Introducing the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response



Since its creation in 2006, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, or ASPR, has been tasked with helping the country prepare for and respond to public health emergencies – both naturally occurring and man-made. Today, ASPR coordinates HHS's COVID-19 response, is a key player in the monkeypox response, and is managing the logistics and operations for Operation Fly Formula to help address the infant formula shortage, in addition to our core preparedness and response duties.

In recognition of the increasing size and scope of what we do, particularly over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Becerra has elevated ASPR from an HHS Staff Division to an Operating Division, putting our organization in the same category as other large HHS teams with core operational responsibilities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), among others.

This change will allow us to mobilize a coordinated national response more efficiently and effectively during future disasters and emergencies while equipping us with greater operational capabilities.

ASPR has always had key operational responsibilities including the missions of the National Disaster Medical System, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and the Medical Reserve Corps. In recent years, however, ASPR's operational functions have grown significantly to include the Strategic National Stockpile, public health supply chain, and the establishment of the HHS Coordination Operations and Response Element.

Along with this reclassification, moving forward we will be known as the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR). While the name change is immediate, some of the benefits of becoming an Operating Division, such as enhanced capability in hiring and contracting, will be made over a period of time to ensure a seamless transition of key responsibilities.

​Finally, while this is an important milestone for our team and recognition of the value our employees and programs provide, we recognize that we cannot succeed without strong collaboration with our partners across HHS – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and others – as well as with state and local health departments, industry and academia. We look forward to continuing to strengthen those relationships and improve as an organization, now as the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response.  


Public Health Preparedness




Dawn O’Connell, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

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