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CAPT Franca R. JonesCaptain Franca R. Jones
Naval Medical Research Command, Silver Spring, Maryland
Captain Franca R. Jones is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She attended St. John’s University in Queens, New York, and received a B.S. and M.S. in biology in 1991 and 1994, respectively. She completed her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology in 1999 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
Following completion of her postdoctoral studies, Jones accepted a direct commission as a lieutenant in the Navy Medical Service Corps in April 2002. Her first assignment was overseas with U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit-6 (NAMRU-6) in Lima, Peru, as Department Head of Bacteriology. After her successful tour in South America, she returned stateside in 2004 to serve as Branch Head for Clinical Microbiology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. In 2005 she was selected the Navy’s Biological Defense Fellow and joined Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) in Silver Spring, Md., as division officer of the Biological Defense Operations Department.
In 2008, she reported to the Pentagon as the Department of Defense (DoD) Biosecurity and Biosurveillance Lead in the Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP). During her tour at the Pentagon, she deployed for six months to Kandahar, Afghanistan as a plans, operations, and medical intelligence officer.
In September 2010, while detailed to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, she led the development of administration policy on chemical and biological defense, biosecurity, and biosurveillance. In 2012, in collaboration with the National Security Council, she co-developed the administration’s National Strategy for Biosurveillance, followed by the Global Health Security Agenda in 2014, among others.
Jones was subsequently selected by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense to serve as Director of Medical Programs for the CBDP. From 2013 - 2015 she led the DoD’s medical countermeasure response to the West African Ebola epidemic and response to the DoD’s inadvertent shipment of live anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) samples. In August 2015, she was selected by the Defense Health Agency as Chief, Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Section to oversee a $60M global infectious disease surveillance portfolio in 80 countries to ensure force health protection and readiness of the Joint Force.
Following a successful tour as Executive Officer at NMRC, CAPT Jones assumed Command of the U.S. NAMRU SOUTH, Lima, Peru in April 2021. Under her leadership, the command continued surveillance activities and outbreak support for diseases such as avian influenza, H1N1 influenza, and dengue fever, and assisted partner region militaries through educational sessions during Continuing Promise 2022 activities in Honduras and the 2023 Defense Institute for Medical Operations course in Lima. In August 2023, CAPT Jones returned to NMRC as Commander, leading all eight geographically dispersed Navy Medicine Research and Development Commands.
Jones' awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), and multiple unit and campaign awards.

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