Auburn native Dr. Shannon Hader, the former Director of the Division of Global HIV & TB at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has formally announced her bid for Congress in Washington’s 8th Congressional district.
“Everything I’ve done and everything I’ve learned, from solving big public health problems, to making government programs truly work for local people, has been in preparation to go to work for my neighbors in the 8th,” Hader said Monday in a news release. “Right now, the kind of values I grew up with, and have spent my life working for, are being threatened. Science-based decision-making is under assault at NASA, at the EPA, and at the CDC, where I felt its effects directly. We need a representative in Washington who will stand up in defense of science, and I’m ready to do just that.”
Hader, a Democrat, said she has government and private-sector experience and a proven track record of managing budgets and solving complex problems in dire situations. She said the time is right for her to pursue the seat being vacated by Congressman Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, who announced last September that he would retire rather than seek re-election to the House in 2018.
Hader is among a crowd of 11 candidates running for the seat. The group includes Republican state Sen. Dino Rossi.
A fifth-generation native who grew up on her family’s farmland, Hader went to Stanford University, becoming the first in her family to graduate from a four-year university. She earned her medical degree from Columbia University and completed a residency in medicine and pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center and an infectious diseases fellowship at Emory University.
Hader later served in several key leadership roles internationally and nationally, including as a Commander in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and a senior scientific adviser to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Most recently, Hader was the director of the Division of Global HIV & TB at the United States Centers for the CDC, where she led a team of nearly 2,000 people across 45 countries, responsible for an annual budget of about $2.4 billion – contributing to the nearly 2.2 million babies worldwide who have been born HIV-free under PEPFAR.
“I grew up learning from people who worked hard, took care of the people around them, and tried to make the world a better place,” Hader said. “My father was a Navy aircraft mechanic and a Boeing guy. My mother taught at community centers. It’s their influence that made me who I am. Now, I have the opportunity to put those values to work, ensuring that our government better serves the people of our district.
“I am ready to drive real change that matters for the people in Washington’s 8th Congressional district.”