Dr. Jay K. Varma is Kroll’s Chief Medical Advisor and a Kroll Institute fellow, based in New York. Jay is an expert on the prevention and control of diseases and has led epidemic responses, developed global and national policies, and led large-scale programs that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives in China, Southeast Asia, Africa and the United States. In his current role, he participates in the Institute’s thought leadership and client engagement opportunities and provides health-related expertise and recommendations to our leadership team to formulate our global workplace health and safety protocols as we navigate these evolving times.
Prior to joining Kroll, Jay was at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he worked for over two decades with postings in Atlanta, Thailand, China, Ethiopia and New York City. He was recruited by the mayor of New York at the peak of the pandemic, and he served as the principal scientific spokesperson and architect for New York City’s COVID-19 pandemic response from April 2020 to May 2021. During this time, he engineered the largest diagnostic testing and contact tracing programs in the country, the phased re-opening of businesses, the health policies and practices for the safe re-opening of the largest public school system in the country, and vaccination campaigns.
In September 2021, Jay joined Weill Cornell Medicine as a professor of population health sciences to conduct research, training and programs on public health and to direct the Cornell Center for Pandemic Prevention and Response.
He has authored 141 scientific manuscripts, eight essays and one book. As a retired captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, Jay has been recognized as the U.S. Public Health Service Physician Researcher of the Year (2010) and Physician Leader of the Year (2017), and he has received two of the highest awards in the U.S. Public Health Service: Distinguished Service Medal (2011) and Meritorious Service Medal (2018).
Jay received his B.A. in history and science (magna cum laude) with the highest honors from Harvard University. He completed medical school, internal medicine residency and chief residency at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.