Dena joined the Washington Global Health Alliance as president in April 2017. She leads the development of the WGHA’s strategic and operating plans while advocating across a diverse community of stakeholders and policymakers.
As Washington, DC, Director for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dena led CDC’s Congressional engagement and was part of senior leadership. Under her leadership, the agency secured emergency appropriations to fund the response to the Zika virus, defended its opioid prescribing guidelines, and worked with Congress and stakeholders through the Flint, Michigan, water contamination discovery and response.
Dena went to CDC from Capitol Hill, where she led the policy team as legislative director for U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, senior member of the Senate Leadership for nine years. Before joining the Senate, Dena was senior Vice President of FaegreBD, a DC-based consulting firm, and co-chair of the health and disability rights practice team.
Dena earned a bachelors degree at Indiana University and a Masters in Public Policy at Georgetown University.
WGHA connects and informs Washington’s global health community, creating a culture of collaboration at home so our members can have more impact in the world. The first organization of its kind, WGHA was founded in 2007 and today has more than 80 members working to achieve health equity.