Task Force Welcomes Dr. Nancy Knight as first Chief Science and Programs Officer

Dr. Nancy Knight in front of The Task Force building. Photo credit: Ryan Baptiste for The Task Force for Global Health.

The Task Force for Global Health is delighted to welcome Dr. Nancy Knight as The Task Force’s first Chief Science and Programs Officer. In this role she will help foster cross-program collaboration and partnership opportunities for The Task Force. From serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho to a 22-year career in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, Dr. Knight brings a wealth of public health experience and unique ability to lead and nurture teams of professionals to grow and work together to achieve common goals. 

Dr. Knight will serve as a member of The Task Force’s executive team and help drive overall strategy for the organization, helping to identify and successfully pursue new projects and funding opportunities with a focus on those which could be undertaken jointly by multiple programs. 

“I am simply delighted to have Dr. Knight join us on the Task Force executive team,” said Dr. Patrick O’Carroll, President and CEO of The Task Force. “Nancy brings such a wealth of global health experience, as well as a sincere commitment to helping The Task Force find ways to further develop and leverage the strengths of our many programs.” 

Prior to joining The Task Force , Dr. Knight served in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps as a Rear Admiral, Lower Half, and Assistant Surgeon General, most recently working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the CDC, Dr. Knight held leadership positions in three African countries, including CDC Associate Director for Clinical Programs for PEPFAR in Nigeria, CDC Country Director in Nigeria, Program Director for CDC’s Division of Global HIV and TB in Kenya, and CDC Country Director in South Africa. In 2017, Dr. Knight became Director of CDC’s Division of Global Health Protection, and later served in the Office of the Director for CDC’s Global Health Center, focused on health security. Dr. Knight then served as Director for Emerging Biological Threats during a one-year assignment in the National Security Council. 

Dr. Nancy Knight with fellow teachers, staff, and headmaster at 'Makhethisa Secondary School, Mahobong, Lesotho (1992). Photo courtesy of Nancy Knight.

Dr. Knight has served in numerous public health deployments, both in the U.S. and internationally, including hurricane responses, the West Africa Ebola outbreak, COVID-19, and Operation Allies Welcome where she supported the U.S. government’s cross-disciplinary teams in providing critical public health and medical services to tens of thousands of Afghan colleagues and their families relocating to the United States.

“The Task Force for Global Health has such a rich and powerful 40-year history of addressing major public health challenges through partnerships,” Dr. Knight said. “I’m excited to work with all of our programs to broaden our collaborations and leverage the expertise across The Task Force to strengthen health systems, ensure access to vaccines, and eliminate diseases.”

Dr. Knight holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Psychology from Washington University and an MD degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill. and She completed her residency training in Family Medicine at the University of Cincinnati where she served as Chief Resident.

Dr. Knight was selected after a global search by the executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.

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