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June 21, 2002


President George W. Bush named D.A. Henderson, MD, MPH, dean emeritus of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, as one of 12 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The award, which was established by President Harry Truman to recognized civilians for their service during World War II and reinstated by President John F. Kennedy, honors distinguished service. The announcement was made on June 20 at the White House.

Dr. Henderson is the founding director of the Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies at the Bloomberg School. He was dean of the from 1977 to 1990 and is recognized for his leadership of the World Health Organization’s global smallpox eradication program from 1966 to 1977. Currently, Dr. Henderson serves as a top scientific advisor to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1986.

"We are enormously proud to have the extraordinary contributions of one of our own so magnificently recognized, and with that, the importance of public health for our nation and the globe," said Alfred Sommer , MD, MHS, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

President Bush will award the Medals of Freedom to the recipients at a ceremony in July.

Press Release from the White House, Office of the Press Secretary 

Statement from HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson

Public Affairs Media Contact for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons @ 410.955.6878 or