Meet George Walton, 2021 NCSD Board Chair
George joins NCSD’s Board of Directors from the Iowa Department of Public Health’s STD Program, where he has served as program manager since 2012. He comes from a long line of public servants. He brings a decade of diverse experience to his new role at NCSD, with a background in microbiology and laboratory science. If you were to meet George in person, you’d notice his tall stature, warm smile, and conscientious contributions to any conversation.
George is motivated by the challenges and opportunities in the STD field. He also has a healthy appreciation for the resourceful, amazing, and creative colleagues and DIS who continue to fight the STD epidemic with limited resources. He is encouraged by the strategies and interventions available for the many issues our field faces.
George is taking his seat as the Board Chair during a time of transition and COVID-19 disruptions. He is up to the task of refocusing public health on STDs while also recognizing that even after we get COVID-19 under control, the effects will be long-lasting. George is ready to roll up his sleeves and take on systemic racism and health inequities. George is a collaborative program manager, recognizing the importance of working together – because no one single person, organization, or field can address these problems on its own.
George is a “big-picture” guy, figuring out how to fit all the STD programming pieces together, from surveillance, partner services, and laboratory capacity to racial equity. Like any good Trekkie, he loves thinking about what “could be” in the future. And just like many Star Trek episodes, he hopes that will be a world filled with equity and hope. Over the next year, George will use his leadership position to build others up and exemplify the strengths of his colleagues. George is well equipped to tackle the issues faced by the STD field.
When George isn’t working, you will find him spending time with his wife, Amy (an Associate Teaching Professor at Iowa State University), listening to his children play and Frenchie (French Bulldog) snore, trying new foods, and traveling (when it’s safe to do so again).