Commander Franca R. Jones, M.S., Ph.D.

Defense Health Agency Department of Defense
Chief, Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Section Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch
Health Affairs Breakfast featuring Commander Franca R. Jones : CDR Franca Jones

Franca R. Jones attended St. John’s University in Queens, New York, and received a B.S. and M.S. in biology in 1991 and 1994, respectively. She completed her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology in 1999 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and conducted her postdoctoral studies at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.


Following completion of her postdoctoral studies, CDR Jones accepted a direct commission as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, Medical Service Corps in April, 2002. Since accepting her commission, CDR Jones has had a variety of challenging assignments focusing on disease surveillance, infectious disease research, biodefense operations, and biosecurity. Her first assignment was in Lima, Peru, as the Bacteriology Department Head at the Naval Medical Research Unit-6 (2002-4). She returned to the Washington, DC area serving as the Branch Head for Clinical Microbiology at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (2004-5); the Navy’s Biological Defense Fellow and Division Officer for the Biological Defense Operations Department at the Naval Medical Research Center (2005-8); and Department of Defense (DoD) Biosecurity and Biosurveillance Lead in Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP), Pentagon (2008-10). CDR Jones deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan as a plans, operations, medical intelligence officer from 2009-10.


In September 2010, CDR Jones was selected for a detail in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where she led the development of Administration policy on chemical and biological defense, biosecurity, and biosurveillance. In collaboration with the National Security Council, CDR Jones co-developed the Administration’s National Strategy for Biosurveillance (2012) and the Global Health Security Agenda (2014), among others. CDR Jones was subsequently selected by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense to serve as the Director of Medical Programs for the CBDP (2013-15) where she led the DoD’s medical countermeasure response to the West African Ebola epidemic and the response to the inadvertent shipment of live Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) samples from a DoD lab to 194 labs worldwide.  In August 2015, CDR Jones was selected by the Defense Health Agency as the Chief, Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Section, where she currently serves.