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picture carmen villar Merck - Carmen Villar

Carmen Villar

Vice President, Social Business Innovation, Merck & Co. Inc.

Carmen Villar joined Merck in December, 2017 as Vice President, Social Business Innovation in the Policy, Communications and Population Health (PCPH) organization. In this role, Carmen has responsibility for Corporate Responsibility, Merck for Mothers and Population Health organizations.

After a distinguished career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, culminating in her role as Chief of Staff, Carmen joined Merck as the Vice President, Social Business Innovation. In this role, Carmen works across the company to elevate the intersection of corporate responsibility and business impact, while striving to create sustainable health systems to support improved health and well-being globally. Carmen has responsibility for the Corporate Responsibility, Merck for Mothers and Population Health teams.

During her seven-year tenure as Chief of Staff, Carmen helped lead the agency through both the West African Ebola emergency response in 2014 and the Zika emergency response in 2016. She worked to ensure programs and staff were having the maximum impact on preventing disease and improving poor health outcomes around the world. Her leadership was critical in providing coordination across the agency and with other US government counterparts and earned her the honor of the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award.

Ms. Villar worked in both Nigeria and Zambia, providing leadership and oversight to CDC’s programs as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). She collaborated with Ministries of Health, NGOs and the US Government interagency team to ensure delivery of treatment, care, and support services for people affected by HIV/AIDS. As a key health advisor to the US Ambassadors in Nigeria and Zambia, she also provided expert advice in critical public health areas such as Polio and Tuberculosis, while overseeing program budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Carmen started in government as a Presidential Management Fellow focusing on policy and program planning for HIV, STD, and TB prevention. She has worked closely with state and local health departments to implement public health preparedness and HIV prevention programs. Carmen has also overseen multi-site domestic and international HIV research projects in the areas of drug use, prevention of mother to child treatment, and vaccines.

Prior to joining CDC, Carmen was the Policy Affairs Coordinator at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and had also served as a Legislative Aide in the California Assembly. In addition, her work in hospice counseling and hospital discharge planning has provided unique insights into front line patient support and care.

Carmen holds a Master’s in Social Welfare, with a concentration in health, from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Anthropology from UC Berkeley.