After having served as acting director since August 2022, Capt. Robyn Neblett Fanfair, MD, MPH, has been named the permanent director of the Division of HIV Prevention (DHP) of the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Prevention (NCHHSTP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The DHP oversees much of the CDC’s HIV prevention efforts; its mission is to prevent HIV and to reduce HIV-related illness and death. 

"During her time as acting director, Dr. Fanfare demonstrated her dedication to collaborating with the HIV workforce to gain a better understanding of suggested solutions and strategies for HIV prevention,” said Leisha McKinley-Beach, founder and CEO of Black Public Health Academy. “While we commemorate her deserving appointment, it’s important to recognize that she is navigating a system with its own obstacles related to racism and discrimination. Nonetheless, Robyn shines as an exceptional guiding light, a catalyst for change, and as a woman committed to positively impacting the lives of others." 

Dr. Fanfair began her career in Baltimore as an HIV prevention researcher, clinician and public health worker. She served as a primary care provider for people living with HIV (PLWH) at the Moore Clinic of Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was a clinical research track fellow at Hopkins’ Division of General Internal Medicine, conducting research into sexual networks and HIV and aging. A board-certified internist, she also is a primary care provider for veterans living with HIV at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. 

In 2012, she joined NCHHSTP as a medical epidemiologist in the Division of STD Prevention, working on projects focused on syphilis, mycoplasma and herpes. She joined DHP in 2015, leading a randomized clinical trial to assess a collaborative data-to-care model to improve HIV care continuum outcomes. Becoming team lead of the DHP’s Treatment Research Team in 2018, she led research efforts to improve engagement and retention in HIV care, increase viral suppression and improve health and life equity for PLWH. She also led DHP’s Treatment pillar workgroup, supporting the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative (EHE). She was named DHP’s principal deputy director in November 2021, becoming acting division director the following August. 

Dr. Fanfair is also a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), active in emergency preparedness and response, deploying to provide support for efforts around Ebola, Zika, COVID-19 and hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

She received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University, her Doctor of Medicine from NYU’s School of Medicine and her master's in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine. She trained at Cornell-New York Presbyterian Hospital in internal medicine. 

Announcement of Dr. Fanfair’s permanent position was made Feb. 12 by Jonathan H. Mermin, MD, MPH, director of the NCHHSTP.