Susan Michaels-Strasser, PhD, MPH

  • Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (in ICAP) at the Columbia University Medical Center
  • ICAP Assistant Professor of the Department of Epidemiology
Profile Headshot


Dr. Susan Michaels-Strasser, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology is a member of ICAP's core leadership team as well as Senior Director for Human Resources for Health Development providing leadership, guidance, and direction for the development, implementation, and assessment of programs to develop the capacity of health care providers across ICAP's portfolio of programs. Those human resources, on the ground and on the frontlines, are very often nurses who step up to provide highly skilled care in areas with an acute shortage of doctors. For 30 years, Dr. Michaels-Strasser has been on a mission to empower nurses and get them the training, the equipment, and the respect that their work requires and deserves. Utilizing the full capacity of frontline nurses and midwives is having a transformative impact on access to quality and the delivery of health care, especially in resource-limited places.

Dr. Michaels-Strasser came to ICAP in 2014 to focus on management and capacity-building of the health workforce to improve acute and chronic health care, as well as management and mitigation of disease outbreaks. Among her responsibilities at ICAP, she continued her role as principal investigator for CDC and HRSA-funded programs to strengthen and sustain the role of nurses in the care of people living with HIV in Southern Africa. Research demonstrated that nurses, who had initially not been permitted to prescribe antiretroviral therapy (ART), are in fact highly capable of managing this treatment, and they have been a critical force in scaling up the life-saving use of ART worldwide. Across 10 countries and 22 schools of nursing, Dr. Michaels-Strasser has helped to upgrade the nursing curriculum, improve infrastructure, increase opportunities for in-service training, and promote partnerships for policy and regulation as the critical roles and capabilities of nurses are increasingly recognized. Currently Dr. Michaels-Strasser is the Principal Investigator (PI) for ICAP programs in Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as PI for ICAP's engagement in a Global Consortium One Health Workforce Project led by the University of California Davis. She also leads ICAP's engagement in global health security capacity building and the introduction of a new fellowship in Pandemic Preparedness with New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (in ICAP) at the Columbia University Medical Center
  • ICAP Assistant Professor of the Department of Epidemiology

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 1986 University of Rochester
  • MPH, 1995 Yale University
  • MSc, 1995 Yale University
  • PhD, 2006 University of Cape Town

Honors & Awards

Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing- Research Award

Wilbur G. Downs Fellow in International Health, Yale University

Recipient of Award from National Association of Nurse Practitioners and Associates


Research Interests

  • Child and Adolescent Health
  • Global Health
  • Healthcare Policy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Maternal and Reproductive Health

Global Health Activities

Principal Investigator- CDC Award to Strengthen Nurse Initiation and Management of ART (NIMART), South Africa

Principal Investigator-Global Nurses Capacity Building Project (multi country HRSA award), Zimbabwe: Multi country award to strengthen the quality and quantity of the nursing and midwifery workforce. Countries include: Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia

Principle Investigator- Responsive and Resilient Health Systems (HRSA award) , Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo