News and Events
A Passport to Service: Fighting the Spread of Infectious Diseases
Public service has always been a part of Andy Weathers’ (B ’98, SC; M ’00, SPP) life, so it is no surprise that he travels all over the globe to train and implement disease control measures for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
After a 10-year career patrolling the campus of Pepperdine University as a public safety officer along with his mother, Cheryn, who also worked for the department, Weathers turned in his badge at age 28. This departure freed Weathers to spend his time managing public health training programs in places like Kenya, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, Brazil, China, and Kazakhstan.
Upon graduation from the School of Public Policy, Weathers interned in the prestigious Presidential Management Fellows Program and competed with 400 other interns for top government agency jobs. He earned a position as a program analyst with the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served in the Emergency Operations Center during the anthrax attacks of 2001.
Weathers is now a public health advisor managing programs in Brazil and Nairobi, Kenya, where he teaches doctors, laboratory workers, and public health officials how to detect disease, respond to outbreaks, and implement control measures. “We are also in the planning stages to begin new programs in South Africa and Ethiopia, and a West African regional program based in Burkina Faso,” explains Weathers.
Weathers’ most challenging yet rewarding project is the Sudan Health Transformation Project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where he has been tasked with helping to build a new Ministry of Health and a disease surveillance/outbreak response system from scratch for the new government of South Sudan. Weathers went to Juba, the new capitol of South Sudan for the first time in February. “It was an eye-opening experience from not only a public health standpoint, but also as a student of government. It is a monumentally difficult place to work, but the rewards are equally as great,” says Weathers. He traveled to Kenya and Sudan in August to negotiate the next phase of the program in Sudan with USAID and the Ministry of Health. “My government passports are getting pretty full!”
Weathers, his wife Helen (B ’97, SC), and six-year-old son Aidan (pictured above) reside in Lawrenceville, Georgia. When not traveling the deserts of Sudan or arid lands of Kenya, Weathers coaches Aidan’s baseball and soccer teams and is a volunteer in the Georgia State Guard, an auxiliary unit to the National Guard.
By Christina Ramirez