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Principal Director of Research

Dr. Kenneth C. Earhart

Principal Director of Research
Naval Health Research Center

Dr. Kenneth C. “Ken” Earhart is the Science Director and senior civilian at the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC), located on Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, California. NHRC is part of the U.S. Navy’s medical research and development enterprise and is the Department of Defense’s Center for Deployment Health Research, carrying out a diverse portfolio focused on the health and readiness of our armed forces and their families.

A native of Michigan, Earhart holds an M.D. from Wayne State University and a B.S. from Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University. He studied at Konan University, in Kobe, Japan, and at the Naval Undersea Medical Institute in Groton, Connecticut. He trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD).

Earhart has spent a career in public service, working in health care, health research and global health. During his 22 years as a medical officer in the U.S. Navy, he was assigned to Submarine Group 7/CTF-74, in Yokosuka, Japan as the 7th Fleet diving and submarine medical officer; NMCSD as a member of the teaching faculty, head of the travel medicine clinic, and assistant program director and IRB chair; USNS Mercy (TAH-19) as clinical staff and officer in charge, chemical biological response team; U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, Egypt, as deputy director and director disease surveillance program, director viral and zoonotic diseases research program, executive officer and commanding officer, where he led infectious disease research operations throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, North and West Africa, and Central Asia.

Following retirement from the U.S. Navy, he served as the founding director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Global Disease Detection (GDD) Regional Center in New Delhi, India, from 2010 to 2014, where he was also CDC’s country director and helped establish and jointly direct the GDD India Centre, a partnership between the U.S. CDC and India’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to address emerging and re-emerging diseases in South Asia.

Prior to joining NHRC in 2016, Earhart served as the U.S. health attaché to China. As a health diplomat posted to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, he represented the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, served as the senior public health advisor to the ambassador, and worked to advance collaboration at the policy level for U.S.-China health engagement, including the first historic agreement between the U.S. and China on development cooperation, focusing on joint public health capacity building in Africa.

Earhart has published over 70 peer–reviewed, scientific articles and numerous presentations. He received distinguished alumni awards from his alma maters Lyman Briggs College (2009 as commencement speaker) and Michigan State University (2011).

His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. He was also awarded the Chevalier de l`Ordre National du 27 Juin Medal by the Président of Djibouti.