Ron Waldman, MD began his career as a volunteer in the World Health Organization's Smallpox Eradication Program, serving for two years in rural Bangladesh. He joined the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1979 and was assigned to the Michigan State Health Department where he became the principal investigator on case-control studies that established the association between aspirin and Reye Syndrome. He also worked with the Ministry of Health in Somalia and, with colleagues, helped establish the epidemiology of refugee health. After two years as CDC's regional epidemiologist based in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, in 1985 he became Director of the Technical Support Division of CDC's International Health Program Office and worked on both child survival projects and disaster response. From1992 through 1994 he was the Coordinator of the Cholera Control Task Force at the World Health Organization in Geneva.
From 1994-1999 he was assigned by CDC to be Technical Director of the USAID-funded BASICS program, a global child survival effort. During this time he also worked in emergency relief in the Balkans and Central Africa. In 1999 he became Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health and Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health where he was Founding Director of the Program on Forced Migration and Health. In 2004-5 he was WHO's coordinator during the tsunami emergency in Aceh, Indonesia. In 2007 he became Team Leader for Strategic Preparedness in the Pandemic Influenza and Other Emerging Pandemic Threats Unit of the US Agency for International Development. In 2010 he served as the US Government's health sector coordinator in the Haiti earthquake relief effort and, later that year, as Senior Public Health Advisor to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator during the Pakistan floods disaster response.. He joined the faculty at GW in July 2012.