Dr Mahlet Kifle Habtemariam transitioned to Africa CDC after her service duty as a public health professional and leader in the Ethiopian health system. She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Addis Ababa University, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University College Dublin with majors in international health. She is a Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders and a Takemi Fellow at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Before joining Africa CDC, she was Director General (Chief of Staff) to the Ethiopian Minister of Health, where she managed the Office of the Minister and supervised implementation of the Minister’s key priority initiatives. During her eight-year tenure and before being appointed as Chief of Staff, she was manager for the national HIV/AIDS program, manager for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases programme and director for disease prevention and control. Dr Habtemariam is a researcher with broad interest in health policy analysis. She currently serves as a management team member of the International Society on Priorities in Health, Ethiopian Public Health Association Advisory Council, and co-chair of the Ethiopian National Non-communicable Diseases and Injuries Poverty Commission. She is a member of the Global Lancet Commission on Synergistic Approaches to Universal Health Coverage, Health Security and Health Promotion.