Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Stuart Galishoff - Chair

Second Advisor

J. Lyle Conrad

Third Advisor

Clifford M. Kuhn


The history of public health has suggested that the progress of societies cannot be understood without understanding community health conditions. The federal government of the United States established the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) in 1946 to assist the states in controlling outbreaks of infectious disease. This coincided with the early days of the Cold War. The concern of some health officials of the time, most notable among them was the CDC’s Chief of Epidemiology, Alexander D. Langmuir, was to address the 1950s threat of “germ warfare,” or bio-terrorism. To do this effectively the CDC established the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) to train field epidemiologists as the first line of defense against biological attack. The role of the Chief EIS Officer was vital to its success. An examination of the Chiefs’ performance from 1951 through 2006 supports this contention.