Michelle Spencer Named Deputy Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative

October 12, 2023

The Bloomberg American Health Initiative is pleased to announce that Michelle Spencer is the new Deputy Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. In this role, Michelle will focus on leading the Initiative's efforts in education, research, and practice to advance American health. She has served as the associate director of the Initiative since 2016. 

Michelle joined the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in late 2016, just as the Initiative was taking shape. She contributed substantially to the Initiative's conception and was named the inaugural associate director. In this role, she built the infrastructure of the fellowship program, which has grown from an initial class of eight fellows in 2017 to more than 330 as of 2023. She has also overseen the funding of more than 200 research and practice projects of the Initiative, including managing the portfolio of high impact projects, Initiative funded research projects which examine our five focus areas through the lens of our cross-cutting public health themes of equity, evidence, and policy. These unique efforts have prompted novel solutions to a range of longstanding and difficult health challenges.

“Michelle's leadership, vision, and hard work have made the Bloomberg American Health Initiative possible," said Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement and director of the Initiative. “This new position recognizes her enormous contributions and puts her in position for even greater impact in the future.”

Prior to joining the faculty at the Bloomberg School, Michelle served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff for the Baltimore City Health Department for eight years. She then served as the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and as Director of the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration. 

“I am thrilled for this recognition and the foundational work I’ve contributed since the Initiative’s inception,” says Spencer.  “I look forward to advancing public health solutions by supporting our team, faculty, and fellows, grounding those solutions in equity, and ultimately increasing the impact the Initiative has on communities across the country.”

At the Bloomberg School, Michelle is a core member of the Center for Gun Violence Solutions, where she has been involved in efforts related to racial equity and guns, among others. She is also the co-instructor for the course, Crafting Effective Solutions to Gun Violence: Problem Solving, and has served as capstone advisor and on student exam committees. Michelle also co-directs the Community Engagement and Dissemination Core for the Center for Health Disparities Solutions. In addition, she is the co-chair for the Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-racism, and Equity Committee in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School.


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