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The new Regional Office will strengthen CDC’s ability to meet its mission of protecting Americans and people of the region by responding more rapidly to health threats wherever they occur and building key relationships to tackle shared health priorities.

Vice President Kamala D. Harris Launches US CDC Regional Office in Hanoi
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and US Vice President Kamala Harris - Photo: Ngoc Diep
Vice President Kamala D. Harris will launch the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Southeast Asia Regional Office in Hanoi, Vietnam, at a ceremony on August 25 that includes the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, U.S. CDC Director, Deputy Prime Ministers and Health Ministers from several countries. 
The new Regional Office will strengthen CDC’s ability to meet its mission of protecting Americans and people of the region by responding more rapidly to health threats wherever they occur and building key relationships to tackle shared health priorities. 
CDC is uniquely suited to increase American engagement and collaboration with Southeast Asian leaders to enhance regional capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases and other emerging health threats.  
Priorities for the new regional office include building tomorrow’s public health workforce, expanding regional public health laboratory training, developing innovative programs to improve health for mobile and migrant populations, ensuring a coordinated response to public health emergencies through networked Emergency Operation Centers, and strengthening the early warning system for the detection of zoonotic and emerging infectious diseases.
The Southeast Asia regional office is led by a Regional Director who is the most senior CDC official in the region and serves as the CDC Director’s representative, responsible for ensuring a coordinated and cohesive approach to the agency’s global health strategy. 
The leadership team also includes a Deputy Regional Director and Associate Director for Policy and Communications. Additional US Direct Hire (USDH) and Locally Employed (LE) staff will include technical subject matter experts and administrative support, as needed. Staff may be assigned to work in the regional office or stationed elsewhere in the region.
Key Priorities and Activities
An initial priority for the Southeast Asia regional office is the coordination of COVID-19 activities across the region, with support from CARES Act funding. Looking beyond COVID-19 activities, priority areas of focus for the Southeast Asia regional office include expanding regional public health laboratory training to include more robust training curriculum for laboratories, developing innovative programs to improve health for mobile and migrant populations, expanding the reach of One Health (animal health) operations in and across countries in the region, working towards the elimination of diseases such as measles, rabies, and malaria, and supporting US Government foreign policy initiatives in the region including the Indo-Pacific Strategy, US ASEAN Health Futures, and the Lower Mekong Initiative. The Southeast Asia regional office will also work with partners to strengthen the early warning system for the detection of zoonotic and human emerging infectious diseases such as influenza-like illness (ILI)/severe acute respiratory illness (SARI), avian influenza, swine
influenza, and bat-borne viruses, through a multi-country network of surveillance sites. Finally, the Southeast Asia regional office will work closely with ASEAN on shared health priorities.
Opportunities
The Southeast Asia region has a long history of working on health security issues because of significant experiences with emerging infectious diseases. The CDC Southeast Asia regional office will be a trusted technical partner well-known to the individual countries and can serve as convener to strengthen the regional relationships—especially those coordinated through ASEAN. The Southeast Asia regional office will work to further development and strengthening of ASEAN networks including EOCs, the
Field Epidemiology Training Network, One Health, laboratory, and IPC/AMR.
Further, the Southeast Asia regional office will be instrumental in providing technical and managerial assistance to the new ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergency Response and Emerging Diseases (ASEAN CDC), as it establishes a presence and identifies priority programs. 
The Southeast Asia regional office will develop and strengthen ongoing relationships with other key stakeholders throughout the region including US Government partners and US Missions to countries within the region, regional UN organizations, multilateral banks, bilateral partners (Japan, Korea and England), and other regional partners.

DIEP NGUYEN