Lydia Ogden is a proven public- and private-sector leader with three decades of experience in predicting and managing health system change and enabling successful health partnerships spanning the globe. She leverages deep knowledge and diplomatic skills to effect impactful high-level engagements with senior public officials and c-suite executives. She has a proven track record in recruiting, nurturing, and retaining top talent and building high-functioning teams, large and small. She is passionate about improving health equity and population well-being.
Lydia joined Merck in November 2012, initially directing U.S. and ex-U.S. work in vaccines policy, partnerships, and government relations to globalize Merck’s vaccines business and improve immunization rates worldwide. From August 2017 to May 2019, she led company-wide strategic engagement with international organizations, foundations, institutions, and industry associations; directed overall access efforts; and served as the public policy lead for Merck’s Public Policy and Responsibility Council.
Prior to joining Merck, Lydia worked in public health for more than two decades at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading domestic and international HIV/AIDS policy, implementing PEPFAR, serving as the agency’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, and heading the Office of Health Reform following passage of the Affordable Care Act. She is certified for the Senior Executive Service, the federal government’s cadre of elite leaders, and held a Top Secret security clearance through 2012. From June to December 2010, she served in the White House as the Senior Health Policy Advisor to President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
Lydia has a doctorate in health services research and health policy from Emory University; a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (dual foci: strategic management and press, politics, and public policy); a Master’s degree in Literature from Vanderbilt University; and a bachelor’s degree in English and Education (K-12) from Middle Tennessee State University. She holds an affiliate faculty appointment in health management and policy at the Dornsife School of Public Health of Drexel University and is an adjunct fellow at the Center for Public Health Initiatives of the University of Pennsylvania.