Herbert O. Wolfe

Herbert O. Wolfe
Professor of Practice
Email: 
how2@psu.edu
Phone: 
(814) 753-4941
Office: 
237 Katz Building
Education: 

Ph.D., George Mason University
M.S., Lock Haven University
B.A., Lycoming College

Professor Wolfe has had a distinguished career in government and currently serves as director and acting chief of staff of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He previously served as the director for medical preparedness policy at the White House National Security Council and as a scientist at the Central Intelligence Agency. Dr. Wolfe is an expert on national security, global health, and biodefense. 

Prior to his move to the White House, Wolfe served as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration’s chief audit executive, providing independent and objective oversight for the organization’s $66 billion annual budget and 300,000-plus employees through proactively identifying system vulnerabilities, overseeing and implementing enterprise risk management assurance activities, and leading all internal audit functions across the clinical, business, and financial domains of the global VA health care system.

Immediately prior to his appointment at the VA, he served as senior adviser to the director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a role in which he provided strategic direction and vision, advanced environmental health priorities, and helped to ensure the department fulfilled its critical mission of using the best science in taking responsive public health actions to prevent and mitigate harmful exposures and diseases related to toxic substances. He served as the senior agency official forward deployed to Flint, Michigan, in 2015, leading the public health response to the water crisis. 

Wolfe served on active duty in the U.S. Public Health Service as a physician assistant from 1998 to 2002, completing his family medicine residency at the Claremore Indian Hospital in Claremore, Oklahoma. Wolfe began his federal career in 1993 as a biological sciences laboratory technician with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS).