Leader, advocate, researcher, author, instructor, consultant, and campaigner in the quest for improved population health outcomes, health equity, and multisectoral approaches to health issues, systems-level change, and social innovation.
Renata Schiavo, PhD, MA is a public health, healthcare, global health, social innovation, and health communication specialist with more than 20 years of experience in a variety of settings, including the United States and several countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa. Currently, she is Founding President, Board of Directors, of Health Equity Initiative (HEI), a member-driven nonprofit membership organization dedicated to building and sustaining a global community that engages across sectors and disciplines to advance health equity. HEI works to build community, capacity, and communication resources for health equity and is unique in its dedication to bridge silos and build ONE community for health equity. Dr. Schiavo is also a Senior Lecturer at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where her courses focus on topics at the intersection of society, health equity, and health communication planning and evaluation. Her teaching experience includes a variety of topics, including courses on global health; health equity; health communication theory and practice; cross-cultural health communication; social marketing; community health interventions; and research and evaluation. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health, and the Founder and Principal of Strategic Communication Resources, a global expert consultancy dedicated to fostering behavioral, social and organizational results via social innovation, community engagement, and systems-changing strategies, which she established in 2004. Dr. Schiavo is also an Adjunct Associate Professor, at Long Island University-Brooklyn, where she teaches a bi-annual graduate course on global health challenges. Among other honors, Dr. Schiavo was recognized as one of 300 Women Leaders in Global Health by an initiative of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva; is an elected Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM); and received a Presidential Citation by the Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE).
Renata is a member of SheSource; a member of the Steering Committee of the American Public Health Association (APHA) PHEPH Health Communication Working Group (HCWG), for which she also served as 2007-2008 Chair; and a member of both the APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP_ and International Health sections. She serves as Co-Chair, Special Sessions, of the APHA Global Public Health Film Festival. Renata is a member of the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journals Health Equity, and Cases in Public Health Communication and Marketing. She also served on the Advisory Board (2008-2012) of The Nation's Health, the APHA's official newspaper. Among other international affiliations, Renata is a member of the UNICEF Communication for Development (C4D) Global Web Roster; the World Health Organization's Global Technical Network for Communication for Behavioral Impact (COMBI); and the Italian group Salute-Cura-Societa’ (SaCS-Health-Cure-Society).
Dr. Schiavo is the author of the internationally acclaimed book Health Communication: From Theory to Practice (San Francisco: Jossey Bass), now in its second edition, as well as 30+ publications and 135+ scientific presentations in the public health, healthcare, health communication, and global health fields. She has recognized international expertise in 20+ public health, healthcare, global health, and/or international development areas, and has served on scientific, expert, and review panels for leading organizations, including the World Health Organization, the National Institute of Health, the International Red Cross/Red Crescent federation, and the American Public Health Association. Her work has been supported by the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, HHS Office of Minority Health; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; UNICEF; and the World Health Organization, among others.
Dr. Schiavo’s professional interests focus on systems-changing strategies and lie at the intersection of health equity; strategic planning; social innovation; strategic health communication for behavioral, social and organizational change; multisectoral partnerships; community health; risk communication; and global health. Her recent work has focused on health equity/health disparities, maternal and child health, chronic malnutrition, immigrant health, cultural competence, epidemics and emerging diseases, global handwashing, immunization, childhood cancer, and malaria, among others.
She is an accomplished leader and well-recognized professional with significant experience in strategy design/strategic planning; research design and implementation; program design, direction, and evaluation; and professional development, capacity building, and training. She is a leading proponent of a community-driven and participatory planning approach to health, equity, and social issues, as well as intervention design and health communication. Dr. Schiavo has designed and published a model for effectively integrating partnerships and action plans, which has been implemented in participatory capacity building efforts for health communication and public health interventions in the fields of infant mortality prevention, global handwashing, and health equity, among others.
Dr. Schiavo's very diverse background includes past academic positions at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College and New York University; Executive Vice President, Cooney Waters Group; and Head, Corporate and Marketing Communications and Social Responsibility Programs, Rhodia Farma-Brazil (now Sanofi Aventis). Her recent consulting experience includes leading organizations such as the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP); New York University College of Dentistry; the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, HHS Office of Minority Health; the Rwanda Ministry of Health; Solving Kids’ Cancer; UNICEF; the World Bank, and the World Health Organization. Her capacity building and training experience includes staff members and officers from 350+ organizations.
Renata has significant management experience as she also served on the boards of directors of Solving Kids’ Cancer, Public Health Foundation Enterprise (PHFE), and the Italian American Committee on Education, as well as an elected voting member of the 2007-2009 Governing Council of the American Public Health Association. Early in her career, Dr. Schiavo was a post-doctoral research scientist at Columbia University, and New York University, where she worked on numerous molecular and cell biology projects. She holds a PhD in Biological Sciences (Clinical Biology concentration) from the University of Naples (Italy), a M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from New York University, and a Post-graduate Certificate in Child Life from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), with an emphasis on family and community systems, trauma in children's life, and research on child life interventions in community and clinical settings.
A frequent speaker in a variety of U.S. and international settings, Renata is fluent in English, Italian, and Portuguese, and can read and understand Spanish and French. Her media experience includes interviews with Bloomberg News, BGI Webseries, BTJ Biotechnology Journal podcasts, Folha de S. Paulo, Radio Nacional Network, Sage Publications Podcasts, The Nation's Health, and The Signal, among others.
Copyrights © 2006-2017 by Renata Schiavo