Donald R. Hopkins, August 2000

Donald R. Hopkins, MD, MPH
School Of Medicine Keynote Speaker – August 10, 2000


Donald R. Hopkins, MD, MPH is the Associate Executive Director with the Division of Control and Eradication of Disease at The Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a position he has held since 1997. In 1995, he directed the new onchocerciasis (river blindness) control program, also at The Carter Center. Previously, he was Assistant Director for International Health and Deputy Director of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); he served as Acting Director of the CDC for most of 1995.

Dr. Hopkins has been an active member of the Chicago Board of Health since 1989. In addition, he has been a visiting lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health since 1978; at the State University of Stony Brook since 1982; and at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health since 1984. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicing at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, a position he has held since 1992, and a Clinical Associate Professor of Community Medicine and Family Practice at the Morehouse School of Medicine since 1993.

From 1967 to 1969, Dr. Hopkins directed the Smallpox Eradication/Measles Control Program in Sierra Leone, West Africa. He consulted on other smallpox eradication programs in Ethiopia and India, as well as with yaws control efforts in Colombia and Dominica. He has been a member of seven US delegations to the World Health Assembly, and has served on several committees of WHO. He was also Assistant Professor of Tropical Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health from 1974 to 1977.

Dr. Hopkins has published extensively, authoring numerous articles for scientific journals and textbooks on a variety of public health topics, including smallpox, yaws and dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease). He is the author of Princess and Peasants: Smallpox in History, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the University of Chicago Press in 1983.

Dr. Hopkins attended the Institute of European Studies at the University of Vienna from 1960 to 1961, and later received a bachelor of science degree from Morehouse College in 1962. Subsequently, he obtained his medical degree from the University of Chicago School of Medicine in 1966, and a master of public health degree from Harvard University in 1970. He has board-certified in both Pediatrics and Public Health since 1974. Dr. Hopkins served his internship at San Francisco General Hospital, and completed his residency in Pediatrics at the University of Chicago Hospital and Clinics.

Some of Dr. Hopkins’ professional affiliations include, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (1965); the Royal Academy of Sciences, Belgium (1986); the Institute of Medicine, US National Academy of Sciences (1987); and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1997). He was also named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1995 and was inducted a Knight of the National Order of Mali in 1998.

Moreover, Dr. Hopkins has been rewarded with many other accolades including, but not limited to, the CDC Medal of Excellence (1983); the Distinguished Service Medal of the US Public Health Service (1990); honorary Doctorates of Science from Morehouse College (1988); Emory University (1994); and Morehouse School of Medicine (1999); and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (1997).