HomeTRAILBLAZERS 23Dr. Paul Friedrichs

Dr. Paul Friedrichs

Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy Director

The White House announced in July that a new permanent office in the Executive Office of the President is charged with leading, coordinating, and implementing actions related to preparedness for, and response to, known and unknown biological threats or pathogens that could lead to a pandemic or to significant public health-related disruptions in the United States — taking over the duties of the current COVID-19 Response Team and Mpox Team at the White House and continuing to coordinate and develop policies and priorities related to pandemic preparedness and response. Major General (ret) Paul Friedrichs is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense at the National Security Council and leader of the new Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy (OPPR), serving as Principal Advisor on Pandemic Preparedness and Response. Friedrichs, a urologist, was the Joint Staff Surgeon at the Pentagon, providing medical advice to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Staff and the Combatant Commanders. He coordinated all issues related to health services, to include operational medicine, force health protection and readiness among the combatant commands, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the services. He led the development and publication of the initial Joint Medical Estimate and serves as medical advisor to the Department of Defense COVID-19 Task Force. Friedrichs received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1986 and his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from the Uniformed Services University in 1990. He has commanded at the squadron and group level, served as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and led joint and interagency teams which earned numerous awards, including “Best Air Force Hospital.” As Chair of the Military Health System’s Joint Task Force on High Reliability Organizations, he oversaw developing a roadmap to continuously improve military health care. As the Command Surgeon for Pacific Air Forces, U.S. Transportation Command and Air Combat Command, the general and his teams identified gaps, developed mitigation plans and enhanced readiness for future conflicts and contingencies.

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