President Emeritus, FHI 360 in Research Triangle Park
Willard (Ward) Cates, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., is President Emeritus with FHI 360, one of the largest and most active nonprofit organizations in human development with field activities in more than 60 countries.
Since joining FHI 360 in 1994, initially as senior vice president for biomedical affairs, Dr. Cates has overseen a robust program in microbicide and HIV prevention research, serving as co-principal investigator or principal investigator of several major multi-million dollar grants. From 1999 to 2007, he was principal investigator of the HIV Prevention Trials Network, an HIV/AIDS clinical trials network funded by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Currently, Dr. Cates is principal investigator of two USAID-funded grants focused on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, respectively, and of a grant funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation evaluating oral tenofovir for HIV prevention. For the Microbicide Trials Network, Dr. Cates is principal investigator for FHI’s clinical operations team.
Board-certified in general preventive medicine, with a subspecialty in epidemiology, Dr. Cates started in public service as chief of preventive medicine activity at the U.S. Army Hospital in Nuremberg, Germany. In 1974, he joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the span of his 20-year tenure at the CDC, Dr. Cates served in various posts, including as a leader in the Family Planning Division, director of STD/HIV Prevention and director, Division of Training, Epidemiology Program Office.
Dr. Cates is an adjunct professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Emory University, and the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. He has authored or co-authored more than 450 scientific publications, including 170 original contributions.
His many honors include election as a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, considered one of the most prestigious recognitions in medical science and public health. Dr. Cates also sits on the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board which is charged with advising Ambassador Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, on scientific, implementation, and policy issues related to the global response to HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Cates is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, past president of both the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and has served on the executive boards of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the American Sexually Transmitted Disease Association and the American College of Preventive Medicine. He has been awarded the Carl S. Shultz Memorial Award by the APHA for his research contributing to the health of American women; the Christopher Tietze Humanitarian Award from the National Abortion Federation; and the Thomas Parran Award from the American Sexually Transmitted Disease Association. In addition, Dr. Cates is the only non-bench scientist to receive Planned Parenthood’s Arthur and Edith Wippman Scientific Research Award. In 2004, he was recognized by Yale University School of Public Health with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.
As an undergraduate at Yale, Dr. Cates studied history, and upon his graduation, he received an Ehrman Scholarship to attend Kings' College at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, where he obtained a masters degree in modern European history. Dr. Cates returned to Yale and its schools of medicine and public health to complete a combined M.D.-M.P.H. degree. His clinical training was in internal medicine at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, Va.