Carmen Villar is the Vice President of Social Business Innovation at Merck & Co. In this role, Carmen works across the company to elevate the intersection of social and business impact, while striving to create sustainable health systems to support improved health and well-being globally.
Prior to joining Merck, Carmen was Chief of Staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Carmen led the agency through both the West African Ebola and the Zika emergency responses. 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. She 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). 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.
Carmen started in government as a Presidential Management Fellow focusing on policy and program planning for HIV, STD, and TB prevention. 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 the CDC, she was the Policy Affairs Coordinator at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and had also served as a Legislative Aide in the California Assembly.
Carmen holds a Master’s in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Anthropology from UC Berkley.