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Caitlin M. Rivers, PhD

  • Assistant Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

621 E. Pratt Street
Suite 210
Baltimore, Maryland 21230

Center for Health Security

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PhD, Virginia Tech, 2015
MPH, Virginia Tech, 2013
BA, University of New Hampshire, 2011


Dr. Rivers is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on improving public health preparedness and response, particularly by improving capabilities for “outbreak science” and infectious disease modeling to support public health decision making.

Dr. Rivers participated as author or contributor in influential reports that are guiding the US response to COVID-19, including National Coronavirus Response: A Roadmap to Reopening; A National COVID-19 Surveillance System: Achieving Containment; Filling in the Blanks: National Research Needs to Guide Decisions about Reopening Schools in the United States; and A National Plan to Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing in the US. She is the lead author on the report Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors which is being used by, the National Governors Association, the state of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to guide reopening plans. In May 2020, Dr. Rivers testified in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies on the COVID-19 Response.

Prior to joining the Center for Health Security in 2017, Dr. Rivers worked as an epidemiologist for the United States Army Public Health Center as a Department of Defense SMART Scholar. She also participated in a National Science and Technology Council's Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science and Technology working group. Dr. Rivers serves as an Associate Editor of the journal Health Security

Honors and Awards

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Faculty Award for Excellence in U.S. Public Health Practice

Department of the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

Department of Defense Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Research Transformation Scholar

  • outbreak science
  • biosecurity
  • biodefense
  • public health policy
  • emerging infectious diseases

Select Publications

  • Rivers, C. M., Majumder, M. S., & Lofgren, E. T. (2016). Risks of death and severe disease in patients with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, 2012–2015. American Journal of Epidemiology, 184(6), 460-464. doi:10.1093/aje/kww013
  • Chretien, J. P., Rivers, C. M., & Johansson, M. A. (2016). Make data sharing routine to prepare for public health emergencies. PLoS Medicine, 13(8):e1002109. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002109
  • Rivers, C. M., Lofgren, E. T., Marathe, M., Eubank, S., & Lewis, B. L. (2014). Modeling the impact of interventions on an epidemic of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia. PLOS Currents Outbreaks 6(6). doi:10.1371/currents.outbreaks.4d41fe5d6c05e9df30ddce33c66d084c
  • Alexander, K. A., Sanderson, C. E., Marathe, M., Lewis, B. L., Rivers, C. M., Shaman, J., Drake, J.M., Lofgren, E., Dato, V.M., Eisenberg, M.C., & Eubank, S. (2015). What factors might have led to the emergence of Ebola in West Africa? PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9(6):e0003652. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003652
  • Lofgren, E. T., Halloran, M. E., Rivers, C. M., Drake, J. M., Porco, T. C., Lewis, B, Yang, W., Vespignani, A., Shaman, J., Eisenberg, J.N., & Eisenberg, M. C. (2014). Opinion: Mathematical Models: A key tool for outbreak response. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(51), 18095-18096. doi:10.1073/pnas.1421551111