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Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal (ret.) is a visiting professor, MIT Media Lab; senior fellow, health policy, New America; senior medical advisor, amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research; and clinical professor, Tufts and Georgetown University Schools of Medicine. She served for 20+ years as a federal government health official in the administrations of four US presidents: as the country’s first deputy assistant secretary for women’s health and as assistant surgeon general, senior global health advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services, White House health advisor, chief of the Behavioral Medicine and Basic Prevention Research Branch, and head of the Suicide Research Unit at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Blumenthal has increased scientific and public attention to women’s health, mental illness, and global health, including HIV/AIDS and pandemic preparedness. She has been at the forefront of applying technology to advance public health and is working to establish a new field of public health technology. She built the first government website for health and developed the “Missiles to Mammograms” initiative that transferred imaging technology from the CIA, NASA, and DOD to improve breast cancer detection. She has chaired numerous international and national conferences and commissions and received many awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal of the US Public Health Service, its highest honor, “for distinguished and pioneering leadership, groundbreaking contributions and dedicated public service that has improved the health of women, our Nation, and the world.”
She received her undergraduate degree from Reed College, MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and MD from the University of Tennessee School of Medicine.