential international public health threats. However, most countries have yet to fully achieve the capacities required by the IHR.4

Building and maintaining global preparedness for epidemic and pandemic threats requires coordination and technical expertise across multiple sectors and disciplines. CDC, OGA, and other components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) work together to help protect Americans and the global community from these threats. Thus, such threats are less likely to lead to adverse consequences among Americans, including negative health outcomes and loss of exports and jobs.5,6

CDC established a global health protection platform that works with ministries of health and other partners, including WHO, nongovernmental organizations, and academic institutions. Additionally, OGA fosters critical global relationships, coordinates international engagement across HHS and the U.S. government, and provides leadership and expertise in global health diplomacy and policy.

As infectious disease outbreaks continue to threaten the health and economic well-being of populations around the world, CDC and OGA are collaborating with international partners and supporting countries to implement the IHR. This includes building and sustaining a competent trained workforce, laboratory and surveillance systems, and emergency preparedness capacity to rapidly prevent, detect, respond to, and contain outbreaks.7,8 There’s a greater global need than ever before for competent trained workforces, including field epidemiologists, laboratorians, veterinarians, surveillance officers, and multi-sectoral rapid response teams.

The 3 GH objectives highlight high-priority global public health actions and align with the National Security Strategy, National Biodefense Strategy, Global Health Security Agenda, Global Health Security Strategy, IHR, and several other federal and global strategies and priorities. Through global action, we can protect and promote health in the United States and contribute to a healthier, safer world.



Peiris, J.S., Yuen, K.Y., Osterhaus, A.D., Stöhr, K. (2003). The severe acute respiratory syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine, 349(25), 2431-2441. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra032498


Rodier, G., Greenspan, A.L., Hughes, J.M., & Heymann, D.L. (2007). Global Public Health Security. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 13(10), 1447–1452. DOI: 10.3201/eid1013.070732


Gostin, L.O. & Katz, R. (2016). The International Health Regulations: The Governing Framework for Global Health Security. The Millback Quarterly, 94(2), 264–313. DOI: 10.1111/1468-0009.12186


Bambery, Z. et al. (2018). Impact of a Hypothetical Infectious Disease Outbreak on US Exports and Export-Based Jobs. Health Security, 16(1), 1-7. DOI: 10.1089/hs.2017.0052


Cassell, C.H., et al. Relevance of Global Health Security to the US Export Economy. Health Security, 15(6), 563-568. DOI: 10.1089/hs.2017.0051


Global Health Security Agenda. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Global Health Security Agenda. (2018). Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) 2024 Framework [PDF file]. Retrieved from