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Dr David A Sleet is the Associate Director for Science in the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology, his master's (with honors) in exercise science, and doctorate in health education and behavioral sciences from the University of Toledo (Ohio). He joined the faculty at San Diego State University in 1974 and conducted early research on Olympic athletes as a member of the USA Research Team for the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976. He helped establish the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University, where he taught for many years as a faculty member in the division of health promotion.
He joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a research psychologist in 1981 and helped develop a focus on public health within NHTSA. He was a visiting fellow and acting director of the Road Accident Prevention Research Unit in Perth, Australia (1989–91) and authored a statewide injury control plan for the Health Department of Western Australia. He subsequently developed the first distance learning course on injury control for Curtin University. His published research synthesis on the relationship between blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and driving performance helped create a national BAC legal limit of 0.05 g/dl in Australia.
As a visiting scientist in Helsinki, he conducted the first study in Finland on the potential benefits of airbags on reducing injuries and fatalities on Finnish roads. He was a research fellow in Brussels, Belgium assisting the design of sports injury surveillance research and establishing links to injury data with the Commission on Public Health of the European Union.
He served on advisory committees to the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, the School Health Programs and Policy Study, working groups for 1990 Objectives for the Nation, and subsequent Year 2000 and 2010 US Objectives for injury control. He co-chaired the evaluation panel for the National Committee for Injury Prevention and Control and contributed to the US National Plan for Injury Control.
He joined CDC in 1992 and was named Acting Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention in 1994. He is on the faculty of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, where he teaches courses in social and behavioral science in public health. His interests are in applying principles of social and behavioral sciences to injury prevention.