From 1967–1969, Don Hopkins directed the successful Smallpox Eradication/Measles Control Program in Sierra Leone. Following the eradication of smallpox, his book on the disease, “Princes and Peasants: Smallpox in History,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. It was reissued in 2002 with the title “The Greatest Killer: Smallpox in History.” Dr. Hopkins’ professional experience includes serving as deputy director (1984-1987) and acting director (1985) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He joined The Carter Center in 1987 and led The Center’s efforts to eradicate Guinea worm disease and river blindness worldwide.
Dr. Hopkins received his bachelor of science degree from Morehouse College, his doctor of medicine from the University of Chicago, and his master of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is board certified in pediatrics and in public health and has served as an assistant professor of tropical public health at Harvard School of Public Health and as a member of seven United States delegations to the World Health Assembly.
He has received numerous awards, including the CDC Medal of Excellence, the Distinguished Service Medal of the U.S. Public Health Service, and a MacArthur Fellowship in 1995 for his leadership in the international campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease. Dr. Hopkins also has been awarded honorary doctorates from Harvard University, Morehouse College, Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. He has been made an honorary chief in three traditional areas of Nigeria: Akoko South (1994), Aninri (1998), and Ikwo (1998). Dr. Hopkins currently works with The Carter Center as a special advisor for Guinea worm eradication.