Category: Alumni, Discovery & Impact

Title: Answering the Call: McCourt Alumnus Manages National COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Date Published: March 15, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed daily life –– challenging our health systems and disrupting the global economy. Over the past year, people across the world set out to find ways to keep people safe and manage the public health crisis from social distancing to test and trace efforts, vaccine development, and distribution.

Now, thanks to the tremendous efforts of scientists, medical experts, volunteers, and public servants who rolled up their sleeves and worked tirelessly to help progress pandemic recovery, the coronavirus vaccine distribution is underway. Among those dedicated public servants is McCourt alumnus Army Maj. Doug Meyer (MPM’19). Meyer currently oversees vaccine distribution in support of the federal response as chief of operations of the COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutics Operation–formerly Operation Warp Speed.

In May 2020, when Meyer answered the call to serve in this new role, there was no vaccine on the horizon. Now, with three federally-authorized vaccines available, the United States is on track to have enough coronavirus vaccine supply “for every adult in America by the end of May.”

“Coming from McCourt, it has helped me keep perspective –– the main goal is helping those most affected.”

Army Maj. Doug Meyer (MPM’19)

“Data and science drove this effort,” says Meyer describing the team’s evidence-based approach toward operationalizing vaccine distribution. He credits his experience at the McCourt School for equipping him with the tools to navigate policy implementation with a people-centered focus.

“Coming from McCourt, it has helped me keep perspective –– the main goal is helping those most affected,” Meyer explains. “When you hear that 400 doses were delivered to a CVS pharmacy in a small town in Maryland — that’s peoples’ lives, and I’m proud of the impact the entire team is making every day across the country.”

Meyer’s efforts contributed to a significant milestone last week: 100 million shots administered to people in less than 90 days of the first vaccine’s emergency use authorization.

While at McCourt, Meyer was part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Internship program, which selects 20 active-duty U.S. Army Officers each year to earn a master of policy management degree, followed by an assignment within the Joint Staff or Office of the Secretary of Defense.