Carmen Varela Santos

Head of Section Public Health Training, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Carmen joined the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) as a senior expert in preparedness and response in September 2005. She contributed to capacity-building through training and pandemic preparedness, also conducting early warning activities, rapid risk assessment and support in response to public health emergencies in the European Union and internationally. She coordinated the development of the first training strategy for the ECDC, and its subsequent updates, in consultation with representatives from European Union and European Economic Area Member States and with the involvement of European and international stakeholders. As Head of the Public Health Training Section since July 2016, she is responsible for the strategic direction of the ECDC Fellowship Programme (EPIET and EUPHEM paths) and the Continuous Professional Development Programme, together with the ECDC Virtual Academy and workforce development actions.

At the beginning of her career, while serving as Public Health Inspector for the Official Veterinary Services of Galicia (Spain), Carmen was seconded to the Programa de Epidemiologia Aplicada de Campo (PEAC)--Spain's Field Epidemiology Training Program--at the National Center of Epidemiology of the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid, Spain. Once graduated, back in Galicia at the Directorate General of Public Health in Santiago de Compostela, she worked in preparedness, early warning and response activities. As PEAC Academic Coordinator, she managed program activities and supervised the projects and field assignments of fellows, including EPIET. 

Carmen is a non-voting member of the TEPHINET Advisory Board (serving as its ECDC liaison) and a member of the TEPHINET Advisory Scientific Committee as well as a member of the TEPHINET FETP Learning Advisory Council. She has participated in several TEPHINET Global Scientific Conferences both as a fellow (in Ottawa, Canada in 2000) and as a supervisor. She has also contributed to several TEPHINET Program Directors’ Meetings. Her key areas of interest in learning are the development of core competency frameworks, training needs assessment and strategies for workforce capacity development. Interdisciplinary and intersectoral training is her passion, as she has learned in her practice as public health inspector and as field epidemiologist the role of collaboration in the achievement of effective public health interventions.